Peter Elander is entering his third season with the UND women's hockey team after being named associate head coach on March 2, 2010.
"Together with Coach Idalski, I can see the program going from good to excellent," Elander said at the time of his hiring. "With the facilities equivalent to a Nobel prize-winning lab, but in hockey instead of chemistry, and a town that gives great support and has a history of excellent hockey, this is a chance of a lifetime for me and my family to take an inspirational step in our lives."
"We are very excited for the future and the North Dakota women's hockey team will be recognized as a powerhouse in women's hockey, not only on the university level, but also on the international level."
Elander's expertise has helped UND's power play by nearly doubling the conversion rate from 16.8 percent up to 23.0 percent in 2011-12.
UND also set back-to-back records from 2010-12 in total goals, increasing from 98 to 116 in 2010-11 and to 155 in 2011-12.
Elander brings a wealth of international experience to UND after spending the nine years as the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) head coach of the Swedish women's national team.
Team Sweden became a international contender each year under his tutelage, having coached the team to two medals in the Olympics and four top-five finishes in World Championship competitions.
Most recently Elander led his team to a fourth-place finish at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics after suffering a 3-2 overtime loss to Finland in the bronze medal game. Many WCHA standouts played for Elander, including goaltender Kim Martin, defensemen Jenni Asserholt, Emilia Andersson and forwards Elin Holmlov and Pernilla Winberg.
In 2006, under his tutelage, Sweden had its highest finish in international competition. Sweden completed the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, as silver medalists, including a monumental upset over the United States. Sweden came back from a 2-0 deficit early in the game to win 3-2 in a shootout to reach the gold-medal game against Canada (4-1 loss). His team's upset of USA in the 2006 Olympic semi-final made the IIHF's list of the 100 Top Stories of The Century (No. 34, Swedish "Mirakel" as USA bumped from Olympic gold-medal game.)
In his first year as head coach of the national team, Elander was on the coaching staff that helped Sweden to its first medal with a third-place finish at the 2002 Winter Olympics (Salt Lake City, Utah).
From 1988-99 Elander coached men's hockey, including the Swedish U-20 National Team that finished in fourth place at the World Championships (1998-99) and four years as an assistant coach of Rogle BK in the Swedish Elite League (1991-95), as well as working with high-profile hockey players such as Henrik and Daniel Sedin, amongst others.
Elander was honored with the opportunity to represent UND and women's hockey among hockey's biggest names at the first-ever World Hockey Summit from Aug. 23-26, 2010, in Toronto. Elander was selected by the Summit steering committee to participate as a special panelist to speak about women's hockey and closing the gap with North America.
Elander speaks five languages fluently: Swedish, English, German, Danish and Norwegian, as well as some Italian and French, and does public speaking appearances in his spare time.