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Bracket Brimming with Black Hawks

By WBH, 03/27/19, 3:30PM CDT


Presented by Karen's Print Rite

Dozens of Waterloo Alumni on NCAA Tournament Teams

When the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs celebrated their 2018 NCAA hockey championship last spring, there were more former Waterloo Black Hawks on the ice than for any other single national title winner in history.  If UMD becomes the first team in over a decade to win back-to-back championships, the honor roll of former Waterloo skaters will be even bigger in 2019.

Thirteen of the 16 teams in this season’s NCAA field have at least one Black Hawks alumnus* on their roster as the tournament begins Friday at four regional sites across the country.  This year’s national title will be awarded in Buffalo on Saturday, April 13th.

There are a variety of Waterloo-themed storylines related to this season’s chase for the Frozen Four, including:

• Nick Swaney launched Minnesota-Duluth into this season’s NCAA field by scoring the game-winning overtime goal in the NCHC championship game.  Swaney has a team-high 15 goals and is one of five Bulldog players who spent at least one full season in Waterloo.
• Matt Koopman has recorded a goal and three assists in 22 games for the Providence Friars after starting this season in Waterloo.  He and brother Kyle Koopman are both freshmen at the school.
• The Yellow Jackets of American International College are in the NCAA field for the first time ever.  AIC’s top scorer is former Black Hawk Blake Christensen with 46 points in 39 games during his junior year.
• Seven freshman on NCAA tournament teams have their names on the Black Hawks’ 2017/18 Anderson Cup plaque: Jackson Cates, Evan Dougherty, Jack Drury, Kyle Koopman, Matt Koopman, Hunter Lellig, and Bobby Trivigno.
• Four seniors on NCAA tournament teams have their names on the Black Hawks’ 2013/14 Anderson Cup plaque: Peter Krieger, Alec McCrea, Liam Pecararo, and John Wiitala.

More details about Hawks alumni* who are participating may be found below (*alumni are defined as players who ended at least one season in Waterloo).  Regional sites for games this weekend are in Fargo (West), Allentown (Midwest), Manchester (Northeast), and Providence (East).

The Black Hawks’ current roster includes 20 players with NCAA Division I commitments.  Notre Dame is the only team in this season’s field of 16 which has successfully recruited multiple current Waterloo skaters: Solag Bakich and Wyatt Schingoethe.

West Regional (Fargo, ND) • Fri. March 29 & Sat. March 30

St. Cloud State


American International College



Blake Christensen (Jr.)



Ryan Papa (Gr.)

Ohio State



Grant Gabriele (So.)


Michael Davies (Jr.)

Ronnie Hein (Jr.)


Tyson McLellan (Jr.)

Sam McCormick (Jr.)



John Wiitala (Sr.)



Northeast Regional (Manchester, NH) • Fri. March 29 & Sat. March 30




Niko Hildenbrand (Jr.)


Jack Drury (Fr.)

Bobby Trivigno (Fr.)



Notre Dame



Cale Morris (Jr.)


Kevin Charyszyn (So.)

East Regional (Providence, RI) • Sat. March 30 & Sun. March 31

Minnesota State



Max Coatta (Sr.)


Kyle Koopman (Fr.)



Matt Koopman (Fr.)



Bryan Lemos (Sr.)




Alec McCrea (Sr.)


Liam Pecararo (Sr.)

Midwest Regional (Allentown, PA) • Sat. March 30 & Sun. March 31



Bowling Green

Mikey Anderson (So.)


Sam Craggs (So.)

Jackson Cates (Fr.)


Evan Dougherty (Fr.)

Hunter Lellig (Fr.)



Peter Krieger (Sr.)



Dylan Samberg (So.)



Nick Swaney (So.)



Arizona State







Photo of Nick Swaney courtesy of the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs Athletics Department.

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