Chicago Blackhawks prospects Nick Schmaltz and Luke Johnson already know what winning a championship is like. The duo helped North Dakota claim its eighth national championship with a 5-1 win over No. 1 Quinnipiac in the Frozen Four championship game Saturday.
It's North Dakota's first title since 2000 and first since they changed their nickname from the Fighting Sioux to the Fighting Hawks.
Schmaltz, selected 20th overall in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft, recorded an assist with a feed to Drake Caggiula, who has been linked to Chicago, in the third period to give UND a 3-1 lead. Caggiula was named the Frozen Four most outstanding player and scored two goals in the game.
Schmaltz scored 11 goals and 35 assists in 37 games during his sophomore season at UND. He had a goal and three assists during the tournament, including the game-winner with 56.8 seconds left against NCHC conference foe Denver in the national semifinals last Thursday.
Johnson, a fifth-round selection in 2013, did not play in the national title game due to a left knee injury he suffered against Denver. Prior to joining to the injury he had played in all 127 games during his career at UND and 164 straight games dating back to his final year of junior hockey with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL. The last game he missed was Jan. 12, 2013. He scored two goals in the tournament, including the eventual game-winner against Northeastern in the opening round. He tallied 11 goals and 10 assists in 42 games during his junior season at UND.