Coach Bruce Olson
Entering Third Year at Bemidji State 14-44-9
Bruce Olson enters his third season at Bemidji State with a 14-44-9 overall
record and an 8-33-7 mark in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play. Olson
will try to avenge a disappointing 2003-2004 season in which the Beavers
finished 5-27-2 and 3-20-1 in WHCA play.
The task of putting last season behind them will be made easier with 17
letterwinners returning and nine newcomers joining a squad that also retains 93%
of its scoring from a year ago. Sophomore Kelly Hart will lead the offensive
charge, after tallying a team-high 20 points (10-10) in 2003-04, a feat that
placed her seventh in the WCHA in scoring among freshmen.
In the first three years of Olsonís tenure at Bemidji State, he has coached the
programís first All-WCHA pick, Amber Fryklund, who ended her playing days as the
lone 100-point scorer (122) in school history. Meanwhile, former players Anik
CŰtť and Guylaine Hachť were each named WCHA Student Ahtlete of the Year, CŰtť
in 2003 and Hachť in 2002. Additionally, CŰtť became just the second athlete in
school history to be recognized on the Verizon Academic All-American Team in
consecutive seasons, as she was a second team honoree both years.
Olson came to Bemidji State after a highly-successful career at the high school
level which has spanned more than two decades. After a four-year playing career
at Minnesota, Duluth from 1975-79, Olson took over the boyís program at Minot
High School in Minot, N.D. He directed Minot High to a pair of North Dakota
state runner-up finishes in 1985 and 1987, and in Ď87 was named North Dakota
Hockey Coach of the Year.
In 1991, Olson left Minot to take over the varsity boyís program at Roseau High.
During his run at Roseau, Olson earned Minnesota 8AA Coach of the Year honors
twice (1995-96 and 1998-99), was named State Coach of the Year in 1998-99 and
led Roseau to the 1999 state championship. Olsonís 1999 state championship team
was the sixth state champion in Roseau history. In addition, Olsonís 1999 team
won state Academic Champion honors.
Olson took a one-year leave of absence from Roseau in 1999-00, spending that
year working on a masterís degree in educational leadership at the University of
North Dakota. During that year, Olson also took over head coaching duties for
the UND womenís ice hockey club team. He helped set the stage for the elevation
of the North Dakota club program to NCAA varsity status; the Sioux make their
debut at the Division I level this fall.
During his coaching career, Olson has directed 15 players who have gone on to
Division I playing careers, nine of which played for North Dakota. That group
includes current Minnesota-Duluth goaltender Maghan Grahn, who competed for the
Roseau boyís team during her high school career. Grahn posted an 0.66
goals-against average in five appearances for the repeat national champion
Bulldogs a year ago, allowing just one goal in 90 minutes of work.
Olson was a four-year letterwinner for the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs from
1975-79. He played 137 games at left wing for the Bulldogs, tallying 93 points
(35 goals, 58 assists) in his career.
coach Laura Halldorson has accomplished more in her seven years at the
University of Minnesota than most coaches have in a lifetime. On March 28, 2004
Halldorson and the Golden Gophers defeated Harvard, 6-2, to win their first NCAA
Championship. It was the second national championship for Halldorson in five
years, while the first was under the American Women's College Hockey
Association. To this day, the women's hockey team remains the only Minnesota
women's team to win a national championship. The Gophers closed out the season
with an astounding 30 wins, four losses and two ties in the championship season.
Prior to her national championship feat, Halldorson led the
team to a 19-3-2 Western Collegiate Hockey Association record and her third WCHA
regular season championship. The Golden Gophers also earned their second WCHA
Final Five Championship in three years, with a 4-2 win over Minnesota-Duluth.
Not only did Halldorson earn a national and WCHA championship, she was also
named the American Hockey Coaches Association's Coach of the Year, her third
honor since 1998. She is the only Division I women's coach to earn the honor not
only three times, but twice since its inception in 1998. Under Halldorson's
tutelage, the 2003-04 Gopher edition went undefeated in the first half of the
season posting a 13-0-1 record. The Maroon and Gold were the top team in the
country for 18 of the 23 weeks in both the U.S. College Hockey Online and USA
Today/American Hockey Magazine polls.
The 2002-03 season marked another milestone for Halldorson. On
November 2, 2002 Halldorson won her 200th career game. Now with 249 career wins,
Halldorson ranks second among Division I coaches in wins, establishing a
249-117-27. Of her 249 wins, 190 of her wins and only 42 of her losses came in
seven years with the Maroon and Gold.
Halldorson led Minnesota to its second straight NCAA Frozen
Four appearance in 2002-03 with a 27-8-1 record, 19-4-1 mark in conference
action. During the season, Halldorson coached three All-WCHA first-team players,
the WCHA Rookie of the Year in Natalie Darwitz, the Defensive Player of the Year
in Ronda Curtin as well as two first-team All-Americans in Darwtiz and Curtin.
Although many marked the 2001-02 season as a rebuilding year,
the Golden Gophers gained their second straight WCHA regular season championship
posting a 28-4-6 season. Under Coach Halldorson, the Gophers went on a 24-game
unbeaten streak from Nov. 2 to Feb. 17. During that span, Minnesota went 20-0-4,
sweeping six series from WCHA opponents. Minnesota won its first WCHA tournament
championship claiming victories against Ohio State in the semifinals and
Wisconsin in the championship. The Maroon and Gold capped off the season with
the top seed at the NCAA Frozen Four. The Gophers finished third at the national
championship, marking the program's fourth appearance at nationals. Halldorson
ended her season with coaching honors at both the league and national level.
Halldorson received the WCHA Coach of the Year award and was named the National
Coach of the Year by the American Hockey Coaches Association, her second honor
In 2000-01, Halldorson led the team to a 23-9-2 record and an
18-4-2 WCHA mark to put the Gophers on top of the WCHA in the regular season.
The team came up just shy of the inaugural NCAA Championship, ranking fifth
overall in the nation. Halldorson received the WCHA's Co-Coach of the Year, an
award she shared with St. Cloud State's Kerry Wethington.
The 1999-2000 season saw the beginning of the Western
Collegiate Hockey Association-Women's League. Despite finishing second in the
conference in both the regular-season and playoffs, Minnesota claimed the AWCHA
national title and, in just three seasons, Halldorson and the Gophers reigned
supreme in the world of women's college hockey.
In the second year as head coach, Halldorson led her team to
29 wins in season number two, capped off by a third-place showing at the AWCHA
National Championship. Along with the third-place finish, Halldorson collected
her 100th win on Feb. 9, 1999 in a 5-0 shutout against Cornell University.
Upon her hiring, Halldorson went to work immediately. With a
year to recruit before her team took the ice for its first game, she set out to
put together a roster consisting of 23 players who would end the season with a
21-7-3 record and a fourth-place showing at the AWCHA.
After spending her first year at Minnesota without a team,
Halldorson's first Gopher squad took the ice Nov. 2, 1997 and played in front of
a women's intercollegiate hockey record crowd of 6,854, winning its inaugural
game 8-0 over Augsburg College. By the end of that first season, Halldorson and
her Golden Gophers had finished fourth in the first-ever women's ice hockey
national championship. For her efforts, Halldorson was named the first American
Hockey Coaches Association Women's Coach of the Year. Halldorson established
herself at Colby College, where she led the White Mules, one of only two
non-Division I schools at the time in the 12-team Eastern Collegiate Athletic
Conference, to a 12-9-1 overall record in 1995-96. In the process, she earned
ECAC Co-Coach of the Year honors as well as being named the New England Hockey
Writers' Coach of the Year. While at Colby, she recruited and coached U.S.
