Today was a great day for the team in Helsinki. We had an early breakfast and
lunch, then we headed to the rink for a quick strength and conditioning lesson,
which was followed by a team practice.
After that, we had some down time. People chose to stay back and rest and catch
up on homework, but a couple teammates and I decided go see downtown Helsinki.
The city, looking by the pictures, had the appearance of Times Square. The
buildings were very bright and animated! Downtown was beautiful, not to
mention, the chocolate is amazing!
We had dinner with the team back at
the hotel, and now we are starting to preparing for the game tomorrow versus
Finland! All of us are excited and ready to get back to action here at the Four
Today in Finland, we had the same routine as Tuesday. We woke up had breakfast,
some meetings and then it was game time.
We ate our pregame meal at 10 a.m., and I made the mistake of having coffee
with my meal. Let's just say coffee, pasta and salad does not mix well! After
our meal, I just laid around, listened to music and hung out before we departed
for the rink. At the rink, I like to joke around and sing and dance as part of
my pregame routine, so I stay loose and have fun.
It is nice to have current and old
gophers on this team. However, a little fun fact is that I spend a lot of time
with a current rival and Wisconsin Badger, Brianna Decker. I have known her
since I was young, and we are really good friends despite having the bitter
It was a tough game today versus Canada as it did not go in our favor. We
3-1 loss, but the good thing is we can
move on and learn from that game.
Tomorrow, we have an off day from games, but we will keep busy since our
schedule is jam packed with activities and meetings.
This week, three
current and three former Gophers are suiting up for the U.S. Women's National
Team for the Four Nations Cup in Vantaa & Kerava, Finland. This blog will
give you a first-hand insight on what the current Gophers (Megan Bozek, Amanda
Kessel and Milica McMillen) are experiencing during their time with the
Hello from Finland!
We just ended Day 2 of our week here in Finland. Today, we played our first game and pulled out a 4-0 win over Sweden!
We got to sleep in today, which was nice after traveling all day and then
having practice right after. We had our pregame meal, a team meeting, and then
had some down time. Everyone has their own ways of preparing for game, such as:
getting treatment, doing homework or taking naps. I decided to go with a little
homework and then a nap before leaving for the rink.
Our first game of the tournament was against Sweden, and we won 4-0 in a fast
and physical game. One of our defensemen, Lisa Chesson, got hurt in the opening
two minutes, right after she scored the first goal. So we had to roll with six
defensemen for the rest of the game. We scored two more goals in the
second period, and then in the third period, my roommate Brianna Decker scored!
It was a lot of fun getting to wear the USA jersey again. This is only my
second time with the senior team and first major tournament. We have all
different players ranging from veterans to first-timers. The veterans are a lot
of help and have great advice on and off the ice for us newer players, so we
get to know the team and program better. Meghan Duggan, who is the assistant
captain of the team, pulled some of us aside today to tell us to have fun and
relax. It's really nice to have the support around us as we try to adjust, and
it's worked so far!
We play Canada tomorrow, so it's time to get some rest!
This week, three current and three former Gophers are suiting
up for the U.S. Women's National Team for the Four Nations Cup in Vantaa &
Kerava, Finland. This blog will give you a first-hand insight on what the
current Gophers (Megan Bozek, Amanda Kessel and Milica McMillen) are
experiencing during their time with the national team.
We just got back from a good skate today. Our travel day was very long,
consisting of a two and half hour flight to New York City, which was followed
by a six-hour layover and then a seven and a half hour flight to Helsinki! We
made it safe and had a little bit of time to spare at the hotel before heading to
All is college players that were joining the team today thought our skating
would be prettybad, due to all the
traveling, but it turned out good. Helsinki gets very dark around 4 p.m., so it
is kind of depressing walking out of the rink and having our day gone so fast!
The weather here is rainy and dreary, which isn't fun for us since we can't
walk around and sightsee, but then again most of us are more interested in
getting some sleep over touring Helsinki.
It's been really exciting being able to spend time with friends from other
collegiate teams, especially my roommate Hilary Knight, who played for
Wisconsin the past four years. Here are a few fun facts about her:
- She plays for the Boston Blades in the CWHL.
- She is from Idaho.
