With a month remaining in the regular season, Minnesota and Wisconsin both have clinched home ice for the first round of the WCHA playoffs after recording league sweeps last weekend. Meanwhile, North Dakota, which collected five of six points on Jan. 24-25, needs just one more point to guarantee that it will finish in the top four and host a first round league playoff series.
Minnesota (24-1-1, 18-1-1-0 WCHA, 55 points) remains in the league lead, one point ahead of Wisconsin (21-3-2, 17-3-2-1 WCHA, 54 points), which has played two more games than the Gophers. North Dakota (16-5-3, 13-3-3-2 WCHA, 44 points) is nine points back but also holds two games at hand on UW and fourth place Minnesota Duluth (12-10-4, 10-8-4-3 WCHA, 37 points). Bemidji State (9-14-3, 6-12-2-1 WCHA, 21 points) holds on to fifth place, but just two points ahead of streaking Ohio State (9-12-5, 4-12-5-2, 19 points) which is unbeaten in five straight games. Minnesota State (9-19-0, 4-18-0-0 WCHA, 12 points) and St. Cloud State (4-20-3, 3-15-2-1 WCHA, 12 points) are tied for seventh place.
The WCHA postseason championship begins with a best-of-three first round Feb. 28-March 2. The four winning teams advance to the 2014 WCHA Final Face-off to square of for the WCHA crown at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn., March 7-8.
The Final Face-off begins with two semifinal games at 4:07 p.m. CT and 7:07 p.m. CT on Friday, March 7. The semifinal winners will then play at 7:07 p.m. CT on Saturday, March 8 in the championship game. The winner of the WCHA Final Face-off receives the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Division I Women's Ice Hockey Tournament.
Minnesota has won the last two WCHA Final Face-off titles, defeating Minnesota Duluth 2-0 in the 2012 title game and topping North Dakota 2-0 to claim the 2013 crown.
Single-game and tournament package tickets for the 2014 WCHA Final Faceo-off are now on sale. Tickets for all Sanford Center events may be purchased at the Sanford Center ticket office, any Ticketmaster retail location, Lueken's Village Foods, charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000, or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
The University of Minnesota women's hockey team was in full force as 14 members of the team volunteered with the Special Olympics at the state poly hockey tournament, Sunday, Jan. 26 in Golden Valley, Minn.
The Gopher contingent of Milica McMillen, Sidney Peters, Amanda Leveille, Kate Flug, Kate Schipper, Hannah Brandt, Dani Cameranesi, Paige Haley, Kelsey Cline, Shyler Sletta, Baylee Gillianders, Sarah Davis, Bethany Brausen and Kelly Terry were in attendance from 12-6. The group interacted with the participants and presented awards during the Special Olympics ceremony.
The Gopher women's hockey team has always had a long-standing tradition of community service. Earlier this month, the team held a teddy bear toss to donate to Toys for Tots, while Feb. 8 game against Bemidiji State, the team will hold a Gold Out as proceeds go towards Amplatz Children's Hospital and Unlimited Dance Marathon.
Today USA Hockey announced the 22 players that have been selected to the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team that will take part in the International Ice Hockey Federation Women's Under-18 World Championship, March 23-30, 2014, in Budapest, Hungary. The roster includes future Gophers Sydney Baldwin and Nina Rodgers, who will join Minnesota in fall 2014.
Baldwin and Rodgers are two of nine players on the roster who helped the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team collect the silver medal at the 2013 IIHF Women's Under-18 World Championship in Heinola, Finland.
The team was selected following the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team Winter Camp, held Dec. 27-31, at Schwan's Super Rink in Blaine, Minn. The IIHF Women's Under-18 World Championship is being played for the seventh time and will include teams from Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. Team USA captured gold in each of the first two years of the tournament (2008, 2009) and again in 2011 and the silver medal in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
Catch up on recent media coverage of Gopher women's hockey, including more recaps of Minnesota's sweep over Minnesota State and the outdoor Hockey City Classic at TCF Bank Stadium and previews of Minnesota's series with St. Cloud State this weekend.
The Gopher women's hockey team kicks off play in the new year by hosting Ohio State at Ridder Arena in a Friday/Saturday series this weekend. However, everyone is already looking forward to the 2014 Hockey City Classic at TCF Bank Stadium next Friday, Jan. 17.