National Team members Meaghan Sittler and Barb Gordon.
Halldorson was instrumental in the development of the ECAC
women's hockey league and served as chair of the ECAC Women's Ice Hockey
Committee and President of the Women's Hockey Coaches Association from 1991 to
1994. Now in her second decade as a collegiate head coach, Halldorson has helped
to spur a growth in the sport. She was instrumental in women's hockey becoming a
championship sport in the NCAA. Halldorson also serves on the Patty Kazmaier
Award committee. The award, emblematic of the nation's top women's college ice
hockey player, is named in honor of Patty Kazmaier, a teammate of Halldorson's
At the national level, she was the assistant coach for the
gold medal-winning team at the 1998 USA Hockey Women's Festival and served as
assistant coach for the U.S. Women's Select Team that competed in the Three
Nations Cup in Finland in December, 1998. Halldorson was a head coach at the
1999 USA Hockey Women's Festival and was an assistant coach for the national
Under-22 team in 1999. She served as an assistant coach of the U.S. Junior
National Team in 1995 and worked with USA Hockey's girls' and women's national
development camps from 1991-99. Halldorson was a member of the Women's Olympic
Evaluation Committee, helping to choose the team that won the gold medal at the
1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan.
A native of Plymouth, Minn., and a 1981 graduate of Wayzata
High School, Halldorson played four years at Princeton, where she was a
co-captain and all-conference performer while leading the Tigers to three Ivy
A member of the 1987 U.S. National Women's Team and three
national club championship teams with the Minnesota Checkers, Halldorson
returned to her alma mater in 1987 to begin her collegiate coaching career.
Following two seasons as an assistant at Princeton, she took over at Colby,
where she spent seven seasons building a program that turned a 5-12-2 record in
her first season into a 12-9-1 mark in her last season.
Halldorson graduated from Princeton in 1985 with a degree in
psychology. After receiving her bachelor of arts degree, she returned home to
coach volleyball, softball and basketball in the Wayzata school district from
1985 to 1987.
Miller, the 2003 American Hockey Coaches Association Coach of the Year, has led
the University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team to three consecutive NCAA
Championship titles (2001, 2002, 2003), in only four years at the helm. Miller
has compiled an amazing 108-19-13 record for a whopping .818 winning percentage,
earning the top spot among all women's college hockey coaches.
Miller, 39, the only women's hockey head coach in team history, has guided the
Bulldogs into the national tournament three times in four years, capturing the
first three NCAA Championship titles ever played. She has coached the team to
two WCHA regular season championships (2000, 2003) and three WCHA Tournament
titles (2000, 2001, 2003). Miller was named the WCHA Coach of the Year after the
league's inaugural season in 1999-2000. Miller was chosen to coach the first
ever WCHA All-Star team, which competed with the U.S. Olympic team in a two-game
series in preparation for the 2002 Olympic Games.
Miller and her Bulldog teams have been invited to the White House three times to
be honored by President George W. Bush. "I know something about sports and it
takes a great coach to win the national title. And this team has an
extraordinary coach," said Bush on Miller's accomplishments.
Prior to arrivng at UMD, Miller had a successful coaching career at the
international level. She coached Team Canada for seven years and was the first
female head coach of a women's Olympic hockey team. In those seven years with
the national team, Miller directed Canada to a silver medal in the 1998 Winter
Olympic Games and three consecutive gold medals at the Women's World Ice Hockey
Championships (1992, 1994, 1997). She also coached Canada to gold medals at both
the 1995 and 1996 Pacific Rim Championships as well as the Three Nations Cup
tournament in 1996.
Miller launched her national coaching career as an assistant with the Alberta
Women's 18-under Hockey Team in 1989 and two years later was part of a club
which captured a gold medal in the first-ever women's ice hockey competition at
the Canada Winter Games. She's been a volunteer member of the Canadian Hockey
Association Female Council, president of the Southern Alberta Women's Hockey
League and chairperson of the Saskatchewan Female Hockey League in addition to
refereeing hockey three years (1982-85) at the collegiate level.
A native of Melfort, Saskatchewan, Miller competed in four Canadian National
Championships as a player (1982-85) before retiring in 1989. She holds a
bachelor's degree in physical education from the University of Saskatchewan
(1985) and from 1988-96 was employed as a police officer in Calgary. After seven
years as a police officer, Miller was hired by the Olympic Oval in Calgary to
build the first international high performance training program for female
hockey. For her groundbreaking accomplishments in female sports in Canada,
Miller was given the prestigious Canadian Advancement of Women in Sport Award
after the 1998 Olympics. Last year Miller was honored by the Calgary Flames NHL
organization for her global pioneer work in the game of hockey.
In July of 2000 Miller was selected to serve on the first ever NCAA women's
hockey committee, which plans, organizes and operates the NCAA Women's Frozen
Four. This year she will continue her duties with the committee for a fourth
By improving the teamís win total in each of his first three seasons,
head coach Jeff Vizenor has proven that Minnesota State Womenís Hockey
is in capable hands. When he joined the Maverick coaching staff in 2001,
Vizenor inherited a team that did not post a Western Collegiate Hockey
Association victory the previous season and has steadily built a team
that turned in the programís finest season in 2003-04.
Vizenorís third campaign could be described as nothing short of a
benchmark season. The Mavericks posted the first winning season in
school history with a 16-14-4 overall record, including wins over
top-ranked Minnesota and Minnesota Duluth, and made their first-ever
appearance in the WCHA Final Five and NCAA Division I national rankings.
Vizenor also mentored the programís first Jofa Division I All-American
and Patty Kazmaier finalist in goaltender Shari Vogt. Following the
season, he was honored by his peers with WCHA Coach of the Year
distinction. His career mark now stands at 64-74-14 overall and 30-61-9
Vizenor came to Minnesota State following a one-year assignment as an
assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin. The Badgers posted a
21-9-5 record and finished third in the WCHA that season. Prior to his
stint in Madison, Vizenor served as the head coach at St. Maryís
University on Winona, Minn., for two seasons. In that time, the
Cardinals compiled a 34-13-5 mark and captured co-Minnesota
Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular-season titles both years.
The 1998-99 MIAC Coach of the Year, Vizenor tutored nine All-MIAC
players and took his 1999-00 team as high as second in the NCAA Division
III national rankings.
The Rogers, Minn., native began his coaching career in 1990 as an
assistant coach at St. Cloud Apollo High School in St. Cloud, Minn.,
serving in that capacity until 1993. From there, Vizenor completed a
three-year stint as the assistant coach at Mora High School in Mora,
Minn., earning Section 2 Assistant Coach of the Year honors in 1996. He
would return to St. Cloud to coach one season at St. Cloud Tech High
School and another season as the head coach of the St. Cloud Icebreakers
Girlís team before tackling his first collegiate assignment.
In addition to his hockey coaching experience, Vizenor helped coach
girls fastpitch softball at both Mora and Apollo High Schools as well as
teaching secondary social studies courses at both South Junior High in
St. Cloud and at Mora.
