Future Gopher Baldwin Named 2014 Ms. Hockey

Let's Play Hockey newspaper announced that future Golden Gopher Sydney Baldwin, a senior defenseman on the Minnetonka High School girls' hockey team, was named the winner of the 19th annual Ms. Hockey Award today at the annual Ms. Hockey Awards Banquet. The award, presented to the top girls' high school hockey player in Minnesota, is based on the following criteria: academics, community/extracurricular activities, citizenship, coachability and, of course, on-ice performance.

The career leading scorer for defensemen at Minnetonka, Baldwin becomes the first blueliner to be named Ms. Hockey since South St. Paul's Ashley Albrecht in 2002. Averaging over 30 minutes per game this season, Baldwin owned totals of 12-19--31 and helped Minnetonka to an unprecedented three consecutive state championships during her career. She captained the Skippers to the No. 5 ranking in Class AA this season to go along with a 19-6-2 overall record.

Baldwin had points in 19 of her 27 games this season, including nine multi-point contests. She was a three-time all-conference and all-state honoree for the Skippers. Baldwin was also a member of the silver medal-winning U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team at the 2013 IIHF World U18 Championship and will represent Team USA again this March.

Baldwin is set to continue her hockey career with the Gophers and will join Minnesota for the 2014-15 season.

"Sydney Baldwin is like Bobby Orr," Minnetonka head coach Eric Johnson said. "She's the best defensive and offensive player on the ice and the most humble, team-first player off the ice. Syd is the best all-around skater we have ever seen at Minnetonka. She's smooth, fast and strong, while making it look effortless as she glides by opponents. Her puck-handling, passing and shot are even more impressive than her skating ability."

Away from hockey, Baldwin owns a 3.45 GPA and volunteers her time with the DinoMights Inner City Youth Hockey Program. She has also served as a Big Sister with Minnetonka youth hockey teams. In addition to hockey, Baldwin was a two-time member of the Skipper tennis team, captaining the squad to a second-place finish in the 2012 state tournament.

"Sydney is a giver," Johnson said. "She has volunteered over 100 hours in the Minnetonka Youth Hockey Association, attending youth girls' practices, games, study halls and pizza parties. She cares about the kids and about being a good role model. In addition to her academic and athletic commitments, she works four part-time jobs throughout the year. She understands that success is earned through hard work and expects nothing to be given to her."

Two other future Gophers were among the finalists for Ms. Hockey in Kelly Pannek of Benilde-St. Margaret's and Nina Rodgers of Hopkins. Sam Donovan of Irondale and Nicole Schammel of Red Wing rounded out the top five finalists.

Past winners include Dani Cameranesi of Blake (2013), Hannah Brandt of Hill-Murray (2012), Karley Sylvester of Warroad (2011), Bethany Brausen of Roseville (2010) Becky Kortum of Hopkins (2009), Sarah Erickson of Bemidji (2008), Katharine Chute of Blake (2007), Allie Thunstrom of North St. Paul (2006), Gigi Marvin of Warroad (2005), Erica McKenzie of Hastings (2004), Andrea Nichols of Hibbing/Chisholm (2003), Ashley Albrecht of South St. Paul (2002), Renee Curtin of Roseville (2001), Krissy Wendell of Park Center (2000), Ronda Curtin of Roseville (1999), Laura Slominski of Burnsville (1998), Annamarie Holmes of Apple Valley (1997) and Winny Brodt of Roseville (1996).

The 19th annual award, selected based on votes from a panel of high school coaches and Division I and III college coaches from Minnesota and Wisconsin, is sponsored by Let's Play Hockey, the Minnesota Wild and Shakopee Chevrolet.

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Let's Play Hockey: Sydney Baldwin of Minnetonka named Ms. Hockey