Singing the anthem with her teammates following Canada’s gold medal victory this year at the world under-18 women’s hockey championship understandably ranks as one of the highlights of Jordan Krause’s hockey career.
Earning a scholarship at an NCAA Division 1 university also gets a huge thumbs-up from the 17-year-old Kelowna product.
Krause arrived at the University Minnesota-Duluth this week where she’ll pursue an education while playing with the Bulldogs women’s hockey program.
Krause, who plays defense, chose UMD over two other serious contenders, Ohio State and Cornell.
“It wasn’t any one thing that made me choose (Duluth), everything just kind of clicked for me,” said Krause, who paid a visit to UMD in October. “It felt comfortable, I liked the other girls, and I could really see myself playing four years there. There are players from all over the world I’m going to be playing with, it’s a very international team, so that’s nice, too.”
It didn’t hurt either that UMD has one of the most successful women’s programs in NCAA history having won five nationals titles, the last one coming in 2010.
“I think we’re going to have some pretty high goals set, and we’re going to be after another national title. There’s a big group of freshman on this year’s team, so there will be a new energy there. It’s going to be pretty exciting.”
Krause came up through Kelowna’s minor hockey system, then played the 2009-10 season with the B.C. Female Midget AAA League’s Thompson Okanagan Rockets. The last two years, she played for Kelowna’s Pursuit of Excellence program.
For Krause, the transition to university hockey in the U.S. will be a challenging, yet exciting step.
“I’m looking forward to being in an NCAA league, to be able play at that level, and to have the opportunity to play games every weekend that really mean something,” said Krause. “At POE we played pretty much all tournament games, so this will be very different. It’s going to be exciting to play in the NCAA environment.”
Over the last two seasons, POE coach David Roy said Krause’s game took some significant steps forward, and he has little doubt she will be ready to make the jump to the highest level of collegiate hockey in the U.S.
“(Jordan) has a great work ethic, she was one of the leaders on our team, and she has tremendous passion for the game,” said Roy, who also attended UMD. “As a D-man with us, she continued to get better. She’s smart, very composed and didn’t get rattled easily. That helped her get on to Team Canada and it will no doubt help her at UMD.”
As is the case for so many elite athletes, Krause’s successes in her sport haven’t come without sacrifices and a lot of hard work, including hundreds of hours training in the gym.
Moments like Canada’s gold medal win at the world under-18 championship in the Czech Republic last January make it all worthwhile for Krause.
“I think working hard and all the time you put into it makes it just that much sweeter when you do have success,” said Krause, who hopes to get future opportunities with Hockey Canada. “When we heard our anthem and started belting it out together, you really just forget about all the sprints, the early mornings and the workouts that go into it. I still love playing.”
At University Minnesota-Duluth, Krause will work on a major in Bio Chemistry, with plans to pursue a degree in dentistry.
Krause is one of several local female minor hockey products who this year earned scholarships.
Other Kelowna players heading south to the NCAA include Julia McKinnon (Ohio State) and Brittany Berisoff (Connecticut), while Stephanie Schaupemeyer will play in the CIS with the UBC Thunderbirds.