Vizenor is very active in the national hockey community as well. He is
currently serving as president of the American Womenís Hockey
Association and is a member of the NCAA rules committee. Vizenor has
also had coaching stints with USA Hockey, including coaching the Red
Team at the 2004 USA Hockey Women's National Festival this past summer
in Lake Placid, N.Y, and Burlington, Vt.
Vizenor earned his bachelor of science degree in social studies
education from St. Cloud State in 1992. He and his wife, Amy, reside in
Mankato and have one daughter-Abby.
Entering her third year on the MSU coaching staff is Ruthann Kragh.
Kragh is the recruiting coordinator for MSU.
She joined the Mavericks after coaching WCHA-member Bemidji State
University for three seasons (1998-2001) and sports a career record
of 59-58-6 in four seasons. Her first year she saw the inaugural
program struggle through a 2-20 season as a club program, however,
the Beavers finished the 1999-2000 campaign with an unblemished 10-0
record against non-conference opponents.
Shantel Rivard is in her third season as head coach of the
Fighting Sioux womenís hockey team and will lead the Sioux into their first
season in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) in 2004-05.
The only head coach the Fighting Sioux womenís hockey program
has known in its young history, Rivard has guided UND to a 26-28-4 record over
the teamís two first seasons, in which UND was classified as a Division I
Last season, just the second in team history, Rivard led the
Sioux to a 16-14-2 record, including a remarkable 13-3-0 run during the entire
second half of the season. That run included a school-record six-game winning
streak from Jan. 12 to Jan. 31 and a five-game winning streak to close out the
season. Under Rivardís tutelage, UND posted a program-record 16 wins and cracked
the NCAA Division I Womenís Hockey Pairwise Rankings (PWR) for the first time.
Two of UND's 16 wins came against nationally-ranked opponents and seven came
against WCHA teams.
In 2002-03, UNDís first as an NCAA DI womenís hockey program,
Rivard guided the Sioux through a 10-14-2 debut season. Under Rivardís
direction, the Fighting Sioux finished among the national leaders in womenís
hockey attendance, averaging 836 fans per game, fifth-most in the country. A
total of 11,705 fans passed through the gates of Ralph Engelstad Arena in
2002-03, including 3,200 for UNDís Oct. 26 home opener against Boston College,
which was the second-largest crowd in NCAA womenís hockey all season.
Rivard was hired as the University of North Dakota's first
varsity women's ice hockey coach on Jan. 17, 2002.
Rivard came to UND from the University of Maine, where she
was in her fifth year as an assistant coach and first year as associate coach
with the University of Maine's varsity women's hockey program.
"We are very pleased to add Shantel to the UND athletic
department coaching staff," said UND Athletic Director Roger Thomas at a press
conference introducing Rivard. "Her college coaching and recruiting experience
will be tremendous assets in building the new UND women's hockey program."
Said Rivard: "It's a great opportunity for me professionally.
It's even more exciting to become the head coach of a new program. I was
impressed with the whole atmosphere at UND and the people, and it felt like a
great place to be."
Rivard grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and graduated from
Manheim Township High School in Lancaster, Pa., in 1990. She received bachelor's
and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from the Rochester Institute of
Technology (RIT) in Rochester, N.Y., in 1995. She was a four-year member of the
women's hockey team at RIT, where she played forward for three years and defense
for one year.
She continued her playing career for one year (1995-96) with
the Mississauga (Ont.) Chiefs in the Senior AAA league, now the National Women's
Hockey League. In the summer of 1996, she rollerbladed 2,533 miles from Calgary,
Alberta, to Long Island, N.Y., to raise money for the United Way.
Rivard served as a volunteer assistant for two years at RIT
and also coached the Rochester Youth Hockey Squirts and the Allegheny (Pa.)
Youth Hockey Peewees before joining the University of Maine staff in 1998.
She had been pursuing a second master's degree-in exercise
science-at the University of Maine, where she was Maine's head recruiter and in
charge of the team's strength and conditioning program. She coached the team's
forwards and specialty teams.
Rivard was an assistant at Maine since it became a varsity
program in 1997 until taking over at UND. She helped head coach Rick Filighera
lead the Black Bears to a 15-14-1 record in 2000-01 in just their third season
of Division I competition. During the 2000-2001 season, Maine defeated or tied
four top-ten teams (Northeastern, Providence, eventual national runner-up St.
Lawrence and Brown), the team's first wins against top-10 teams in its history.
Rivardís family includes her husband, Peter, who is the head
menís and womenís soccer coach at Mayville (N.D.) State University. He also
serves as the director of Mayville Stateís new Sports and Fitness Center.
Paul Colontino is in his third season as assistant coach with
the Fighting Sioux womenís hockey team and also serves as
the program's recruiting
Colontino works primarily with UND's defensemen and last year
oversaw a defense corps that allowed fewer than three goals per game for the
first time in program history, cutting the team GAA by nearly half a goal per
game from 2002-03.
Colontino's defensemen were also a big part of a UND
penalty-killing unit that ranked 16th in the nation, a remarkable feat for a
Colontino came to UND after spending two seasons as an assistant coach with
Mercyhurstís womenís hockey team. In his two seasons at Mercyhurst, Colontino
helped guide the Lakers to a 38-24-4 record, including a GLWHA championship in
2001-02. He also served as the teamís conditioning coach and assisted in
recruiting, travel planning and video breakdown.
Prior to his coaching career, Colontino played four years as a defenseman with
the Mercyhurst menís team. He was team captain and the Metro Atlantic Athletic
Conference (MAAC) Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in 1999-00, as well
as an all-conference selection and Mercyhurstís Male Student-Athlete of the
Colontino, is a native of Burlington, Ontario. He graduated from Mercyhurst in
May 2000 with a bachelorís degree in anthropology and received a masterís degree
in organizational leadership from Mercyhurst in May 2002.
Jackie Barto, the
first and only head coach of the Ohio State women's ice hockey team, is entering
her sixth season as a Buckeye. Over the past five years, she has established
Ohio State as a top university for collegiate women's hockey. Under Barto Ohio
State has posted a 72-95-16 record. Prior to OSU, she spent five years at
Providence College and has obtained a career ledger of 142-148-26 in 10 seasons.
The 2003-04 season
marked a banner year as the Buckeyes set three program records in route to a
16-16-3 campaign. For the first time Ohio State went on a nine-game unbeaten
streak (Nov. 14-Jan. 3). During that time OSU went on a seven-game winning
streak, breaking the six-game streak in the 2000-01 season. The Buckeyes won
five consecutive conference games, breaking the previous record of four from
2001-02. The squad also earned at least one conference point against every team
in the WCHA, marking only the second time it has been done in program history.
Highlights of the season included upsets over ranked league opponents Wisconsin,
Minnesota State and Minnesota-Duluth. OSU rounded out the season fourth in the
WCHA, with a 10-12-2 conference record.
senior Emma Laaksonen earning the 2003-04 WCHA Student-Athlete of the Year
honors and freshman Tessa Bonhomme being named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team, the
first time a Buckeye was honored for either award. Two Buckeyes, Melissa Glaser
and Laaksonen, earned Verizon At-Large Academic All-District IV honors, four
student-athletes received WCHA All-Academic Team accolades and three were named
to the Academic All-Big Ten team.
