A look at nine of this year’s top freshmen
Hanna Bunton, Forward, Cornell:
Bunton helped the Canadians win a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF Women’s World U-18 Championships, where she scored two goals and six points and assisted on the overtime game-winner against Team USA in the gold medal game. She also played for the Whitby Wolves of the PWHL, winning the regular season and league championships in 2012-2013 as well as the 2013 JWHL Challenge Cup.
So far, Bunton has two goals and nine points in 10 games for the Big Red, good for first in the ECAC in rookie scoring. When the team announced this year’s freshman class, the coaching staff said of Bunton, via CornellBigRed.com: “Hanna’s an intense competitor who combines her explosive athletic abilities and strong, fast hands with an intelligent approach to the game. She has the ability to create dangerous offensive situations out of nowhere, and has already shown the willingness and understanding required to be a strong defensive forward.”
Dani Cameranesi, Forward, Minnesota:
In 2013, Cameranesi was named Minnesota’s Ms. Hockey, the prestigious award given to the best female high school player in the state. She played for the United States at the IIHF Women’s World Under-18 Championships in 2012 and 2013, winning a silver medal at each tournament. At the Blake School, where she played her prep hockey, she scored 200 goals and 157 assists for 357 career points.
Cameranesi was tabbed as the Preseason WCHA Rookie of the Year and so far has five goals and eight points in 14 games. Via GopherSports.com, Minnesota head coach Brad Frost said of Cameranesi in December 2012, “Dani is an incredible player and leader…She has tremendous speed and is relentless on the puck. Dani is very responsible in all three zones and is a complete hockey player.”
Kristyn Capizzano, Forward, Boston College:
Capizzano was the captain of Canada’s gold medal-winning squad at the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Under-18 Championships. Having played at Appleby College for five years, she captained the club in 2012-2013 and was also awarded with the “C” while playing for the Mississauga Jr. Chiefs in 2013. Capizzano competed at the Canadian National Women’s Under-18 Championship for Team Ontario Red in 2012, winning a bronze medal; she also was invited to the Canadian National Team Under-22 Strength and Conditioning Camp over the summer.
Eagles head coach Katie King-Crowley said of Capizzano (and fellow rookie Haley McLean), via BCEagles.com: “[Their] speed and quickness…will add to an already fast group of forwards here at BC. These two players will be the smallest of the group, but certainly have great tenacity and work ethic. They boast a wealth of experience at the national and international level.” Capizzano has posted three goals and five assists for eight points in 11 games this season.
Jessica Dodds, Goaltender, Robert Morris:
Dodds represented Canada at the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Under-18 Championships, where she won a gold medal. Dodds also won gold with Team Ontario Blue at the 2012 Canadian National Women’s Under-18 Championships, where she was named the tournament’s top goaltender. Prior to Robert Morris, she played for the London Jr. Devilettes of the PWHL, and recorded a 1.97 goals against average, .943 save percentage, and 11 shutouts in 65 regular season games for the team.
So far Dodds is making a huge impact for the Colonials. She has a 1.61 goals against average, .929 save percentage, and a sparkling 8-0-0 record so far, and has taken over the reins in net.
Halli Krzyzaniak, Defenseman, North Dakota:
Krzyzaniak was a member of Canada’s Under-18 Team for three years, and helped the team win gold at the IIHF Women’s World U-18 Championships in 2012 and 2013. At the 2013 World Championships, she posted two goals and five assists and was named the tournament’s Best Defenseman. Krzyzaniak also represented Manitoba at the Canadian National Women’s Under-18 Championship, and was named the tournament’s top defenseman and most valuable player. She played prep hockey at the Pursuit of Excellence. She currently has one goal and five assists in 12 games this season.
Via UNDSports.com, North Dakota head coach Brian Idalski said of Krzyzaniak in November 2012: “Halli is a two-time Canadian U18 player from the Pursuit of Excellence who has a chance to step in and be a huge impact player for us. Defensively she is outstanding and we really feel she has and offensive side to her game that she can come in and quarterback our power play. Very excited to have her and she is probably one of the best defensive recruits we have ever gotten.”
Jenny Ryan, Defenseman, Wisconsin:
Ryan suited up for the United States at the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Under-18 Championships, where she posted two goals and six points from the blue line and won a silver medal. She played her prep hockey at the North American Hockey Academy, captaining the team as a senior in 2012-2013 and playing on league and JWHL championship teams throughout her career.
Ryan scored her first goal for the Badgers in a game against Northeastern in Vail, Colo., this past weekend; it broke a 2-2 tie with 2:24 left in the game to seal the win for Wisconsin. According to UWBadgers.com, Johnson said of Ryan in November 2012: “Jenny…is a skilled defenseman that moves the puck well, sees the ice well and skates well; she’ll be a good addition to our program. She has been a part of the USA select camps since she was 15 years old. She is a strong defensive player one-on-one. When I think of her I see someone that is competitive.”
Kate Schipper, Forward, Minnesota:
Schipper was a member of the United States Under-18 Team at the 2012 and 2013 IIHF Women’s World U-18 Championships, winning a silver medal at each tournament. At the 2013 U-18 World Championships, Schipper was named the tournament’s Best Forward and Most Valuable Player after scoring five goals and eight assists. She played for the Breck School prior to joining the Gophers, where she won a 2012 Class A State Tournament title.
Schipper has posted two goals and five points in 12 games this season. Minnesota head coach Brad Frost said of her in December 2012, via GopherSports.com: “Kate is a smooth skating forward…She sees the ice well and has a very good top speed. Her experience with the U-18 team will be very beneficial to her.”
Lara Stalder, Defenseman, Minnesota-Duluth:
Stalder, who hails from Luzem, Switzerland, has played for the Swiss National Team since the 2011 IIHF Women’s World Championships. Last season, she won a championship with the ZSC Lions in the Swiss A League, scoring an impressive eight goals and 24 points in just 11 games played as a defender.
According to UMDBulldogs.com, Bulldogs head coach Shannon Miller called Stalder “very talented” when she announced the signing of the recruit. Her four goals and 13 points are good enough for third on the team in scoring, and third nationally in rookie scoring.
Susanna Tapani, Forward, North Dakota:
Tapani, a native of Laitala, Finland, has represented the Finnish Women’s National Team at the past three IIHF Women’s World Championships, winning a bronze medal with the squad in 2011. She also won a bronze medal at the 2011 IIHF Women’s World Under-18 Championships, where she had four goals and two assists in six games, including a goal and two assists in the bronze medal game. Prior to North Dakota, Tapani played for the Espoo Blues in the Finnish National League in 2012, where she won a national championship with the team.
Recently, Tapani suited up for Finland at the Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y., where she scored a goal in a 3-1 win against the United States to help the Finns advance to the gold medal game. So far this season she is second in points per game among rookies, with four goals and 13 points in 10 games.