The NCAA has announced the participants for the fourth annual Frozen Four Skills Challenge, which will be held April 10 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
The competition will be conducted in an East versus West format with each team having six male position players, six female position players, two male goaltenders and two female goaltenders. An alternate list has been established in the event that players have to withdraw from the competition due to other commitments, such as their team’s participation in the 2009 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four.
Players eligible for the Skills Challenge are those who will have exhausted their collegiate eligibility and were nominated by their head coach. The participants were selected by representatives from the American Hockey Coaches Association, the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee and NCAA national office staff.
Competitions will include puck control relay, fastest skater, hardest shot, rapid-fire shooting, accuracy shooting and penalty shot. Each competitor will receive a complete set of equipment and a full uniform from Bauer Hockey.
“This is truly a showcase of the top seniors across all of college hockey,” said Steve Cady, chair of the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee and senior associate athletic director at Miami. “It has been an enjoyable experience for fans in the past, and Bauer Hockey and the Greater Washington Sports Alliance have committed a tremendous amount of resources to make this year the best Skills Challenge yet.”
The men’s selection for the East squad is highlighted by the nation’s leading scorer, Bryan Leitch of Quinnipiac, who has 53 points on the season. The remainder of the male skaters on the East squad include Brock Bradford, Boston College; Matt Gilroy, Boston U.; Zach McKelvie, Army; Matt Pierce, Mercyhurst and Joe Vitale, Northeastern. The two goaltenders are: Keith Longo, Hobart and Alec Richards, Yale.
The female skaters on the East squad include Kayla Coady, Elmira; Sam Faber, New Hampshire; Marie-Jo Gaudet, Clarkson; Sam Hunt, Colgate; Helen Resor, Yale and Maggie Taverna, Boston College. The two goalies are Allyse Wilcox, Boston U. and Brittany Wilson, Connecticut.
The West team is led by Alaska Fairbanks goaltender Chad Johnson, who is second in the nation in goals against average. The other goalie is Jeff Lerg of Michigan State. The six male skaters include Justin Bostrom, Minnesota; Greg Flynn, Air Force; Patrick Galivan, Western Michigan; Chad Rau, Colorado College; Tyler Scofield, Bemidji State and MacGregor Sharp, Minnesota Duluth.
The women’s portion of the West roster includes Johanna Ellison, Minnesota Duluth and Brianne McLaughlin, Robert Morris as goalies. The skaters include: Melissa Boal, Wayne State; Angie Keseley, Wisconsin; Gigi Marvin, Minnesota; Megan McCarthy, St. Cloud State; Sara O’Toole, Minnesota Duluth and Ashley Riggs, Niagara.
Tickets for the event are $10 and are on sale at the Verizon Center box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 202/397-SEAT. The Frozen Four Skills Challenge will begin at 8 p.m. Eastern time and will be preceded by the presentation of the Hobey Baker Memorial Award at 7 p.m. and the Hockey Humanitarian Award at 6:30 p.m.