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Hawks Abound in NCAA Field

By WBH, 03/20/22, 10:15PM CDT

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Three Alumni Apiece Skate for UMass, NoDak

Each of the last five NCAA Division I Hockey National Champions has featured a roster with multiple former Waterloo Black Hawks; the 2022 tournament includes several teams which would extend that streak another year.

Qualifiers and matchups for regionals in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Loveland, Colorado, Worchester, Massachusetts, and Albany, New York were revealed on Sunday.  The 16-team bracket will be winnowed to four who will meet in Boston, ultimately leading to the National Championship Game on April 9th.

The defending champion University of Massachusetts Minutemen are led by senior and former Hawk Bobby Trivigno, who has 20 goals and 48 points in 2021/22.  Garrett Wait is the fifth-leading scorer on the roster with 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists), and defenseman Aaron Bohlinger has 13 points (two goals, 11 assists).  All three were part of last year’s championship.

The North Dakota Fighting Hawks’ roster is also highlighted by three Waterloo alumni, including two Black Hawks captains.  Sophomore Griffin Ness was Waterloo’s 2019/20 captain, and Dane Montgomery wore the “C” last season. North Dakota’s freshman class also includes defenseman Luke Bast.

Other former Hawks whose teams will be part of the action include:

-forward Ryder Rolston, who is tied for second in scoring for Notre Dame with 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) during 37 games in his sophomore season.
-defenseman Hunter Lellig, who is hoping to reach his third Frozen Four with Minnesota-Duluth after celebrating a National Championship with the Bulldogs as a freshman in 2019.
-forward Max Sasson, who led Waterloo in scoring last season and has stacked up nine goals and 13 assists so far this season at Western Michigan.

The list of Black Hawks on teams participating in the NCAA tournament appears below:

School

Player

Class

Season(s) in Waterloo

Denver

Connor Caponi

So.

2018/19, 2019/20

Owen Ozar

Fr.

2020/21

Harvard

Ryan Drkulec

So.

20/18/19, 2019/20

Alex Gaffney

Fr.

2020/21

Massachusetts

Aaron Bohlinger

So.

2019/20

Bobby Trivigno

Sr.

2017/18

Garrett Wait

Sr.

2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18

Massachusetts-Lowell

Brehdan Engum

So.

2018/19, 2019/20

Minnesota

Sam Rossini

Gr.

2014/15, 2015/16

Minnesota-Duluth

Kyler Kleven

Fr.

2020/21

Hunter Lellig

Sr.

2016/17, 2017/18

North Dakota

Luke Bast

Fr.

2019/20, 2020/21

Dane Montgomery

Fr.

2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21

Griffin Ness

So.

2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20

Northeastern

Evan Fear

Jr.

2018/19

Notre Dame

Solag Bakich

Jr.

2017/18, 2018/19

 

Ryder Rolston

So.

2019/20

Quinnipiac

Tony Stillwell

Gr.

2015/16

Western Michigan

Max Sasson

Fr.

2020/21

Wyatt Schingoethe

Fr.

2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21

In addition, several members of the 2021/22 Black Hawks will have a rooting interest due to their commitments to schools in the field.  The group includes Ben Brunette (Massachusetts-Lowell), Gavin O’Connell (Minnesota-Duluth), Mason Reiners (St. Cloud State), Sam Rinzel (Minnesota), Garrett Schifsky (Michigan), Cam VanSickle (Denver), Jack Williams (Notre Dame), and Cooper Wylie (St. Cloud State).

The first NCAA Hockey Tournament games in 2022 will be played on Thursday in Loveland and Albany.

Waterloo’s next game is on the road Friday against the Sioux City Musketeers.