Karlie Ries just signed with St. Cloud State University (SCSU) to play Division 1 women’s hockey next school year.

Karlie Ries just signed with St. Cloud State University (SCSU) to play Division 1 women’s hockey next school year, becoming the second Sleepy Eye girl to sign with a D1 team—after her high school hockey (New Ulm Eagles) teammate, Ali Beltz, signed with Maine.

Ries spent most of this school year in Canada at the Hockey Training Institute (HTI) in Mulmur, Ontario. Ries said she experienced a faster, higher level of play at HTI. “It was also a lot of fun,” she said. Ries said she met a lot of players from Europe at HTI. “They come because they want to play in a D1 program in the U.S. That is the highest goal,” she explained.

Ries said SCSU talked with her coach at HTI before Christmas and then saw her play in a tournament in Ontario. “They were waiting to see what goalie Taylor Crosby (sister of NHL star Sydney Crosby) would do before they could offer me a spot,” Ries said. “Taylor had enough credits to graduate, so she decided not to come back for another season—that opened their third goalie spot for me.”

Ries returned to Sleepy Eye this spring, rejoining her classmates at Sleepy Eye High School for the final months before graduation. “I had a very good time at HTI, but I was also very happy to be back,” she said.

This summer Ries plans to attend a two-week camp at HTI, spend time training and will probably go to St. Cloud before the start of the school year to train with teammates who stayed there over the summer. At SCSU Ries will room with another athlete—a golfer, she was told. Ries will study accounting.