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!
Despite being on a four-week mid-season break from competition, Minnesota (19-1-0, 13-1-0 WCHA) has received lots of recent media coverage. Catch up on some of the recent news surrounding Gopher women's hockey.
Finland's roster includes three goaltenders as Meeri Raisanen and Eveliina Suonpaa join Raty between the pipes. The roster has seven defensemen; Minnesota Duluth junior Tea Villila will join Jalosuo in action at the blue line. Eleven forwards round out the line up, including North Dakota's Michelle Karvinen and Susanna Tapani.
Eight nations will compete for gold in women's ice hockey at the 2014 Olympic Games, set for Feb. 7-23, 2014: Canada, U.S., Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Russia, Germany and Japan.
Up to seven current and former Gophers could compete in Sochi as Megan Bozek, Gigi Marvin, Anne Schleper, Lee Stecklein and Amanda Kessel hope to earn a place on Team USA. The final 2014 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team, which will include 18 forwards/defensemen and three goaltenders, will be announced during the second intermission of the NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2014, in Ann Arbor, Mich., live on NBC.
By: Ben Gotz, Athletic Communications Student Assistant
After sweeping Ohio State in its final series of 2013, the University of Minnesota women's hockey team is getting some well-deserved rest for a few weeks before resuming their season at the beginning of 2014. It's hard to say they haven't earned it, as their 19-1-0 record gives this year's team the second most wins at the holiday break in team history, trailing only last year's undefeated team. The 2012-13 Gophers boasted a 20-0-0 mark at the holiday break en route to their 41-0-0 perfect season.
This year marks the fifth time in program history the team has concluded the first half of the season with one loss or less. Three of those seasons resulted in national championships. With half a season left to play, the Gophers are off to a strong start in their quest for back-to-back-to-back national championships.
Here's a look at how the Gophers have started over the history of the program:
1997-98: 9-4-1 start, 21-7-3 finish
1998-99: 11-1-1 start, 29-4-3 finish
1999-00: 12-5-0 start, 32-6-1 finish, national champions
2000-01: 11-4-1 start, 23-9-2 finish
2001-02: 12-2-3 start, 28-4-6 finish
2002-03: 15-2-1 start, 27-8-1 finish
2003-04: 13-0-1 start, 30-4-21 finish, national champions
2004-05: 15-1-2 start, 36-2-2 finish, national champions
2005-06: 12-5-1 start, 29-11-1 finish
2006-07: 14-3-1 start, 23-12-1 finish
2007-08: 13-4-1 start, 27-7-4 finish
2008-09: 15-2-1 start, 32-5-3 finish
2009-10: 15-3-2 start, 26-9-5 finish
2010-11: 13-6-0 start, 26-10-2 finish,
2011-12: 17-3-0 start, 34-5-2 finish, national champions
2012-13: 20-0-0 start, 41-0-0 finish, national champions
2013-14: 19-1-0 start
Be there when the Gophers resume play in 2014. Minnesota hosts Ohio State at Ridder Arena in a Friday/Saturday series Jan. 10-11, 2014.