Game On Magazine November 2015 - Page 86

KRZYSZCZYK BACK TO WIN AN NCAA TITLE AT HARVARD By John Ploszay • Photos by Gil Talbot and Jim Rosvold O n Sunday, March 22, 2015, the Harvard University Crimson women’s hockey team fell 4-1 to the powerhouse University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in the NCAA Division 1 women’s championship game. There was no question that Minnesota was the team to beat last season, but Harvard actually had a chance to win the championship game until late in the third period. One Manitoban participated in that championship game and while it’s always unlikely that you get more than one chance to win a national championship, Winnipeg’s Danielle (Dani) Krzyszczyk will, potentially, get three more chances. Last season, Krzyszczyk, a graduate of the prep hockey program at St. Mary’s Academy, was a freshman at Harvard. This year, she’s back in Crimson and if all goes well, Harvard will once again represent the ECAC at the Women’s Frozen Four, March 18-20, in Durham, N.H. Known as “Special K,” Krzyszczyk was captain at St. Mary’s for two seasons and in 2013 was the only Manitoban to make Canada’s Under-18 Team. Krzyszczyk, who loves country music and the Winnipeg Jets, is also an accomplished golfer. Apart from playing regularly at Niakwa Golf & Country Club where she and her parents are members, she was an integral part of the St. Mary’s Flames golf team and led them 86 GAME ON NOVEMBER 2015 to the high school championship in 2014. In the meantime, she has developed an acute sense of pride and dedication to Team Canada and the national hockey program. “Sometimes I can’t find the words to explain how proud I am to be a Canadian and a Canadian hockey player,” she said. “I would do anything to be on Team Canada and I’d play any position my coach tells me, even goalie.” Like so many outstanding female hockey players, she played boys hockey until high school and was a member of the St. Vital Victorias bantam Double A team. Krzyszczyk was named Hockey Manitoba Female Athlete of the Year in 2014 and was nominated for Sport Manitoba Female Athlete of the Year. Last year, as a freshman at Harvard, she got better as the season went on. She suited up for 22 games in 2014-15 and picked up her first career points (a goal and an assist) in a 9-2 victory over Boston University in the first round of the Beanpot Classic. She picked up two assists in a victory over Cornell in the ECAC Championship game. Then she suited up in the Frozen For and played in the championship game against Minnesota. Last season, Dani Krzyszczyk, knocked at the door of an NCAA championship. This year, she wants to kick it down. n