- She knows how to use a lasso/rope.
- She played the viola and the saxophone when she was younger.
The University of Minnesota women's hockey team held its Media Day
Tuesday afternoon at Ridder Arena. Head coach Brad Frost was accompanied
by team captains Megan Bozek and Bethany Brausen to answer questions
from the local media. Below are a few questions highlighting the event
along with the video posted above.
COACH FROST: I can't believe the season is here already, but we are very
excited and ready for that. We are getting going Friday night against
Colgate, and I think it is the first time that we have played them; at
least it is in the 12 years that I have been here. So we don't know a
lot about them, but we are still excited to get them into our barn here
on Friday and Saturday.
Our two captains are senior defender
Megan Bozek and junior Bethany Brausen, and so we know that we have
great leadership from these two but also our strong senior class. We
lost a lot certainly last year with our senior class, who contributed a
bunch for us and helped us win the national championship.
add seven new players in six freshmen and a transfer. Coming into the
season, we would expect them to contribute early for us. More
importantly our returners, which we have 15 of those from last year's
team, we hope they can elevate their game and help in the scoring area
We are deep in all positions, which is exciting for
us. At our goaltender position, Noora Raty returns for her senior year,
and she is a two-time All-American. She is obviously a tremendous goalie
and one of the best in the world, if not the best. We have a freshman
in Amanda Leveille from the Ottawa area, who will get some time this
year. She has shown some great things already here in the first week of
At the defensemen positions, we are led my Megan
[Bozek] and Mira Jalosuo, who is a senior as well. We have two new
freshman defensemen in Milica McMillen and Lee Stecklein, who are both
highly touted players. Megan [Bozek], who is 5-9 or 5-10 is probably our
shortest defenseman this year, so we have some big kids back there who
all can shoot and move the puck. So we are really excited about all six
of our defensemen on the backend.
And then upfront, we are
definitely led by junior Amanda Kessel, our leading scorer from last
year and an All-American as well. We also expect big things from Bethany
Brausen, Kelly Terry, Sarah Davis, Rachael Bona, Meghan Lorence and
then some of our freshmen too.
We are just super excited about
the year. It is just a great time of year, and it is a brand new team
for us. We can't look at last year's team and think we are going to be
identical to that because we are a completely different team. Having
said that, we will have the same goals of winning the WCHA conference
and tournament. Obviously, getting to the Frozen Four, which is being
held here at Ridder Arena come March. It is a great opportunity for us
to play in a great environment and play back here in front of our own
Our league is tremendous again, as it always has been.
There is a reason our league has won the last 13 national championships.
Today it came out that we are favored and picked to finish first in the
WCHA. North Dakota also received a vote for I believe the first time in
their history, and Wisconsin received the other first-place vote and
then us getting six. Wisconsin, North Dakota, Duluth and us should all
be in the mix again for the conference title. As you all know, if you
can win your conference tournament and/or the conference regular season
championship, there is a good chance you will be contending in March,
which is what we hope to be doing.
Again, we look forward to the year, and thanks for being here. We will now answer any questions you may have.
does it give the team to have that trophy sitting there and have that
experience to have made it all the way and won it? How does it change
the aura surrounding the team and the program? BETHANY BRAUSEN: I
think Coach Frost has already emphasized. It has been really, really
great and a great experience, especially with all the returners coming
back. It is really cool to have that experience under your belt.
However, the big focus this year is that that was last year and that it
where it stays. It gives you something to strive for. Like you said, it
also something that we need to know that it is not an indication of how
this season will go. It will be just as hard, if not even harder now
that we have that big 'X' on our back. Thought it was great to get the
monkey off our back last year, I think it is very important, especially
this year, that we come out and hopefully, do the same thing this
With having been on a coaching staff that has won a
couple national titles and done it back-to-back as well, what is
tougher winning a national championship, or trying to repeat the next
year? COACH FROST: It is going to be really difficult. I told
our players, and both Megan and Bethany have done this, but when you
have the 'M' on your chest, it is hard enough. There are so many players
on other teams within the WCHA that would love nothing more than to
kick the Gophers around a little bit. That may be because they didn't
get recruited, or they did and we went with another. Whatever the
reason, we are a team that has been near or at the top ever since our
program started. So we have the 'M' on our chest and now the target on
our back, and I think that is exciting. Wisconsin dealt with it, Duluth
dealt with it, we dealt with it in 2004 and 2005, and it did bring out
the best of every team. Our players are aware of that we will have to be
at our best every game, and we will take it chip-by-chip and hopefully,
end out on top. But it's difficult, and if people think it is easy...they
are nuts. Again, we are going to focus on the process of the things
that we do well because March is a long ways away. I know that is what
everybody wants to talk about - repeating, back-to-back national
championships, etc. - but that is so far out of our minds right now.
