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77 Americans To Compete in 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Ice Hockey Frozen Four This Weekend

By USA Hockey, 03/18/22, 8:59AM EDT

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Semifinals set for today; Championship game on Sunday in University Park, Pa.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The 2022 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four will feature 77 American players across four teams and 112 total participants who will compete this weekend for a national title. 

The NCAA Women’s Frozen Four begins today (March 18) at Pegula Ice Arena in University Park, Pa., with Northeastern University facing off against the University of Minnesota Duluth at 3:30 p.m. ET, followed by Ohio State University taking on Yale University at 7:00 p.m. Both games will be aired live on ESPN+ with Clay Matvick, A.J. Mleczko and Hilary Knight calling the action. The 2022 national champion will be crowned Sunday, with puck drop slated for 4:00 p.m. ET live on ESPNU.

USA HOCKEY EXPERIENCE

A total of 20 players have represented the United States in international competition, with Northeastern goaltender Aerin Frankel (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) most recently a part of the silver medal-winning 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship team. Of that group, 15 have competed in IIHF World Championship play, combining to win 19 medals (14 gold, 5 silver).

Among the tournament participants, four helped the U.S. win gold at the most recent IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship in 2020 in Bratislava, Slovakia, including Amanda Thiele (Milford, Mich./Ohio State University), Katie Davis (Bosie, Idaho/University of Minnesota Duluth), Brenna Fuhrman (Farmington, Minn./University of Minnesota Duluth), and Clara Van Wieren (Okemos, Mich./University of Minnesota Duluth).

Sixteen participants have appeared in at least one Under-18 Series as part of the U.S. Under-18 Women’s Select Team, five have competed in an Under-22 Series with the U.S. Under-22 Women’s Select Team, and Clair DeGeorge (Anchorage, Alaska) and Aerin Frankel skated against Canada in the 2019-20 Rivalry Series for the U.S. Women’s National Team.


2020 U.S. Under-18 Women's National Team

STATE BREAKDOWN

Collectively, 17 states will be represented by players in the Frozen Four, including Alaska (1), California (1), Colorado (5), Connecticut (2), Idaho (1), Illinois (7), Massachusetts (9), Michigan (8), Minnesota (23), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), New York (7), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (2), Rhode Island (1), Vermont (1) and Wisconsin (2), along with a player from Washington D.C.

FROZEN FOUR STAFF NOTES

All four coaching staffs in the Frozen Four have American ties, notably University of Minnesota Duluth head coach Maura Crowell who led the 2020 U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team to a gold medal in the world championship after a silver medal performance behind the bench at the 2019 tournament. Before her time at the helm of the Under-18 team, she served as an assistant coach for the team at the 2018 and 2016 tournament where the U.S. won gold both times. Crowell also led Team USA at the 2019 Under-18 Series. Additionally, Dave Flint, head coach of Northeastern University, served as goaltending coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team that earned a gold medal at the 2008 IIHF Women’s World Championship and a silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Other notable staff members of the competing teams in the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Ice Hockey Championship with connections to USA Hockey include Laura Bellamy, associate head coach at Minnesota Duluth; Maddie Rooney, volunteer goaltending consultant for UMD; Zoe Hickel, assistant coach for Ohio State; and Emily West, assistant coach for Ohio State. Bellamy has been a coach for U.S. Women’s National Team Goaltending Development Camps. Along with Bellamy, Rooney is a two-time Olympian (2022-silver, 2018-gold), who has garnered four total international medals. Hickel has three medals to her credit as a player, with two gold medals (2016 IIHF WWC, 2015 IIHF WWC) along with one silver medal (2010 IIHF U18 WWC). West was the American Development Model manager for female hockey with USA Hockey where she worked with local hockey associations and programs nationwide to support age-appropriate training, competition and long-term athlete development.

FROZEN FOUR AND THE PATTY KAZ

The Frozen Four teams include three Americans who are finalists for the 2022 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey. Gabbie Hughes (Lino Lakes, Minn./University of Minnesota Duluth) is a top-three finalist for the honor, while Skylar Fontaine (East Greenwich, R.I./Northeastern) and Aerin Frankel (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y./Northeastern) were named top-ten finalists for the award … The 2022 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner will be announced March 26 during an hour-long special on NHL Network beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET.

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