GWH Blog: National Champions visit State Capitol

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Go Gophers! Gopher women's hockey team
Go Gophers!
The Gophers visited the State Capitol on Tuesday.
Go Gophers!
The Gopher women's hockey team had the chance to visit the legislative session at the Minnesota State Capitol yesterday afternoon. Senior captains Sarah Erickson and Jen Schoullis, along with coach Brad Frost, were able to go down on the house floor, with NCAA trophy in tow. The rest of the team sat in the balcony. With gavel in hand, Erickson signaled the start of the day's session, and after the opening prayer, she led the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Gophers were first up on the agenda. Rep. Phyllis Kahn introduced a resolution to commend the Gopher women's hockey team on their NCAA Championship title. The house responded with a standing ovation for the Gophers.

View photos from the State Capitol visit here.

There are some video clips here and here.

THIS JUST IN: Going to the Minnesota Wild game Thursday night against the Calgary Flames? The Gophers will be making an appearance there too! More details to follow...

GWH Blog: Gophers, Gophers, Everywhere!

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GWH Blog: National Champions Return to Ridder Arena

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The Gopher women's hockey team has returned home to Minneapolis, and was welcomed by fans and media today. The team bus arrived from Duluth shortly after 1:00. Senior captains Sarah Erickson and Jen Schoullis were the first off the bus, with the national championship trophy carried by Sarah Erickson.

Photo gallery from the welcome home celebration.
Go Gophers! Gophers
Go Gophers!
Sarah Erickson hoists the national championship trophy Monday.
Go Gophers!

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has declared March 20, 2012 Gopher Women's Hockey National Champions Day.  See the proclamation here.

In case you missed any of the local news coverage of the NCAA title win, check out these links:

Gophers in NCAA title (MN Daily)

Gophers are champs again by combining toughness, skill (Star Tribune)

Gopher goalie saves her best for last (Star Tribune)

Golden girls: Noora Räty lifts Gophers women to NCAA hockey title (Pioneer Press)

Gophers win NCAA hockey title (KARE 11)

Minnesota women's hockey wins national title (Fox 9)

Minnesota bests Wisconsin for women's DI championship (

Gophers top Badgers in Frozen Four championship (Duluth News Tribune)

These Gophers are Golden ( - full replay of the game in case you missed it!)

Play of a lifetime (

Quality helps build the game (

Badgers run into immovable force in NCAA title game (Wisconsin State Journal)

Badgers suffer hockey heartbreak (The Badger Herald)

GWH Blog: Gophers in the News

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Here are some articles/recaps from last weekend's 5-1 win over North Dakota in the NCAA Quarterfinals:

Gophers punch ticket to Frozen Four (Star Tribune)

Women gain Frozen Four by whipping North Dakota (Pioneer Press)

Gophers punch ticket to Frozen Four (Minnesota Daily)

Sioux season comes to an end at hands of Gophers (Grand Forks Herald)

Räty backstops Minnesota back to Frozen Four with win over North Dakota (

Gophers defeat North Dakota, move on to Frozen Four (

GWH Blog: WCHA Tournament Pairings Set

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With the conclusion of the WCHA regular season last weekend, the first round of the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association Playoffs, a best-of-three series format, get underway next Friday (Feb. 24) at No. 1 tournament seed Wisconsin, No. 2 seed Minnesota, No. 3 seed North Dakota and No. 4 seed Minnesota Duluth. Game two of each series will be played on Saturday (Feb. 25) while any game threes, if necessary, will be contested on Sunday (Feb. 26).

The games at Ridder Arena will be played at 7:07 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 24), 4:07 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 25), and if a third game is needed, it will be played at 4:07 p.m. on Sunday (Feb. 26). Tickets are available here.

WCHA regular season champion Wisconsin (29-3-2) will host No. 8 seed Minnesota State (7-26-1) at Eagle's Nest in Verona, Wis. Regular season runner-up Minnesota (27-5-2) will entertain No. 7 St. Cloud State (5-27-2) at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, North Dakota (20-10-3) will host No. 6 Bemidji State (17-15-3) at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, and Minnesota Duluth (18-13-1) will go up against No. 5 Ohio State (16-14-4) at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth.

Following next week's four first-round playoff series, the four winners will advance to the 2012 WCHA FINAL FACE-OFF championship, set for March 2-3 at AMSOIL Arena.

The full press release from the WCHA is available here

Click here for WCHA Standings.

