Lauren Hennessey, a goaltender from Massachusetts who verbally committed to the University of North Dakota women’s hockey team, took an early-morning trip to Grand Forks with her parents Wednesday to visit the campus and meet the staff and players. While Hennessey was still on campus, the university announced that women’s hockey would be among the sports cut after the 2016-17 academic year.
Understandably, Hennessey was angry:
Because of the timing, Hennessey, who said she passed over “a lot of Division I offers to come to UND,” could be left without a school to play for. From the Grand Forks Herald:
“This puts me in a very tough situation,” Hennessey said. “My dream of playing Division I hockey is now slim-to-none.”
The current players had to wait to find out the official news, too, although the school will reportedly honor the athletic scholarships for the discontinued sports.
With this decision, North Dakota will be eliminating an excellent source of talent for national teams. Eight current or former Fighting Hawks were picked for team rosters for the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship, and the program has produced Olympians, including Americans Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux, who were both pissed off:
Senior Halli Krzyzaniak was also furious, particularly by how the team was informed:
The elimination of women’s hockey will save UND $1.9 million, according to records.
H/t to Mike