The 2002-03 squad
finished fourth in the WCHA standings and at the conference tournament. The team
ended the season 12-22-3 overall and 8-13-3 in WCHA action, including 15
one-goal games. Jeni Creary was named to the WCHA all-tournament team. On the
academic side, Emma Laaksonen earned national honors for the Verizon At-Large
Academic All District IV Team, four Buckeyes claimed WCHA All-Academic honors
and six were named to the Academic All-Big Ten team.
The Buckeyes proved
in the 2001-02 season they were a force to be reckoned with on the national
scene by defeating several nationally ranked teams. OSU upset No. 3 New
Hampshire and No. 4 St. Lawrence and also tied No. 6 Dartmouth. Against
Connecticut (Nov. 16, 2001) Barto recorded the 100th win of her career. She
marked another milestone when the Buckeyes toped her alma mater, Providence
College (Nov. 18, 2001). Barto guided two players to five postseason honors.
Jeni Creary was named the 2001-02 WCHA Rookie of the Year and All-WCHA First
Team selection after leading the nation in scoring for the first half of the
season. Emma Laaksonen earned JOFA/AHCA Second Team All-America accolades and
All-WCHA Second Team honors despite missing 10 games while representing her
native Finland at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Creary and Laaksonen were two
of 10 finalists for the 2002 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award.
In March 2001,
Barto's young Buckeye squad took center stage at the WCHA championship. No.
5-seeded Ohio State had bulldozed past No. 4 St. Cloud State, and blanked No. 1
Minnesota to advance to the championship final but fell to eventual national
champion Minnesota-Duluth. The Buckeyes' dramatic run for a postseason title was
a fitting end to their second campaign, which saw them skate to an 18-16-3
overall record (11-10-3 in the WCHA) and finish No. 8 in the national polls.
guided the program through a difficult first half of the 2000-01 season before
engineering an impressive turnaround midway through the year. The Buckeyes were
12-5-1 in their last 18 contests (after Jan. 1, 2001) and finished 7-1-0 at home
after the December hiatus, with their only loss at the OSU Ice Arena coming
against Minnesota. They ended the season on a six-game winning streak (including
five shutouts) before falling to UMD in the WCHA championship. Two Buckeyes
nabbed postseason honors: senior center Corinne Rosen and goaltender April
Stojak were named to the all-tournament team.
In its inaugural
1999-00 season, Barto mentored the squad on its way to an 8-26-3 overall record
and a 6-15-3 conference finish. In addition, she coached the Buckeyes in their
first post-season appearance, the 2000 WCHA Championship. During the tournament,
the fifth-seeded Buckeyes upset No. 4 seed St. Cloud and No. 3 seed Wisconsin,
to claim third place.
came to Ohio State following a five-year tenure as head coach at Providence
College. Under Barto's guidance, the PC women's hockey program flourished,
compiling a record of 70-53-10. Providence succeeded immediately in Barto's
first season going 18-9-4 in 1994-95 and winning the Eastern College Athletic
Conference title. The following season, the Friars again reached the ECAC
championship game, eventually falling in heartbreaking fashion to New Hampshire
in a game that lasted five overtimes.
The 1996-97 season
proved to be one of the most successful during Barto's helm. Providence went
20-8-2, posting the program's eighth 20-win season. In 1997-98 she guided PC to
the ECAC Tournament for the 15th consecutive season.
Although women's ice
hockey brought Barto to Ohio State, her coaching career actually began in 1985
when she was named Providence's field hockey head coach and also served as an
assistant with the women's ice hockey and softball programs. From 1985-98, her
field hockey Friars went 163-93-22, won two Big East titles (1989 and '91), an
ECAC crown (1988) and made three NCAA tournament appearances (1987, '89 and
As a student-athlete
in women's ice hockey at Providence, Barto was one of the finest ever to don a
Friar uniform. Her 113 career goals rank third on the all-time goal list behind
only U.S. Olympian Cammi Granato (1989-93; 139 goals) and Stephanie O'Sullivan
(1991-95; 126 goals), both of whom Barto coached while at PC. She also ranks
fifth on Providence's all-time scoring list with 200 career points and seventh
in career assists with 87. In her playing and coaching days at PC, Barto was
associated with three of Providence's six ECAC championships, winning one as a
head coach (1995), one as an assistant (1994) and one as a player (1984).
is regarded as one of the greatest athletes in Providence College history. In
addition to her success as an ice hockey player, she also excelled in field
hockey and softball. She was captain of all three sports her senior year and set
a number of school records in each, including ranking third on the all-time
Providence field hockey scoring list with 149 career points (64 goals, 21
As would be expected
of a coach who has had such success, Barto collected a number of accolades while
at Providence. In 1997, she was inducted into the Providence College Athletic
Hall of Fame. She was voted New England Hockey Writer's Coach of the Year in
1995 and twice was voted Providence College's Female Athlete of the Year. In
1984, she was honored as Rhode Island's Female Athlete of the Year by Words
Unlimited, a Rhode Island-based organization of sports writers. That same group
bestowed upon her Female Coach of the Year honors in 1987 and '89. In November
2004, Barto will be one of two women and 12 people that comprise the inagural
class that will be inducted into the Newton North High School Hall of Fame.
Over the years,
Barto has been extensively involved with ice hockey and field hockey on the
national level. Barto recently served as an assistant coach for the 2003 U.S.
Women's Under-22 Select Team who played a three-game exhibition series against
Canada. The team also competed at the 2003 USA Hockey Women's National Festival
in Lake Placid, N.Y. In August 1999, she was one of four head coaches at the USA
Hockey Women's Festival in Lake Placid, N.Y. and was an assistant coach there in
1998. In 1983, she was invited to the Olympic Field Hockey Training Center and
was involved in the Olympic Development Program.
currently serves on the NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Championship Committee and also
is a member of the American Women's Hockey Coaches Association. From 2000-03,
she served on the board of governors for the American Hockey Coaches Association
and was the president of the American Women's Hockey Coaches Association from
A native of Newton,
Mass., Barto graduated from Providence in 1984 with a degree in business
management. She and her husband, Kurt, reside in Lewis Center, Ohio.
Catherine Hanson enters her
third year as an assistant coach with the Ohio State women's ice hockey program.
Her responsibilities include developing the OSU defense,
coordinating the recruiting process,
assisting with daily practices and games and breaking down opponent's game
Hanson began her coaching career
as an assistant ice hockey coach at Colgate University during the 1999 season.
In 2001-02, she served as an assistant coach at Wayne State University.
Jason Lesteberg begins his third
season with the Huskies as he joined the St. Cloud State University women's
hockey program as its head coach in July, 2002. He is the second coach in the
history of the program and will begin his third season come this October.
In his first season at SCSU, the
Huskies posted an 11-23-0, 5-19-0 WCHA record under Lesteberg's leadership. Last
season the Huskies finished 7-24-1, 4-19-1 WCHA, which was good for a 6th place
finish in the conference.
Lesteberg was the head women's
hockey coach at Bemidji State University in 2001-02, where he led the Beavers to
the most successful campaign in their brief history. Playing with substantially
the same roster which finished 9-24-1 in 2000-01, Lesteberg led the Beavers to a
12-13-8 record which included a school-record eight game unbeaten streak.