Does having a new group of players that are so highly skilled generate more competition in practice? MEGAN
BOZEK: Absolutely. The battle in practice is as if we were playing
Wisconsin. We know that if we set a high standard for ourselves, then we
won't expect anything less than everyone's best every day. So we have a
healthy rivalry when we play games in practice, but it will make
everyone better in the long run.
The University of Minnesota women's hockey team had an
eventful Saturday as they participated in two aspects of the Gopher football
game day experience with signing autographs before the game and receiving their
2012 National Championship rings during the game.
At 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, the 2012-13 team went into Block G and signed autographs
for fans of all ages up until 15 minutes before kickoff. Following the
30-minute long autograph session, the Gophers entered the game to cheer on
their fellow student-athletes.
At the end of the first quarter, the National Championship squad met near in
the field in preparation for the ring ceremony. And during the first TV timeout
of the second quarter, the squad walked out on the field and was presented
their championship rings in front of a gold-out crowd of 44,921 Gopher
To top off the fun-filled day had by the Gophers, the team was able to cheer on
the football team to a victory and a 3-0 start to the 2012 season.
The University of Minnesota's 2012-13 women's hockey team will be making an appearance before and during the Gophers' football game this Saturday against Western Michigan.
Before the football game kicks off at 11 a.m., head coach Brad Frost and the 2012-13 team will be located in "Block G" signing autographs. They will be positioned right in front of Mariucci Arena from 10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
Following their autograph session, the 2012 National Championship team will be honored during the first TV timeout of the second quarter. During this short intermission, the Gophers will be presented with their championship rings on the field.
The team captains for the 2012-13 Gopher women's hockey season have been announced. Serving as captains this season will be senior defenseman Megan Bozek and junior forward Bethany Brausen.
Bozek, a native of Buffalo Grove, Ill., earned All-America and All-WCHA honors last season. She was Minnesota's top-scoring defenseman in the 2011-12 campaign, and ranks fourth on the Gophers' all-time top scorers list among defensemen. Bozek played with Team USA at the World Championships in April and helped the U.S. to a silver medal.
"I am very honored to be named a captain of the defending national championship team," said Bozek. "It is a great privilege to wear the M, and we have a lot of depth this year that will make us successful, on and off the ice."
Brausen hails from Little Canada, Minn., and was the 2010 Ms. Hockey award winner. She played in every game for the Gophers last season, scoring nine points. Brausen is a top performer when it comes to academics, earning WCHA Scholar Athlete and Academic All-WCHA honors last year.
"Being a team captain for the University of Minnesota is something far beyond what I could have wished for," explained Brausen. "What means the most to me is not the patch on my jersey, but to have been nominated by a team full of captains. Every member of this team is a leader, and no matter who wears the captain's patch, we all have a role in leading this team. I am so honored to have been put in this position with such an amazing team."
The defending national champions will start the 2012-13 season with a home series against Colgate Sept. 28-29 at Ridder Arena. The Gophers return 17 letterwinners from last year's squad, including three players who have earned All-America acclaim. Minnesota adds six freshmen and a sophomore transfer to its roster for the season.
Head coach Brad Frost returns for his 13th season with the Gopher women's hockey program, and sixth as the head coach. Assistant coaches Joel Johnson and Nadine Muzerall also return to the coaching staff.
The University of Minnesota's Ridder Arena will serve as the site of the 2013 WCHA Final Face-off and the NCAA Frozen Four, giving the Gophers the opportunity to defend their WCHA Tournament title and NCAA title on their home ice this season.
