GRAND FORKS, N.D. -University of North Dakota women's hockey head coach Brian Idalski announced Tuesday the addition of Meghan Dufault, Tanja Eisenschmid, Samantha Hanson, Rebecca Kohler, Samantha LaShomb and Marissa Salo to play for the Sioux beginning in 2012-13.
"We were able to acquire some quality kids up front," Idalski said "Although we feel like we are pretty deep at forward, they were some of the best players to come out in this recruiting class and couldn't pass them up. We also wanted to shore up our team defensively and get a little more offense from our blue line. We feel we brought in some solid offensive D that can shoot the puck and create offense in transition. Overall we feel this is an outstanding recruiting class character, skill and work ethic wise."
"Our last two classes have been tremendous. These kids are going to be players for years to come and keep us up where we want to be and that is in national contention and playing for championships."
Meghan Dufault - Winnipeg, Manitoba (Do-FOE)
A dynamic offensive threat from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Dufault was named Canada's Best Forward in the 2011 World U18 Championship held in Stockholm, Sweden, where she had eight points (2-6-8) in five games played to lead Canada to a silver medal. A 2-time Hockey Canada U18 Selection Camp invitee, she also played in the USA/Canada Mini Series assisting Canada to a 2-1 victory.
In the 2011 Canadian Women's under -18 Provincial Championships in Saguenay, Quebec, Dufault lead Team Manitoba to a bronze medal.
The 5-foot 6-inch right-handed forward is currently in the Junior Women's Hockey League where she has 24 goals and 11 assists in 15 games and has won the league's West Division Player of the Week for two consecutive weeks.
Competing for the Pursuit of Exellence's Midget AAA team, Dufault was nominated for Sport Manitoba Female Athlete of the Year after leading her team in scoring and to a 51-3 record. She was also awarded the Most Valuable Player at the 2009 National U18 Championship in Surrey, British Columbia with five goals and four assists in seven games.
The daughter of Ken Dufault and Karen Dufault, she plans a career in medicine.
Idalski said: "Dufault is probably one of the most dynamic kids coming out in the 2012-13 class offensively. She sees the ice well, distributes the puck and can put the puck in the net. She is going to be a top forward for us and going to really give us another shot in the arm as far as scoring depth."
Dufault on choosing UND: "During my visit I felt that I was at home. The coaches and players made me feel that I could be part of something very special. The strong academics and athletics program, along with a beautiful facility and campus, secured my decision to become a Fighting Sioux."
Tanja Eisenschmid - Kaufbeuren, Germany (I-zen-shmeed)
With a wealth of international experience, Eisenschmid will strengthen the blue line for the Sioux in 2012-13.
Eisenschmid had a +2 plus/minus rating and had seven shots on goal assisting Germany to a gold medal in the 2011 Division I World Championship.
The 5-foot 8-inch left-handed defenseman has also played in three IIHF U18 Championship tournaments from 2009-11 including 34 international games with Team Germany and 41 games with Team Germany U18.
Eisenschmid has also played 138 games in the SBL (highest league of the U16 boys) with ESV Kaufbeuren for the last five years where she finished with seven goals and 27 assists.
The daughter of Brigitte and Horst Eisenschmid, her most memorable athletic achievement was winning fourth place in the 2010 IIHF U18 World Championship in Chicago.
Idalski said: "Tanja is a defenseman that can really make a nice first pass coming out of the zone. She sees the ice very well and moves the puck extremely well," Idalski said. "She will be able to step in and create offense for us from the blue line."
Eisenschmid on choosing UND: "I chose UND for the coaching staff, strong facilities for hockey and academic development. I also wanted to follow in the footstep of former Sioux and German National team player Susanne Fellner. I felt UND could help reach my goal of participating in the 2014 Olympics and winning a national championship with the Fighting Sioux."
Samantha Hanson - Hugo, Minn.
An All-Minnesota State High School League honorable mention last season, Hanson scored 24 goals and added 21 as a junior last year with White Bear Lake High School. Her 45 points was second highest in the state by a defenseman.
Named rookie of the year as an eighth grader and Suburban East All-Conference her freshmen through junior years, she has amassed 107 points including 41 goals.
The 5-foot 8-inch defenseman was on the U12 state championship team and participated in the U.S. National Development Camp while also competing in soccer (three years) and lacrosse (one year).
The daughter of Pat Hanson and Sue Waite-Hanson, she plans a career as a sports physician.