The Hockey City Classic Winter Festival began Thursday night with an opening ceremony and public "Skate with the Greats" event. Catch up on media coverage of the event and stay tuned for much more excitement leading up to the outdoor college hockey double-header next Friday.
Gopher women's hockey returns to action at Ridder Arena one week from tonight! Minnesota is pleased to host Rock Ridder Night where all general admission tickets are just $1 when the team hosts Ohio State next Friday, Jan. 10 at 7:07 p.m.
All fans will receive Gopher rally towels to celebrate the Gophers taking the ice for the first time in over a month. Minnesota's last series was a WCHA road sweep at Ohio State, Dec. 7-8, 2013. The Gophers look to make it four-straight victories over the Buckeyes in their first series of 2014.
Fans, we want you to pack Ridder Arena for Rock Ridder Night one week from tonight! All GA tickets are just $1. pic.twitter.com/Aj2KqoCVXl
In addition, Saturday's game of the Ohio State series will feature a Teddy Bear Toss after the first Gopher goal. Fans are invited to bring teddy bears or other stuffed animals to the game and throw them on the ice after the first Minnesota goal. All of the stuffed animals will be donated to Toys for Tots as part of the Gophers' annual toy drive.
Be there for what the Gophers hope will be the fourth sell-out women's hockey crowd in Ridder Arena history (3,400).
USA Hockey has revealed the Team USA women's ice hockey roster for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Five current and former Gophers are set to represent the U.S. in Sochi, Russia, in Megan Bozek, Amanda Kessel, Gigi Marvin, Anne Schleper and Lee Stecklein.
USA Hockey, in cooperation with the United States Olympic Committee and National Hockey League, unveiled the Olympic roster during the second intermission of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Gigi Marvin is the lone Olympic veteran among the Gopher representatives. A silver medalist at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C., Marvin has also played in six International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championships (gold-2008, 2009, 2011, 2013; silver-2007, 2012) and seven Four Nations Cups (1st-2008, 2011-12; 2nd-2006-07, 2009, 3rd-2013) as a member of the U.S. Women's National Team.
The remaining four Gophers will make their first Olympic appearances this winter.
Megan Bozek has played in two International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championships (gold-2013; silver-2012) and two Four Nations Cups (1st-2012, 3rd-2013) as a member of the U.S. Women's National Team.
Amanda Kessel has played in two IIHF Women's World Championships (gold-2013; silver-2012), two Four Nations Cups (1st-2011, 2012) and one International Ice Hockey Federation Twelve Nations Invitational Series (2011) as a member of the U.S. Women's National Team. She was on the 2013 USWNT at the Four Nations Cup but did not play.
Thank you so much for all the support today! Lifelong dream came true today, such an emotional but amazing feeling. pic.twitter.com/JPle2Qja7h
Anne Schleper has played in three International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championships (gold-2011, 2013; silver-2012) and four Four Nations Cups (1st-2008, 2012; 2nd-2010, 3rd-2013) as a member of the U.S. Women's National Team.
The U.S. women's national team defeated Canada, 3-2 in a shootout at the Xcel Energy Center Saturday afternoon. Catch up on the game and the ties to Gopher women's hockey along with some of the media coverage surrounding the win.
The Gopher women's hockey team is pleased to host a Teddy Bear Toss during its game against Ohio State at Ridder Arena on Saturday, Jan. 11.
The Teddy Bear Toss will occur after the first Gopher goal. Fans are invited to bring teddy bears or other stuffed animals to the game and throw them on the ice after the first Minnesota goal. All of the stuffed animals will be donated to charity as part of the Gophers' annual toy drive.
The Gophers hosted a Teddy Bear Toss last season during a 2-0 win over Wisconsin on Dec. 2, 2012. Senior Mira Jalosuo broke a scoreless tie with a power-play goal in the third period. After the goal, fans tossed nearly 200 bears onto the ice. Staff members collected the bears, and members of the Gopher women's hockey team delivered them to a Toys for Tots collection site.
The Jan. 11 Gopher game will air live on the Big Ten Network, so fans not in attendance will be able to see the Teddy Bear Toss as it happens!