GWH Blog: Finalists for 2012 Ms. Hockey Award Announced

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The five finalists for the 17th annual Ms. Hockey Award are Hannah Brandt of Hill-Murray, Hanna Brodt of Roseville, Jonna Curtis of Elk River/Zimmerman, Milica McMillen of Breck and Lee Stecklein of Roseville.

Together, the finalists would be a formidable starting lineup with Brandt, Brodt and Curtis at forward and McMillen and Stecklein on the blue line. Four of the five finalists have committed to a WCHA school next season, including three future Golden Gophers (Brandt, McMillen and Stecklein).

The Ms. Hockey Award is presented to the top senior girls' high school hockey player in Minnesota. The winner will be announced at the Ms. Hockey Awards Banquet on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 11:30 a.m., at the RiverCentre in St. Paul.

To read the full article from Let's Play Hockey, including bios on all five of the finalists, please click here.

GWH Blog: Four Gophers Selected to USA Hockey Roster

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Twenty-seven players have been selected to the U.S. Women's National Team preliminary roster in preparation for the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship, which takes place April 7-14 in Burlington, Vermont. Three current Gopher players and a Minnesota alum are included on the roster: defensemen Megan Bozek, Anne Schleper and Gigi Marvin, and forward Amanda Kessel.

The athletes will take part in a training camp at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y., from March 25 - April 3, with the final 21-player roster set to be announced on April 1. The U.S. will travel to Ottawa, Ont., for an exhibition contest against Canada on March 31, before playing Finland in a pre-tournament game on April 3 at 7 p.m. EST at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y.

The U.S. squad will arrive in Burlington on April 4, where Team USA will look to defend its back-to-back-to-back world titles from 2008, 2009 and 2011 (a world championship was not held in 2010 due to the Olympic Winter Games).

Twenty-one members of the U.S. Women's National Team that captured first place in the 2011 Four Nations Cup in November are vying for roster spots. There are a total of 17 Olympians on the preliminary list and 19 players who helped Team USA to the world title in 2011.

In addition to the Gopher players on the roster, former Minnesota head coach Laura Halldorson will serve as an assistant coach for Team USA at the IIHF Women's World Championship.

See the full roster here.

GWH Blog: 2012 GWH Golf Open

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We know it's early, but info on the 2012 Gopher Women's Hockey Golf Open is now available.

The 2012 GWH Golf Open will be held at Indian Hills Golf Club on Monday, September 17th, 2012. This will be a day of fun, prizes, and camaraderie while raising money for a most
worthwhile cause: Gopher women's hockey. The day's events will include a round of golf, social hour, dinner buffet, and silent auction.

Hole, tee and green sponsorships are available, and are the foundation of the fundraising event. Information on sponsorships is available at the link below.

2012 GWH Golf Open Information

GWH Blog: Future Gophers Among Ms. Hockey Semifinalists

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Let's Play Hockey announced today the 10 semifinalists for the 2012 Ms. Hockey Award, presented to the top senior girls' high school hockey player in Minnesota. Among the semifinalists are three players who have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Minnesota next season. Hannah Brandt (Hill-Murray HS), Milica McMillen (Breck HS), and Lee Stecklein (Roseville Area HS) are among the semifinalists for the award and will join the Gopher women's hockey program next fall.

In addition to on-ice talent, criteria for the Ms. Hockey Award include academics, community and extracurricular activities, citizenship and coachability.

Five finalists for the Ms. Hockey Award will be named in the Feb. 16 edition of Let's Play Hockey with the winner announced at the Ms. Hockey Awards Banquet on Feb. 26.

In the 16-year history of the award, 12 of the award winners have played for the Golden Gophers, including three members of the current Minnesota team. Ms. Hockey winners to attend Minnesota include:

1996: Winny Brodt
1998: Laura Slominski
1999: Ronda Curtin
2000: Krissy Wendell
2001: Renee Curtin
2002: Ashley Albrecht
2003: Andrea Nichols
2004: Erica McKenzie
2005: Gigi Marvin
2008: Sarah Erickson
2009: Becky Kortum
2010: Bethany Brausen

Full story from Let's Play Hockey here.

GWH Blog: In the Minnesota Daily

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The University of Minnesota campus newspaper featured two stories on Gopher women's hockey today. Check them out!

Kessel on the cusp of 100th point

Minnesota travels to Mankato this weekend has a feature on equipment managers around the WCHA, including our very own Kate Bockenstedt.

Helping team stay sharp only a small part of this bench job