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At Shattuck-St. Mary’s, This One’s For the Seniors

By Tom Robinson - Special to, 03/26/14, 1:00PM MDT


The many players who return from last year’s Shattuck-St. Mary’s 16-and-Under national championship team will be split when they arrive at Marlborough, Mass., for the 2014 Toyota-USA Hockey Tier I Girls National Championships.

For those still on the 16U team, the tournament represents a chance to defend their title. For those who have been promoted to the 19U team, this season is all about making sure the seniors leave the Faribault, Minn. private boarding school with a national title.

The last 19U national championship for Shattuck-St. Mary’s came in 2011, meaning there are seniors without a national title to their credit. The 2011 title concluded an eight-year stretch in which the Sabres won five 19U national titles and finished second once.

“I think the main motivation for this year’s Prep team, the U19 team, is the seniors have never won a national championship while the up-and-coming juniors won last year at the U16 level,” said Gordie Stafford, the coach of the Prep team. “We have a good mix there of kids who want to win two in a row, combined with others who haven’t won yet.

“I’ve been real excited about our practices the last week. We’re starting to peak real well.”

Stafford guided the team through late March practices while five players from the Shattuck-St. Mary’s program — four from the 19U team and one from the 16U team — were in Budapest, Hungary, with Team USA for the International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s U18 World Championship.

Baylee Wellhausen was the U.S. Player of the Game on March 23 with a goal and an assist in a tournament-opening 6-1 victory over Russia. Brooke Ahbe, Melissa Samoskevich and Maddie Rolfes all had assists in the international win.

The five players with the national team is a record for the Shattuck-St. Mary’s program. Those players will not return until less than a week before the team heads to nationals.

Stafford pointed out that Assabet Valley of Massachusetts and Chicago Mission — who finished 1-2 the last two years — face the same obstacle. Assabet Valley is the only team with more national titles than Shattuck-St. Mary’s on the 19U and 16U levels. Shattuck-St. Mary’s has won twice at 16U, a division that was created in 2004 when the old 15U was dissolved.

Wellhausen led the way at last year’s nationals with five goals and five assists in San Jose, Calif. Shattuck-St. Mary’s overwhelmed three U19 pool play opponents by a margin of 22-3. The Sabres added a quarterfinal win before falling to the Mission in the semifinals. Wellhausen, a senior from Williams Bay, Wis., leads this year’s team in scoring with 43 goals and 36 assists in 42 games.  

“She’s not big in stature,” Stafford said. “She reminds me of Zach Parise, who is another graduate of Shattuck.”

Samoskevich, a junior from Sandy Hook, Conn., is the team’s second-leading scorer with 26 goals and 31 assists.

“Melissa Samoskevich is a power forward,” Stafford said. “She’s very strong on the puck and very good around the net.”

Rolfes, a senior from West Des Moines, Iowa, is the top-scoring defenseman with 11 goals and 20 assists.

“Maddie Rolfes is a steady offensive defenseman who has an unbelievable amount of hockey sense,” Stafford said.

Ahbe is one of the players who moved up after contributing the 16U national title.

“Brooke Ahbe is a complete, more defensive-minded forward; very strong on the forecheck, very disciplined on defense,” Stafford said.

The others to move up from the 16U national championship squad to this year’s 19U national participant are forwards Hannah England, Brooke Boquist, Taylor Schwalbe and Haley Ketola, defenseman Sloan Sullivan, defenseman/forward Josefine Hansen and goalie Megan DuBois.

England led all 16U national players last year in pool play goals with five and shared the pool play points lead with seven.

DuBois, a junior from Hudson, Wis., leads the team with a 1.49 goals-against average and five shutouts. She splits time almost equally with senior Taylor Crosby, one of two Canadians on the roster and the younger sister of Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby, who also spent time at Shattuck-St. Mary’s.

Shattuck-St. Mary’s arrives at nationals with a 30-16-1 record.

The school’s 16U team rolls into the event on a 12-game unbeaten streak that has improved the season record to 39-9-3.

Patti Marshall, a sophomore from Thief River Falls, Minn. who is the top-scoring defenseman on the team, is with the U18 national team. She heads the list of players trying to win a second straight national title.

Forwards Brette Pettet, Gisele Cazaudumec, Alexis Mauermann, Katherine Hughes and Kylie McCloskey, defensemen Britt Mingoia and Dom Kremer and goalie Emmy Cooper are also defending the title they contributed to a year ago.

Mauermann, a sophomore from Janesville, Wis., is second on the team in goals behind Alex Woken, a sophomore from Fargo, N.D.             

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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