Bemidji State set six single-season team records during the 2001-02 campaign,
including team winning percentage (.485), goals scored (135), power-play goals
(30), assists (138), goals-against average (3.09) and longest unbeaten streak
In addition, the Beavers earned a
berth in the WCHA Final Five and Lesteberg was an NCAA Division I Coach of the
Year finalist. Prior to becoming the head coach at Bemidji State, Lesteberg
served as women's hockey coach at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point from
2000 to 2001. He led the Pointers to a 13-13-1 record in their inaugural season
of varsity women's ice hockey competition. He was named the NCHA Coach of the
Year and was an NCAA Division III Coach of the Year Finalist.
A 1996 graduate of Gustavus
Adolphus College, Lesteberg, a Burnsville, Minn., native, was a first team
All-American, College Hockey Player of the Year Finalist, NCAA Division III
Player of the Year Finalist, Conference Player of the Year, two-time first team
All-Conference, and a two-time conference scoring champion for the hockey team.
If you would like more
information about the women's hockey program at SCSU, call 320-255-4806. You can
also e-mail Coach Lesteberg at
David Prokop - Assistant Coach
Prokop is the first assistant coach hired for the SCSU women's hockey team. He
joined the staff in 1998-99, and since that time has been
one of the team's top recruiters.
Prokop has been an instructor at
many hockey camps, including the Buffalo STP Coordinator and Coach, an assistant
director and head instructor at the Manitowoc Hockey Camps. He was a member of
the U.S. Select 16 and U.S. Select 17 coaching staffs in 1997 and 1998.
Prokop graduated with a bachelors
degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, where he played hockey for the
Cobbers in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. He resides in
Maple Grove and has a son Robert "Max" Prokop.
"Goose" Giesen, a former assistant coach at St. John's University in
Collegeville, begins his second season as a full-time assistant to head Women's
Hockey Coach Jason Lesteberg. Giesen's primary duties are to work with the
Huskies' defensive players and recruiting.
Giesen was an
assistant coach at St. John's University from 1992-98 and was an associate head
coach at SJU from 1998-2003. The Johnnies prospered in Giesen's time, winning
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles in 1996, 1997 and 2003, as
well as playoff titles and NCAA Division III national tournament appearances in
1996, 1997, 2001 and 2003. The Johnnies, whose head coach is former St. Cloud
State assistant John Harrington, were third in the national tournament in 1997.
In addition to his
experience at St. John's, Giesen has worked extensively with the USA Hockey
Development program. The most recent program was with the girls 17/18 camp in
Giesen and his wife
Karla reside in St. Cloud, Minn.
In only two seasons as
Wisconsinís head coach, Mark Johnson has established himself and Badger
womenís hockey as pillars in the hockey community. Creating a program with a
strong foundation and the makings for greatness, Johnson and the team are
poised to pick up where they left off last season.
In 2004 he was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame for his individual
accomplishments. In 2003 he was inducted as a member of the 1980 U.S.
Olympic hockey team. Vince Lombardi Charitable Funds also honored Johnsonís
volunteer work by presenting him with the 2004 ĎAward of Excellenceí.
Named the 2003 WCHA Co-Coach of the Year and also one of eight finalists for
the American Hockey Coaches Association Division I Coach of the Year,
Johnson guided Wisconsin to a 22-8-5 overall and 14-6-4 WCHA record that
In the 2003-04 season the Badgers outdid themselves, winning a
program-record 25 games (25-6-3), and their .779 winning percentage was a UW
record. Finishing the season just shy of the NCAA Frozen Four, the Badger
finished ranked in a tie for fifth nationally.
The third head coach in the programís history, Johnson joined the staff
after serving as an assistant coach with the menís program from 1996-2002.
During that time, he helped the team to a WCHA regular-season title during
the 1999-2000 season, as well as a WCHA Final Five championship in the
Prior to his time with the Badgers, Johnson coached professionally,
directing the expansion Madison Monsters to a 37-30-7 mark in the 1995-96
season and earning Colonial Hockey League Coach of the Year honors.
He also led a pair of area high schools, serving as the head coach of Verona
for 1994-95 and as the assistant coach for Madison Memorial for 1993-94.
Johnson served as an assistant coach with the 2002 U.S. Menís National Team
that competed in the 2002 International Ice Hockey Federation World
Championship in Gothenberg, Jonkoping, and Karlstad, Sweden. He had
previously served in a similar capacity for the 2000 World Championship in
St. Petersburg, Russia.
Most recently, he spent time in Lake Placid coaching at the 2004 USA Hockey
17/18-year-old Player Development Festival.
In September 2001, he served as an on-ice assistant coach at the U.S.
Olympic Menís Ice Hockey Orientation Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo.,
featuring 38 of the top American players in the National Hockey League.
Johnson, 47, earned his
bachelor of science degree in kinesiology from Wisconsin in 1994.
He resides in Verona, Wis., with his wife Leslie and his five children:
Douglas, Christopher, Patrick, Mikayla and Megan.
Michael Sisti made the switch
from associate head coach of Mercyhurst's men's varsity hockey team to women's
head coach in March of 1999. His task: to build a Division I women's program
and to make it competitive as soon as possible. In five seasons he has done
The Lakers finished 23-6 in
their opening season, 14-16-3 with an upgraded schedule in 2000-01, 24-8-1 in
2001-2002, 25-8-1 in 2002-03, and 26-6-4 in 2003-04 against some of the best
Division I competition in the land. The 26 wins are the most-ever by the
women's team in their five years of existence. Sisti's teams have won four
regular season conference championships, two in the Great Lakes Women's Hockey
Association (GLWHA) and the last two seasons in College Hockey America (CHA).
He guided Mercyhurst to GLWHA and CHA playoff championships the last three
years and a Division I top ten ranking throughout most of the previous three
seasons. The Lakers played a number of the nation's top teams last season,
including Minnesota, Dartmouth, St. Lawrence, New Hampshire, and Princeton.
Mercyhurst had five CHA First Team selections in 2003-04 while two freshmen
made the All-Rookie Team.
Mercyhurst defeated Wayne State
in the CHA semifinals and Niagara in the CHA championship tilt. The Lakers had
four All-Tournament Team selections, including junior goalie Desi Clark, who
was named Tournament MVP. Six players were named to the conference All
Coach Sisti and his counterparts
at Findlay and Wayne State joined forces in 2000 to start the Great Lakes
Women's Hockey Association (GLWHA). Mercyhurst won the regular season title
both years and captured the tournament title in 2002 with a 4-2 victory over
Findlay. Following the 2001-02 season, Mercyhurst, Findlay, Wayne State, and
Niagara started a women's league in College Hockey America (CHA) and began
competition in 2002-03. The Lakers won both CHA regular season and playoff
titles the first two years and have gone a collective 21-1-0,
Sisti was named GLWHA Coach of
the Year in 2002 and CHA Coach of the Year in 2003. For his efforts he was
selected as a finalist for the 2001-2002, 2002-2003, and 2003-2004 Division I
Coach of the Year award. His teams have done a great deal off the ice as well.
For five consecutive years, the team's cumulative grade point average has been
above a 3.0. The Lady Lakers have also been very active in the community over
the years. Last year the team spent over 200 hours on various community
Sisti was inducted into the
Canisius College Sports Hall of Fame in late September 2002.
The coaching success of Margot Page is understood
throughout the collegiate and national levels of womenís ice hockey.
After guiding Niagara to a 2002 Frozen Four appearance and leading the
Canadian U22 National Team to back-to-back championships at the European
Air Canada Cup in 2002-03 and 2003-04, she was recently named assistant
coach for the Canadian National Team for the 2004-05 and 2005-06
seasons. Page looks to continue her coaching success as she helps guide
Canadaís march toward the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.
