Shantel Rivard is in her fourth season as head coach of the Fighting Sioux women’s hockey team and will lead the Sioux into their second season in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) in 2005-06.
The only head coach the Fighting Sioux women’s hockey program has known in its young history, Rivard has guided UND to a 35-51-7 record over the team’s first three seasons.
Last season Rivard led the Sioux to a 9-23-3 record, including a 6-21-1 WCHA record and seventh place finish in the team’s first season as a conference member. In the first postseason game in program history, Rivard and the Sioux nearly upset second-ranked Minnesota Duluth in the WCHA playoff opener before losing a 3-2 overtime heartbreakr.
In 2003-04 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 Rivard’s tutelage, UND posted a program-
record 16 wins and cracked the NCAA Division I Women’s Hockey Pairwise Rankings (PWR) for the first time.
In 2002-03, UND’s first as an NCAA DI women’s hockey program, Rivard guided the Sioux through a 10-14-2 debut season.
Under Rivard’s direction, the Fighting Sioux finished among the national leaders in women’s 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 UND’s Oct. 26 home opener against Boston College, which was the second-largest crowd in NCAA women’s hockey all season.
Rivard was hired as the University of North Dakota's first varsity women's ice hockey coach on Jan. 17, 2002. She 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.
Rivard 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 had been 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.
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.
Rivard’s family includes her husband, Peter, who is the head men’s and women’s soccer coach at Mayville (N.D.) State University. He also serves as the director of Mayville State’s new Sports and Fitness Center.