Idalski said: "Hanson fits the mentality that we have here with her willingness to work hard and do the extra things it takes to improve," Idalski said. "She is an offensive defenseman that is very comfortable jumping into the play. She will have an easy time fitting into our club because of her character, determination and work ethic."
Hanson on choosing UND: "I chose UND for the coaching staff, state of the art facilities and academic options."
Rebecca Kohler - St. Thomas, Ontario
A power forward with an offensive prowess, Kohler had five points off two goals and three assists helping lead Canada to a silver medal in the 2011 IIHF U18 World Championship in Stockholm, Sweden. She also had a +2 plus/minus rating and scored one power-play goal.
Her most memorable athletic achievement includes being named to Team Canada and scoring the team's first goal and her first international goal.
In the 2011 Canadian Women's U18 Provincial Championships in Saguenay, Quebec, Rebecca helped Team Ontario Red to a gold medal with two goals, one being the game winner.
The 6-foot right-handed forward is an assistant captain for Bluewater of the Provincial Women's Hockey League and has six goals and five assists through in eight games played so far this year.
Last year she scored 41 points (18-23-41) in 30 games for Bluewater during the regular season and led her team with 17 points (5-12-17) in eight games during the playoffs.
Kohler was a three-sport athlete also competing in volleyball and basketball.
The daughter of Rick and Lisa Kohler, she plans to pursue a career in coaching hockey.
Idalski said: "The WCHA is such a tough league that Rebecca is going to be a great fit for us because of her size and her experience playing at the U18 level. She has a very heavy shot, is physical, tough and will be another in a long line of very good power forwards in the WCHA."
Kohler on choosing UND: "It was right for me athletically and academically."
Samantha LaShomb - Inver Grove Heights, Minn. (Rhymes with comb)
LaShomb led South St. Paul High School to a runner-up finish the Minnesota State High School League Class "A" Tournament last season losing to Warroad and current Sioux players Layla Marvin and Shelby Amsley-Benzie. Lashomb scored one goal and added an assist during the Packers run to the championship game.
LaShomb totaled 28 goals and 32 assists for 60 points in 30 games as a junior to lead the Minnesota State High School League in points from a defenseman as a junior.
She scored seven goals in the final two regular season games including a career high 5-point game (4-1-5) and had scored at least one goal in 18 games including seven multi-goal games.
LaShomb is a two-time all-state honoree while also being named the Packers' Most Valuable Player for three straight seasons.
A 5-foot 9-inch left-handed defenseman, LaShomb was named the Kare11 Athlete of the Week during her sophomore season and also competed in softball and tennis.
LaShomb was also named to the USA Select U18 camp in August at Blaine, Minn., competing against current Sioux and National Team players Jocelyne Lamoureux and Monique Lamoureux-Kolls. Lashomb was then selected to represent the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team vs. Canada at the 2011 Women's Under-18 Series in Rockland, Ont. She is a potential candidate for the 2012 U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team set to compete in the Czech Republic in early January.
She is the daughter of Steve and Patty LaShomb.
Idalski said: "LaShomb is a serious U18 candidate with a heavy shot and a ton of toughness. She will come to UND with plenty of big game experience from the Minnesota High School League and International games. Sam is going to be gritty and physical with a big offensive upside, someone who can log a lot of minutes on the blue line for us."
Marissa Salo - Grand Rapids, Minn. (SAY-low)
A right-handed forward, Salo will join the Sioux after completing her 2011-12 season with the North American Hockey Academy's U19 White team.
In 2010 and 2011 she led the prep team as its captain which recorded a record of 53-13-8 during that time. Salo also played 20 games with the NAHA white U19 team which won its league championship with a record of 74-8-6. She compiled 30 goals and 34 assists in 93 games.
In two seasons with the NAHA prep team, NAHA red won multiple tournament championships and two league titles.
A three sport standout at Grand Rapids High School, Salo lettered two times in hockey at Grand Rapids/Greenway, four years in Cross Country, and three years in track and field. She competed in the state tournament in all three sports before turning her focus to hockey and transferring as a sophomore to NAHA in Stowe, Verm.
The daughter of Brett and Laurie Salo, she plans to study pre-med.
Idalski said: "Marissa is an unbelievable character kid who has a terrific work ethic and compete level. She is already the definition of what it means to be "Fighting Sioux". She is somebody we foresee being a great energy player for us and has the potential to be a terrific team leader for us down the road."
Salo on choosing UND: "It felt like home. Now my family can watch me play. The campus and team made me feel welcome. It doesn't compare to any of the other colleges I visited. Tradition is a big part of the Fighting Sioux and I like that."
~ Go Sioux ~