Entering her seventh year as head coach at Niagara University, Page
approaches yet another esteemed honor, as she is just six wins shy of
the century mark and looks to surpass that prestigious point early in
the 2004-05 season.
Since being named
the programís first head coach on April 18, 1997, Page has led the team
to great success. In 1998, Rev. Vincent J. OíMalley, C.M. dropped the
ceremonial puck at Niagaraís first-ever game, in which Page guided the
club to a 3-2 overtime victory over Boston College. After a difficult
first half of the season, the team went on to accomplish the impressive
feat of going unbeaten in 10 of its last 13 games.
season, Page led the club to its first winning record at 17-13-3 and
earned a spot in the eight-team (of 13) Eastern Collegiate Athletic
Conference playoffs. In the 2000-01 season, Niagara had another winning
year, highlighted by a 3-2 win over top-ranked Dartmouth, and earned
another conference tournament bid.
In 2003-04, exactly
half of the 24-player roster included freshmen who would compete in
their first season of collegiate hockey. From the teamís first victory
in its season opener, Page continued to develop the young team
throughout the season into a strong force, which defeated then-No. 6
Mercyhurst in its last regular-season series to secure third place in
the CHA standings. In the CHA Tournament, the team upset second-ranked
Findlay, before falling, 3-1, in the championship game against the
In addition to her
great achievements behind the bench, Page has also achieved greatness
off the ice. Locally, Page has become a spokesperson for Niagara and
volunteers for numerous organizations with the university. She
participates on the Niagara Falls Revitalization Task Force, and for the
last four years, has organized the womenís hockey programís
participation in a special community program called Ice Breakers, which
introduces hockey to young girls. She is a spokesperson for the Dairy
Farmers of Ontario Penalty Free Sweepstakes, which encourages young
players to play by the rules. She was honored in 2002 by Buffaloís
Business First newspaper as a community leader as part of its "Forty
under 40" awards program.
Page is a frequent
analyst for CBC and TSN for womenís hockey, including her coverage of
the Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, and in February of 2004, she was
appointed to the NCAA Menís and Womenís Ice Hockey Rules Committee.
the Niagara program, Page was a co-coach at Wilfred Laurier University
in 1995-96, helping the team to a bronze medal in the 1996 Ontario
Womenís Intercollegiate Athletic Association (OWIAA) championships.
Page played college
hockey at McMaster University where she was an Ontario Womenís
Interuniversity Athletic Association (OWIAA) All-Star. She graduated in
1987 and was honored as the McMasterís Female Athlete of the Year. In
addition to her hockey success, she was a member of the track and field
squad and was an OWIAA silver medalist in shot put. She was inducted
into the McMaster Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.
Page played on the
Canadian National team that won world championships in 1990, 1992 and
1994. She also played in the Senior AAA Central Ontario Hockey League
(now the National Womenís Hockey League) for the Toronto Aeros from 1989
to 1994 and the Mississauga Chiefs for the 1994-95 season. The Aeros
were Ontario champions from 1990 to 1994 and Canadian champions in 1991
and 1992. The Chiefs won the Ontario championship in 1995.
Page and her husband, Don, and
their two kittens, Tyke and Taz, reside in Stoney Creek, Ont.
HeatherReinke, promoted from assistant coach to
associate coach in September of 2004, understands what it takes to be a
successful hockey player. As a four-time member of the All-ECAC first
team while playing for Division I powerhouse University of New
Hampshire, the Madison, Wis., native
looks to instill her knowledge of the game into the Purple Eagles.
Entering her fifth season at
Niagara, Reinkeís duties include recruiting, mental training and working
with the defenders. She has helped to recruit some of the top high
school and junior hockey players from across North America, while her
work with the defensive squad has helped to build a strong blue line
year after year.
Before joining the Purple Eagles staff, she was a volunteer assistant
coach at Minnesota State University - Mankato. While at Mankato,
Reinke's duties included managing the defensive bench, planning and
running practices and game preparation. Prior to her stint at Mankato,
Reinke served as an assistant at the University of Southern Maine.
Reinke has coached at numerous women's hockey camps and served as
director of the 2001 USA Central District Camp. In 1996, she represented
Team USA at the Women's Hockey Festival in Lake Placid, N.Y, and in 1997
she returned to Lake Placid to participate in the USA Olympic Festival.
As a player, Reinke dominated the blue line at New Hampshire, and
remains the teamís fourth all-time leading scorer among defensemen. She
is one of only 30 players to score at least 100 points during her career
with the Wildcats.
Reinke holds a bachelorís degree in psychology from New Hampshire and a
masterís degree in sports psychology from Minnesota State University,
Mankato. She currently resides in Niagara Falls.
In his first two years as head
coach of the Quinnipiac University women's ice hockey team, Michael Barrett
has guided the young program to new heights at the Division I level. The
Bobcats have increased their win totals in each of the past two years,
including a program-high 11 wins in the recently completed 2003-2004 campaign.
Barrett will now have the task
of leading the Bobcats into the competitive College Hockey America for the
The off-season has been a busy
one for Barrett, who served as a clinician at the 2004 NCAA YES Clinic in
Providence, R.I., site of the Women's Frozen Four.
He was also named the
Vice-President of the American Women's Hockey Coaches Association at the ACHA
convention in Naples, Fla. He was appointed to a two-year term and will
succeed as President following the stint as Vice President.
Barrett took over at the helm
during the summer of 2002 and made an immediate impact on the up-and-coming
Division I program. Quinnipiac's offensive production was nearly half a goal
higher last season, while the club also allowed nearly one fewer goal per
During the course of the year,
Barrett guided the Bobcats to the program's first-ever win over a ranked
opponent. Quinnipiac downed No. 11 Niagara on the road in mid-January, no
small feat against a club that was coming off a Frozen Four appearance the
Under Barrett's guidance, the
Bobcats continue to build on a regional and national level. Quinnipiac's
recruiting base has now gradually expanded to throughout North America.
Prior to Quinnipiac, Barrett
spent two years as head women's ice hockey coach at Sacred Heart University.
During the 2001-02 campaign, he guided the Pioneers to a 17-9 record and
fourth place in the ECAC Division III East. His record at Sacred Heart from
2000-02 was 29-19-2.
While at Sacred Heart, Barrett
also served as head women's golf coach for two seasons. Additionally, he acted
as an Athletic Department Liaison to Admissions.
The appointment was a homecoming
of sorts for Barrett, who played hockey for four seasons at Quinnipiac
(1981-85). He finished his career with 126 points (62 goals, 64 assists).
Those figures currently place him sixth in goals, tied for ninth in points and
tied for 16th in assists.
As a result, he was inducted
into the Quinnipiac Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990. At the time, he ranked
third all-time at the school in points and goals.
After graduation, Barrett kept a
tie with Quinnipiac through 2000. From 1985-1991, he was an assistant coach
with the men's ice hockey team. Barrett also worked as an Admissions Officer
(1988-1993), Director of Alumni Affairs (1993-1998) and Director of Annual
Barrett is involved heavily in
other hockey events. He was the co-coach with the USA hockey National
Development camp for Select 18 and 19 year old women for the past two summers
in Lake Placid, N.Y. He has also served as an instructor and speaker at
various USA Hockey symposiums and coaching certification courses
Prior to that, he was an
assistant coach for Connecticut Clippers Women's Midget Team and Girls'
Clinic. A proven winner at the scholastic level, Barrett served as the head
coach or assistant coach for the Milford, North Haven, and Lyman Hall high
school boys' hockey teams for eight years, coinciding with his time in various
positions at Quinnipiac.
