For the first time in the program’s history, the UND women’s hockey team has started the season 4-0-0.
As the team heads into the weekend undefeated, the Green and White look toward extending their four-game win streak against Bemidji State, who is currently on a four-game win streak as well.
Going into the season with a group of players that are visibly like family to one another, you would not expect anything less than successful outcomes. The veterans are stepping up and proving to be leaders, while the freshmen are adjusting to college life and the new pace of the game.
“It speaks to our leadership team and understanding these games are big,” UND coach Brian Idalski said. “These are the games that have cost us down the stretch in previous seasons. With a team that is making history, there is always room for improvement. We’re creating opportunities and doing some good things, I think we need to dial it in. We need to — identity-wise — be prettier and tougher in high traffic areas. We need some more dirty goals.”
As the season progresses and the games become more difficult as teams settle into their routines, the UND squad has a lot to look forward to.
“There is a lot of room for improvement. We are not bad,” Idalski said. “We have room to grow that’s a huge positive as long as we’re learning these lessons as to why we’re winning these games. It is the best of both worlds.”
After sweeping Minnesota State last weekend, the women’s team was unable to crawl up the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Women’s College Hockey poll but rather solidified its No. 6 spot. Minnesota remained unscathed in the polls holding tight to the No. 1 ranking.
UND players also make an impact outside of the college game. This week it was revealed captain Halli Krzyzaniak was selected to represent her nation, Canada, in the 2015 Four Nations Cup.
This will be the third time that the captain represents Canada on a national team, as she played in the 2014 Four Nations cup and the 2015 IIHF Women’s World Championship where Canada took home Silver, falling only to Team USA.
With a spotless record so far, the lethal combination of senior Shelby Amsley-Benzie and junior Lexi Shaw is also proving positive. The dynamic duo will tag team the series, allowing Amsley-Benzie to rest and adjust after her surgery last year. They both remain 2-0-0 on the season.
The Green and White takes on Bemidji State this weekend in a home-and-home series. Friday’s game will be played at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, while Saturday’s game is held at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Saturday will also mark the first time the women’s team will play in front of the UND faithful. Both games are set to begin at 2:07 p.m.
Allyson Bento is a sports writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]