Minnesota's Natalie Darwitz to enter U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

Natalie Darwitz
Natalie Darwitz of Team USA holds the championship trophy after defeating Canada in the gold medal game at the Hockey Canada Cup in Vancouver, B.C., in September 2009.
Darryl Dyck | Canadian Press via AP 2009

Former University of Minnesota hockey star and current Hamline University women's hockey coach Natalie Darwitz is part of the 2018 class of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

She's joined by Nashville Predators general manager David Poile, former University of Michigan coach Red Berenson, retired NHL referee Paul Stewart and the late Leland "Hago" Harrington. They'll be inducted on Dec. 12 at a ceremony in Nashville, Tenn.

Darwitz, a native of Eagan, Minn., was the youngest player on the U.S. national women's team at 15 in 1999 and won three Olympic medals in her playing career — two silvers and a bronze. She set the career scoring record at Minnesota (246 points) and the single-season NCAA record (114 points).

Darwitz has coached at Hamline for the past three seasons, leading the Pipers to a 22-5-3 record last season and being named the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference coach of the year and the USCHO.com Division III Women's National Coach of the Year.

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Poile has run an NHL team the past 36 seasons, including 15 with the Washington Capitals and 21 with the Predators. He has the most victories of any GM in league history. The U.S. won a silver medal at the 2010 Olympics with Poile as assistant GM, and he was GM of the 2014 Olympic team.

Poile and Berenson were born in Canada and went on to make significant impacts on hockey in the United States. Berenson coached Michigan for 33 seasons, taking the Wolverines the NCAA Tournament 22 straight times and reaching the Frozen Four 11 times. His teams won two national titles.

Stewart officiated 1,059 NHL regular-season and playoff games. He's the only American to play and referee in the NHL.

Harrington was the first American-developed player to record a hat trick. He died in 1959.