The list of former Black Hawks who have won an NCAA Division I National Championship ballooned on Saturday when the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs edged the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2-1 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Junior Peter Krieger and freshmen Mikey Anderson, Dylan Samberg, and Nick Swaney were all on the ice to celebrate UMD’s second title after the final horn sounded. Louie Roehl also briefly appeared for Waterloo before contributing to this year’s Frozen Four run.
The Bulldogs finished the season at 25-16-3. All four of their NCAA Tournament wins were by one-goal margins, and three of the victories were against #1 regional seeds.
Krieger ranked second in scoring with 30 points (11 goals, 19 assists) for Duluth appearing in all 44 2017/18 games. It was his first season on ice with UMD; the 24-year-old was idled by NCAA transfer rules last winter after spending his first two seasons at the University of Alaska.
During his lone season with Waterloo, Krieger was the Black Hawks’ top scorer during a banner year. He had 67 points and ranked fifth in the USHL, while Waterloo won the Anderson Cup regular season championship with a team record 44 victories. Krieger also notched 11 playoff points as Waterloo reached the Clark Cup Championship Series.
The other former Hawks now wearing Bulldog colors all skated in Waterloo just last year. Samberg (42 games), Anderson (39 games), Roehl (38 games), and Swaney (35 games) were all regulars in the UMD lineup throughout the winter. Anderson and Swaney were the second- and third-leading freshman scorers with 23 and 22 points respectively.
A year earlier, they helped the Hawks to 40 regular season victories, the second-highest total in club history, trailing only the 44 from Krieger’s 2013/14 season.
Swaney’s 66 regular season goals between his debut as an affiliate in 2013/14 and his final year in Waterloo make him one of the most prolific scorers in team history. Only a handful of Hawks including Jason Blake - later an NHL All-Star – rank ahead of Swaney in the Hawks’ record book.
Anderson was a two-year Black Hawk and among the youngest players on the team during both of his USHL seasons. A +29 plus/minus margin last winter tied him for second in the league; for good measure, Anderson contributed 34 points in 2016/17.
Samberg joined Waterloo near the end of the regular season and also appeared in all eight Hawks playoff games. In total, he made 14 appearances in a Black Hawks sweater, stacking up two goals, three assists, and a +5 differential.
Roehl came to Waterloo just briefly in December of 2016, providing the team with a boost while several regulars represented the United States during the World Junior A Challenge in Canada.
Of the last ten NCAA Champions, seven have included at least on former Waterloo Black Hawk. Twenty-one players who have skated for Waterloo under Head Coach P.K. O’Handley have gone on to win college hockey’s ultimate prize.
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