NCAA Skills Challenge Participants Announced

The NCAA has announced the participants for the inaugural NCAA Frozen Four Skills Challenge, which will be held April 7 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The competition will be held 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 Men’s Frozen Four.

To be eligible, all players must have exhausted their collegiate eligibility and be nominated by their head coach. The players were selected by representatives from the American College Hockey Coaches Association, the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee and the National Youth Sports Corporation. The competitions will include puck control relay, fastest skater, hardest shot, rapid fire shooting and penalty shot.

“The rosters include an extremely talented group of men and women,” said Marty Scarano, chair of the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee and director of athletics at the University of New Hampshire. “We have been talking about the formation of a skills challenge for several years now, and this is such a tremendous group of student-athletes, that it will be an exciting event for everyone in attendance.”

The men’s portion of the East squad is highlighted by the one of the nation’s current leading scorers, Boston College’s Chris Collins. The other male skaters on the East squad include Justin Cross, Niagara University; Derek Damon, University of Maine; Matt Moulson, Cornell University; Jaime Sifers, University of Vermont; and T.J. Trevelyan of St. Lawrence University. The two goaltenders will be John Daigneau of Harvard University and Brad Roberts of the United States Military Academy.

The women on the East squad include Lindsay Hansen from the University of New Hampshire; Allison Paiano, Colgate University; Jennifer Raimondi, Harvard; Margaret Ramsay, Brown University; Sam Shirley, Mercyhurst College; and Karen Thatcher, Providence College. The goalies will be Northeastern University’s Marisa Hourihan and Sarah Love of Yale University.

The 2005 Hobey Baker Award winner, Colorado College senior forward Marty Sertich, highlights the men’s portion of the West squad. Also on the West squad will be Adam Burish, University of Wisconsin; Colton Fretter, Michigan State University; Gabe Gauthier, University of Denver; Brandon Kaleniecki, University of Michigan; and James Shipley, Milwaukee School of Engineering. The West goaltenders will be Dave Caruso of Ohio State University and Adam Hanna of St. John’s University (Minnesota). Shipley and Hanna were the only Division III players to be named to the rosters.

The women’s portion of the West roster includes Adam Burish’s sister, Nikki, who also plays for Wisconsin. Also on the team will be Sharon Cole of Wisconsin; Devon Fingland of the University of North Dakota; Jana Harrigan of Ohio State and Randie Jelinski and Kristy Oonincx, both of St. Cloud State. The two female goaltenders will be Meghan Horras of Wisconsin and Jill Luebke of Bemidji State.

The East male alternates in alphabetical order are: Adam Dann, Bowdoin College; Torry Gajda, Providence; Josh Gartner, Yale; Ben Kemp, Plattsburgh State University; Andrew Martin, University of Massachuetts, Lowell; Keith McWilliams, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Mike Ouellette, Dartmouth College; Tony Quesada, College of the Holy Cross; Bryan Schmidt, Merrimack College; Kyle Wilson, Colgate University; Kurt Wright, Robert Morris University; Brian Yandle, New Hampshire.

The East female alternates in alphabetical order are: Caitlin Barnes, Vermont; Becky Irvine, Colgate; Dani Jo Lansing, Mercyhurst; Ashley Payton, Providence; Rosina Schiff, Rensselaer; Carrie Schroyer, Harvard.

The male alternates for the West team in alphabetical order are: Nick Anderson, Michigan Tech University; Andy Contois, Northern Michigan University; Andy Cote, St. Norbert College; Tom Gilbert, Wisconsin; Jon Horrell, Bowling Green State University; Nick Licari, Wisconsin; Tom Mueller, Ferris State University; Marcus Reszka, St. Mary’s University (Minnesota); Mike Walsh, University of Notre Dame; Brent Walton, Western Michigan University.

The female alternates for the West team in alphabetical order are: Anne Girtz, North Dakota; Grace Hutchins, Wisconsin; Cyndy Kenyon, Wisconsin; Meghan Mutrie, North Dakota.

Tickets for the event are $10 and can be purchased at the Bradley Center box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 414/276-4545. The Skills Challenge will begin at 7 p.m. Central and will be preceded by the Hobey Baker Memorial Award at 6 p.m. and the Hockey Humanitarian Award at 6:30 p.m.