North Dakota to induct Blais, entire 2000 national championship team into school’s athletics hall of fame

Dean Blais speaks to the media after being named the 2012 USA Hockey World Junior team coach. (Jim Rosvold)
Dean Blais speaks to the media after being named the 2012 USA Hockey World Junior team coach (photo: Jim Rosvold).

Former North Dakota coach Dean Blais and the 1999-2000 national championship men’s hockey team will be inducted into the UND Letterwinners Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

Blais served as head coach at UND from 1994 to 2004 and was an assistant from 1980 to 1989. He led the team to national championships in 1997 and 2000 and was part of national titles in 1982 and 1987.

He amassed a record of 262-115-33 (.679), ranking second in program history in wins and winning percentage. Blais also guided UND to five MacNaughton Cups as WCHA regular-season champion in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2004 and also won WCHA playoff titles in 1997 and 2000. He was a two-time recipient of the Spencer Penrose Award as the national coach of the year (1997, 2001) and was a three-time WCHA Coach of the Year.

Blais also coached at Omaha and led the 2010 U.S. World Junior team to a gold medal.

The 1999-2000 UND team finished 31-8-5 overall and added a WCHA playoff title.

Junior forward Jeff Panzer was a Hobey Baker finalist and first-team All-American after tying for second nationally with 65 points. Junior goalie Karl Goehring joined Panzer on the All-America First Team.

Senior forward Lee Goren led the nation with 34 goals and was a second-team All-American, as well as the NCAA tournament Most Outstanding Player. He was joined on the All-Tourney Team by Goehring, junior defenseman Mike Commodore and junior forward Bryan Lundbohm.

A total of 21 players from the 1999-2000 went on to play professionally, including five who reached the NHL — Commodore, Goren, Ryan Bayda, Brad DeFauw and Travis Roche.

The 44th annual Athletics Hall of Fame event will take place with a dinner and induction ceremony on Friday, Sept. 21. The Class of 2018 will be recognized the following day during halftime of UND’s Homecoming/Hall of Fame football game against Idaho State, which is also the 53rd annual Potato Bowl USA game.