A mass communications major,
Barrett earned his B.A. in 1985 from Quinnipiac. A native of Warwick, R.I.,
Barrett played scholastically all four years of attendance at Quinnipiac.
Barrett, his wife Christine, and
their six-year old daughter Carly currently reside in Meriden.
Lisa Giovanelli is in her second
season as an assistant womenís ice hockey coach with the Quinnipiac University
womenís ice hockey program.
Since joining the Bobcats
coaching staff, Giovanelli has actively expanded the clubís recruiting base
across North America. She had a major part in the
recruiting of all five players
who will commence their freshman campaign this year.
Jim Fetter begins his second
season as the Wayne State University head women's hockey coach this fall.
In his first season (2003-04) at
the helm of the Warrior program, Fetter led the squad to a school-record 15 wins
along with numerous school records.
"Jim brings the kind of experience
that is so important as we continue to develop our women's hockey program,"
stated WSU athletics director Rob Fournier. "His work ethic, enthusiasm and
established recruiting contacts will serve well our shared vision for the
future. Jim got high marks from all the constituencies he met with during the
interview and I want to thank the committee for their fine work in the search
Fetter began his duties at WSU in
August 2003. He came to WSU following four years as a Division I assistant
coach, including the three previous seasons (2000-2003) at Mercyhurst College.
As an assistant coach at
Mercyhurst College, the Lakers compiled a 49-16-2 mark the last two seasons
including back-to-back regular-season (GLWHA and CHA) and tournament titles.
Prior to joining the Mercyhurst staff, Fetter spent one season (1999-2000) as an
assistant women's hockey coach at the University of Maine.
In the summer of 2001, he coached
the Western New York Team to a gold medal in the Empire State Games. He returned
in 2002 and directed the squad to a silver medal.
His women's coaching career began
in 1996 when he led his midget team to a bronze medal at provincials and a gold
a year later. Fetter then served as head coach for the University of Lethbridge
women's team of the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) in its
inaugural season of 1998.
He earned national level
experience as an assistant coach for Team Alberta's Under-18 squad that won the
bronze medal at the Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Along
with being an evaluator for the Canadian Women's National Team in the western
region, Fetter was also a guest coach for the men's Canadian National Team
against Team Norway.
The Kitchener, Ont., native is a
1995 graduate of the University of Lethbridge.
"I am excited to be joining the
Wayne State athletic staff," said Fetter. "I am looking forward to the
challenges that lie ahead. I want to thank Rob for giving me this opportunity
and look forward to working with him and his staff."
Grant Kimball enters his second
year as an assistant women's hockey coach at Wayne State University. He was
hired in September 2003 and in his first season he helped the program to a
school-record number of victories.
Kimball joined the Warrior hockey
staff after serving the previous two seasons (2001-02 and 2002-03) as the top
assistant coach with Lake Forest College (LFC) women's program of the Northern
Collegiate Hockey Association (NCAA D-III).
A Harvard, Mass. native,
he will be responsible for recruiting,
on/off ice practice, game preparation and video analysis/breakdown. After
graduating from Avon Old Farms School in Avon, Conn., Kimball went to play
defense at LFC in Illinois from 1992 through 1995.
It was at LFC that he began his
coaching career as the assistant coach of the women's club team during the
After graduating from LFC in 1996,
Kimball spent the next five seasons coaching with the Team Illinois Girls Hockey
Organization. He coached the U-19 and U-15 teams to consecutive Illinois state
championships. Several of his players went on to play Division I and III college
Salani enters his second year as Athletic Director at Finlandia
University. He attended Michigan State University, receiving his Bachelor
of Science in Physical Education and Exercise Science. While at Michigan
State, Salani participated on the Spartanís football and hockey teams.
Chris then continued his education at the University of Massachusetts at
Amherst, where he received his Master of Science in Sports Management and
was an assistant coach for the Universityís NCAA Division I hockey
Chris was born and raised in Hancock, MI and is currently residing here
with wife Melissa, two year-old son Colton, and new-born son Austin.
Head Coach: Chris Salani - 1st Year
Phone Number: (906) 487-7378
Fax Number: (906) 487-7525
Assistant Coach: Bill Melchori & Abby Strong
fourth season as head coach at Lake Forest
At 14-9-3, the
2002-03 Foresters posted the best record in the program's history
Current team members hold or share school
records for point and assists in a season
Spent 2000-01 as an assistant coach at
Middlebury College, where she helped the Panthers to an AWCHA
national championship adn a 23-1-1 overall record
Set school records for goals and points in a
career and season during her hockey career at Wesleyan University
Division III Player of the Year and a First Team All-American
following her senior season
Head Coach Susie Bellizzi
Susie Bellizzi is entering her fourth season as Lake Forest
College's head women's hockey coach. She was named the Foresters' second-ever
head coach in May of 2001 prior to the program's second year as a varsity sport.
All but five of the teams the Foresters faced in 2003-04 were
ranked among the top 10 in the nation at some point during the season and, after
losing two of its top three scorers from the year before, the team struggled to
a 2-22-1 record. The inexperienced squad featured just one senior and three
The 2002-03 team improved eight games from the year before and
finished the season with an overall record of 14-9-3. After placing fourth and
fifth in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association in 2000-01 and 2001-02,
respectively, the squad climbed to third place with as many league victories as
the previous two years combined.
In addition to the Foresters' won-loss record, their 2002-03
statistics also showed significant improvement. Lake Forest set school records
for goals, assists, and points in a season and posted its lowest-ever goals
Bellizzi directed four Foresters to All-NCHA honors in
2002-03, including a pair of First Team selections.
Prior to making her head coaching debut at Lake Forest,
Bellizzi spent the 2000-01 season as an assistant coach at Middlebury College,
where she helped the Panthers to the American Women's College Hockey Association
(AWCHA) national championship, a 23-1-1 overall record, and an Eastern College
Athletic Conference (ECAC) championship. In addition, Middlebury was undefeated
versus NCAA Division III teams.
Bellizzi is a 1999 graduate of Wesleyan University in
Middletown, Connecticut. She earned a B.A. degree in History and French
Literature at Wesleyan. During her four-year hockey career, she set school
records for career points, career goals, points in a single-season, and goals in
a single-season. Bellizzi was the ECAC Division III Player of the Year and a
First Team All-American in 1999. She was a two-time team captain and ECAC
All-Star. Bellizzi was also a member of the East-West Senior All-Star team for
lacrosse in 1999.
Mike Collins enters his fourth season as
the women's hockey coach at UW-Eau Claire continuing to climb up the conference
standings and in the win column. In three years of the program's existence,
Collins has doubled total wins in a season from 2000-01 to 2002-03.
The 2002-03 season saw several
highlights, including the Blugolds' first-ever win over conference foe
UW-Superior and a sweep of non-conference opponent St. Mary's. In 2000 St.
Mary's won in the school's first-ever meeting 10-0 but where shutout twice this
season by the Blugolds 2-0 and 3-0. Collins will look to build upon last
season's 9-2 season finale victory over Lake Forest in which two Blugold players
recorded hat tricks.