"We have a great group this year and everyone knows what is at stake," said Bozek. "There is a target on our backs, but we are willing to sacrifice and work hard to perform at our best all year. Everyone is very excited to get the season rolling in just a few weeks. It is a great time for our freshmen to put on the jersey for the first time, and for the the returners to come back with the drive to improve and defend our national title."
"I see this as being another great year, building off the momentum from last year and the national championship," said Brausen. "My hope is not that we not only remain as good as last season, but get better. It is a new season and we will treat it that way. The expectations will be to strive to be better players and people."
Eight Gopher players from past and present represented their national teams at a three-game series between the United States and Canada in Calgary last weekend. Team USA swept the series, winning 4-1 on Thursday, 4-2 on Friday and 4-3 on Sunday. A photo gallery of the series from USA Hockey can be found here. Hockey Canada has photo galleries as well as a post-game video interview with Kelly Terry from Friday's game here.
In Thursday's game, Gopher sophomore Rachel Ramsey opened up the scoring, notching a goal 8:46 into the first period. Ramsey earned a second point in the game, getting an assist on Jillian Dempsey's goal in the second period. Canada answered with a goal late in the second to being the score to 2-1, but the Americans scored twice in the third period to bring the final score to 4-1. The U.S. outshot Canada 30-17 in the game. Click here for the USA Hockey recap and here for the Hockey Canada recap.
On Friday, Gopher junior Kelly Terry got Canada on the board first, scoring 15:35 into the opening period. The U.S. answered before the period ended as Jocelyne Lamoreaux tallied a goal, assisted by Gopher senior Megan Bozek. Team USA would score two goals in the second period to Canada's one, bringing the score to 4-2 at the end of the second, which would prove to be the final score. Canada led in shots at 23-20 for the game. Click here for the USA Hockey recap and here for the Hockey Canada recap.
In Sunday's series finale, Canada led 1-0 at the end of the first period. Early in the second period, Gopher junior Sarah Davis gave Canada a 2-0 lead with a goal 6:56 into the period. The U.S. responded two minutes later with a Brianna Decker goal, assisted by Megan Bozek. Team USA scored two additional goals in the second to lead 3-2 going into the third period. Each team added one goal in the final period, bringing the score to 4-3. Again, the Canadians outshot the Americans with a 33-26 tally for the game. Click here for the USA Hockey recap and here for the Hockey Canada recap.
The Under-22 teams for Hockey Canada and USA Hockey will face off in a three-game series Aug. 16-19 in Calgary. Between Team Canada and Team USA, eight Gopher players will be represented in the series.
Playing for Canada will be Gopher juniors Kelly Terry and Sarah Davis, both forwards. Davis also represented Canada in the 2012 Meco Cup. Terry has participated in a Canadian Under-22 development camp, and was a member of the Canadian Under-18 team in 2010.
On the U.S. roster are Sarah Erickson, Hannah Brandt, Megan Bozek, Rachel Ramsey, Anne Schleper, and Lee Stecklein. The U.S. team is not a true Under-22 team, as several members are at or above age 22. The Gopher contingent includes two forwards (Erickson, Brandt) and four defensemen (Bozek, Ramsey, Schleper, Stecklein). Brandt and Stecklein will be joining the Gophers as freshmen this fall, while Ramsey will be a sophomore. Bozek will enter her senior season this fall. Erickson and Schleper graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2012.
All six Gophers who represent Team USA participated in the National Festival in Blaine, Minn., last week. The last time this series was held (2010), Bozek. Erickson and Schleper were all on the U.S. team. Stecklein played for the U.S. at the 2012 Under-18 World Championships, while Brandt played on the Four Nations Cup team last fall.
In addition to the six Gopher players representing the United States, former Minnesota head coach Laura Halldorson will serve as an assistant coach for the series.
Team USA and Team Canada will play at 8 p.m. (central) on both August 16 and 17, and will finish the series on August 19 with an 11 a.m. (central) game. Games will be held at the WinSport Canada Athletic & Ice Complex in Calgary.
Real-time updates from the games will be available on Twitter @usahockeyscores
The U22 series vs. Canada will be played for the fifth time, with the first series contested in 2006. The series was not played in 2011 or 2009. The U.S. is 2-7-3 all-time against Canada in this event.