Freshmen reign in WCHA
Freshmen are headlining many teams in the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association this season. Grand Forks' Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux are the top two scorers for No. 2 Minnesota. Pernilla Winberg is the leading scorer for No. 8 Minneso...
Freshmen are headlining many teams in the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association this season.
Grand Forks' Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux are the top two scorers for No. 2 Minnesota.
Pernilla Winberg is the leading scorer for No. 8 Minnesota-Duluth.
Natalie Spooner and Laura McIntosh are the top two scorers for Ohio State.
And Wisconsin's Brooke Ammerman, another rookie, is the second-leading goal scorer in the country.
It excites UND coach Brian Idalski that his rookie class is holding its own against the other league standouts.
"I think our kids flew under the radar a little bit," Idalski said. "I think there were a lot of questions about the kids we brought in. I don't think it was a slam dunk that they were going to be excellent."
Many of the 10 newcomers are making immediate impacts, though.
Freshman Sara Dagenias is tied for the team lead in goals with five. She is second in points with nine. Freshman Alyssa Wiebe is third in goals (four) and points (six). Freshman Ashley Holmes is the leading defenseman scorer with five points. And rookie goalie Stephanie Ney ranks third nationally among freshmen with a 3-1 mark.
"I think they have a little bit of a chip on their shoulder to prove that they are just as good as the others," Idalski said. "They are really driven to surpass those other kids just by working hard, training and watching film. So far, they've done a good job of that. I think it shows on the ice. Although they aren't as heralded, they've done fantastic."
Junior goalie Brittany Kirkham added: "A lot of them came in early and worked their butts off. They are doing what we expected them to do."
The Sioux will get a look at two of those standout freshmen on the other side of the ice at 12:07 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, when they host Ohio State in Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Spooner and McIntosh have double the points of any other players on the Buckeye roster.
"They are both Under-18 (Canadian team) kids," Idalski said. "The blue-chip kids in this (WCHA freshman) class were just that. They were difference makers. There were a fair amount of kids who were going to have impacts right away. Those kids, they are doing what was kind of expected out of them."
Sioux notes: Melissa Jaques is tied for third nationally in points (15). She is on an eight-game point streak. . . . UND will be without defenseman Susan Fellner, who is playing for the German national team this weekend. . . . The Sioux also will be missing Ashley Paulson, who is out with a concussion.
Reach Schlossman at (701) 780-1129; (800) 477-6572, ext. 129; or send e-mail to email@example.com .