Individually Jen Mead earned First Team
All-Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) honors while Amanda Schultz
received Honorable Mention recognition. Four Blugolds were named to the All-NCHA
Academic Team, second only to UW-River Falls among conference schools.
Collins came to Eau Claire from the San
Angelo Outlaws of the Western Professional Hockey League where he spent one year
as the head coach. However, Collins is returning to familiar territory having
played collegiate hockey at UW-River Falls.
Collins has a bachelor's degree in
secondary education from River Falls and a master's degree in athletic
administration from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
Since 1984, he has served as an
instructor at numerous camps in Canada and the United States, several of which
have included women.
Collins has had a well-traveled career as
a hockey coach. After serving as an assistant to Rick Kozuback at UW-River Falls
(1987-89), Collins went to Bellingham, Washington as head coach of the
Bellingham Ice Hawks (1990-92) of the British Columbia Junior "A" Hockey League.
There he took Bellingham to a divisional championship in its first year in the
league and was named the Coach of the Year. After two years, he took a position
as assistant coach of the Washington-based Tri-City Americans (1992-93) of the
Western Junior "A" Hockey League but returned to Bellingham the following year
as the head coach and general manager. After two more years (1993-95) in
Bellingham, Collins accepted the position of head coach and Director of Hockey
Operations for the Amarillo Rattlers (1996-98) of the Western Professional
Hockey League in Texas. From there, he gained a position as associate head coach
of Division I Lake Superior State in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. A year later,
he moved back to Texas for his most recent position with San Angelo.
Collins is a native of Cornwall, Ontario
and attended high school at General Vanier Secondary School. He played junior
hockey with the Belleville Bulls in the Ontario Provincial Junior "A" League for
two years before heading for UW-River Falls where he played on the Falcons'
first national championship team in 1983.
He and his wife Shannon, a speech and
language pathologist, are the parents of two boys: Braxton (b. 3/11/96) and
Hutson (b. 4/28/00). A native of Oakdale, Minnesota, Shannon received her
bachelor's degree from River Falls and a master's degree from Washington State
Joe Cranston starts
his fifth season as women's hockey coach at UW-River Falls.
The Falcons had their best season ever in the school's four
year history in 2003. They finished 20-6-4 overall and won the NCHA regular
season title with a 12-1-3 record. They went on to win the NCHA playoff
championship for the second time. The Falcons then got the team's first ever
berth into the NCAA Div. III playoffs. In a first round game the Falcons
beat St. Thomas, 5-1, and advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four. In Elmira, N.Y.,
the Falcons lost to the eventual national champions, Elmira, 2-1 in the
semifinals. The 20 wins is a Falcon record for victories in a season.
In 2002 the Falcons finished 13-11-3 overall and 8-6-2 and
finished third in the NCHA. UWRF won a first-round NCHA playoff game to
reach the league playoff championship game for the second straight year.
UWRF lost a close 2-1 decision to UW-Stevens Point in the title game in
Stevens Point. In 2001 the Falcons finished 19-7-1 and finished second in
the NCHA regular-season standings. Cranston then led the Falcons to the NCHA
Playoff Championship. UWRF beat UW-Stevens Point, 4-1, in the playoff
semifinals and then the Falcons topped regular-season champions,
UW-Superior, 2-1 in the title game. He has a 55-39-8 record with the
Cranston was the head coach of the Somerset boy's varsity
high school team from 1990-1998. He was an assistant coach there from
1988-1990. He has been the head coach of the Wisconsin Amateur Hockey
Association Midget Select teams since 1990 and coached the 1995 Section 1
Wisconsin Senior Select team. Cranston has conducted several hockey clinics
and served on the WIAA All-State selection committee for two years. He has
been a player evaluator for several Wisconsin and Minnesota youth hockey
A native of Fergus Falls, Minn., he played youth and high
school hockey there. He played for the high school team from 1979-1983 and
was the team captain as a senior. He played, and was the captain, of the
1983-84 North Iowa Huskies of the USHL. Cranston then returned to Fergus
Falls to attend the community college where he played with that team in
1985-86. He was the team's captain, MVP and was ranked in the Top 10 in the
nation in scoring.
He earned an AA degree from Fergus Falls Community College
in 1986 and earned his undergraduate degree in elementary education from
UW-River Falls in 1990. He taught third grade in the Somerset School
District from 1990-97.
many head coaches experience the kind of immediate success Brian Idalski has
attained during his first three seasons as a collegiate womenís hockey coach.
Idalski has guided UW-Stevens Point to a 65-13-6 record the past three seasons,
including an NCAA Division III national runner-up finish and Northern Collegiate
Hockey Association playoff title during the 2003-04 campaign.
The Pointers finished 19-7-2 last season and
played one of the nation's strongest schedules, taking on six of the top eight
teams in the country. UW-Stevens Point is the only West Region team to reach the
national title game and the only school ever to win a road NCAA tournament game,
winning in double overtime at Gustavus Adolphus to reach the final four.
Idalski earned Northern Collegiate Hockey
Association regular season and playoff titles in his first season while earning
NCHA Coach of the Year honors. He also was a finalist for NCAA Division III
Coach of the Year accolades. The Pointers finished 20-5-2 in 2002-03 and 26-1 in
Idalski brings an extensive professional and
collegiate hockey background to the Pointer womenís program.
Much of Idalskiís previous experience came at UW-Stevens Point, having been a
four-year letterwinner and assistant coach with the menís team. Idalski was a
member of the Pointersí NCAA Division III runner-up team in 1992 and was a
sophomore on the teamís 1993 Division III national championship. He played 97
career games as a defenseman, posting five goals and 20 assists.
Idalski went on to play professionally for two years with the Madison Monsters
of the United Hockey League. He then played two seasons with the Columbus (Ga.)
Cottonmouths of the Central Hockey League, winning the 1998 CHL regular season
and playoff championships. Idalski spent the 1999-2000 season as the full-time
assistant coach with the Cottonmouths.
He returned to UW-Stevens Point for the 2000-01 school year to complete his
degree in Health Promotion/Wellness, while serving on the staff of the Pointer
A Warren, Mich. native, Idalski played junior hockey with the Kalamazoo (Mich.)
K-Wings. He and his wife, Nicole, have four sons, Beau, Jason, David and Mitchel.
Former Assistant and now Head Womenís Hockey Coach Dan
Laughlin is no stranger to Yellowjacket Hockey. Laughlin played for the
Yellowjackets from1989-1992 and captained his team to the first of nine
Yellowjacket NCAA Division III Final Four appearances. He was also named
UW-Superior Menís Hockey Rookie of the Year after his first season. After his
collegiate career, Laughlin went on to play two seasons of professional hockey
in the Colonial Hockey League, American Hockey Association, and the Sunshine
Hockey League. While attending graduate school at UW-Superior, Laughlin was an
assistant coach for the Superior Senior High School menís hockey team that won
two straight Wisconsin State High School Hockey Championships. Coach Laughlin
then took the assistant coaching position with the Sioux City Musketeers of the
United States Hockey League and later took the head hockey coaching position for
the Madison Capitols. Laughlin has also coached in youth hockey associations
and acted as a hockey instructor for numerous hockey schools, camps, and
clinics. Coach Laughlin, a Minnetonka, Minnesota native who resides in Superior,
earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication/Journalism with a
Coaching Minor, and is currently finishing up his Masters degree at UW-Superior.