|No. 5 Minnesota (16-5-2) vs. Vermont (5-13-4)|
|Game 1||Friday, Jan. 12 | 6 p.m.|
|Game 2||Saturday, Jan. 13 | 4 p.m.|
|Location||Ridder Arena | Minneapolis, Minn.|
|Travel||Local Weather | Parking | Preferred Hotels|
|Game 1||Game Day Live | BTN Plus Video | Free Audio | Live Stats|
|Game 2||Game Day Live | BTN Plus Video | Free Audio | Live Stats|
|Official Sites||Minnesota | Vermont|
|Social Media||@GopherWHockey | Facebook | Instagram|
Jan. 11, 2018
MINNEAPOLIS -- The No. 5 Golden Gopher women’s hockey team welcomes Hockey East foe Vermont to Minneapolis this Friday and Saturday for its final non-conference series of the regular season. Puck drop is set for 6:07 p.m. CT Friday and 4:07 p.m. CT Saturday in the first-ever series between the Gophers and Catamounts.
Social Media Night, Skate with the Gophers, and More
This Friday is Social Media Night at Ridder Arena. The first 500 fans in attendance will receive Minnesota Gopher touch screen knit gloves. The Gophers are also pleased to host Blaine Community Day on Friday. Minnesota’s annual Skate with the Gophers event will follow Saturday’s game.
About the Series: Minnesota vs. Vermont
This weekend’s series marks the first in program history between Minnesota and Vermont. This season, the teams share two common opponents in Merrimack and Minnesota Duluth. Vermont swept Merrimack with 3-0 and 2-1 wins but fell to UMD, 2-1. Meanwhile, Minnesota split with Merrimack with a 4-3 loss and a 4-1 win in the team’s season-opening weekend before going 3-0-1 against UMD.
Scouting the Catamounts
Vermont (5-13-4, 3-9-3 Hockey East) enters this weekend’s series after a loss and a tie with Providence last weekend. The Catamounts fell 4-1 before coming back for a 1-1 overtime tie in game two of the Hockey East series. Vermont is tied for sixth with Boston University in the Hockey East standings with 15 games played.
Sophomore forward Eve-Audrey Picard and junior forward Alyssa Gorecki are tied for the team lead with 13 points (5g-8a). Sixteen different players have at least one point for the Catamounts, but only Picard and Gorecki are in double figures for scoring. Vermont averages 1.82 goals per game and is 14-for-98 on the power play this season.
Sophomore Sydney Scobee and junior Melissa Black have split time in net for Vermont. Scobee has played in 15 games with a 4-8-3 record, a .923 save percentage, and a 2.65 goals against average while Black is 1-5-1 in nine appearances with a .899 save percentage and a 2.93 goals against average. Overall, the Catamounts are allowing 2.86 goals per game.
Last Time Out: Gophers Defeat Huskies
Minnesota (16-5-2, 10-4-2-0 WCHA) defeated St. Cloud State in a mid-week non-conference match-up earlier this week. Katie Robinson and Cara Piazza scored goals and Sidney Peters made 13 saves, including 12 over the second two periods as Minnesota outshot SCSU, 29-14. The Gophers took a 2-0 lead before the Huskies got on the board late in the third period. Piazza’s shorthanded breakaway proved to be the game-winner as the Maroon & Gold held off late pressure by the Huskies, including an extra attacker with an empty net over the final 90 seconds.
Twenty Years of Gopher Women’s Hockey
The Gophers enter this week's series with Vermont with an all-time program record of 613-125-51. The 2017-18 season marks the 21st season in Gopher women’s hockey history, and Minnesota secured the program's 599th and 600th all-time wins on the road at Bemidji State earlier this season.
Minnesota is perfect in road games this season at 10-0-0 with first half sweeps at Bemidji State, Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State, Mercyhurst, and Lindenwood.
Sophie Skarzynski (6g-15a), Nicole Schammel (11g-9a), Caitlin Reilly (8g-12a), Sydney Baldwin (4g-15a), Alex Woken (7g-9a), Cara Piazza (7g-9a), Patti Marshall (1g-13a), and Kippin Keller (2g-8a) all surpassed their point totals from last season.
• Minnesota is 14-0-1 this season when leading at the second intermission.
• Caitlin Reilly leads Minnesota with seven multi-point games so far this season.
• Cara Piazza is tied for third in the nation with four game-winning goals.
• Grace Zumwinkle has nine points (5g-4a) during a team-best five-game point streak.
Sydney Baldwin (4g-15a) and Patti Marshall (1g-13a) are among the WCHA’s top-scoring defensemen. Baldwin leads the WCHA and is seventh in the nation with 0.83 points per game while Marshall is fifth in the league and 26th in the NCAA at 0.61 points per game.
All five of Minnesota’s freshmen are seeing significant ice time with all four skaters picking up their first collegiate goals and goaltender Alex Gulstene playing in nine games (6-1-1). Grace Zumwinkle (11g-15a) leads the team in scoring while Taylor Wente (8g-7a), Olivia Knowles (5g-6a), and Emily Brown (2g-5a) have all registered points on the year.
WCHA’s Best Special Teams
Minnesota leads the WCHA and ranks fourth in the NCAA on the power play, converting on 25.4 percent of attempts at 18-for-71. The Gophers also lead the league and rank sixth in the nation at 89.1 percent (57-for-61) on the penalty kill. Grace Zumwinkle is tied for fourth in the NCAA lead with five power-play goals this season.
Sydney Baldwin recorded her 50th career point with an assist against Merrimack (Sept. 29). She is fifth on the team with 19 points (4g-15a) on the season, and her career total stands at 68 career points with 16 goals and 52 assists.
Johnson Coaches U.S. Under 18 Squad
Associate head coach Joel Johnson is currently at the IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship in Dmitrov, Russia, serving as the head coach of the U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team. Gopher signees Taylor Heise and Gracie Ostertag are representing the U.S. as well.
Home, Sweet Home
Including a 6-5-2 mark at home to start 2017-18, the Gophers have compiled a record of 116-11-12 in home games at Ridder Arena dating back to 2011-12.
Up Next: Gophers Return to WCHA Action
The Gophers return to WCHA action next weekend when the team travels to Columbus, Ohio, for a series with the Buckeyes on Friday, Jan. 19 and Saturday, Jan. 20.
Gophers Sign Six for 2018-19
Head coach Brad Frost and the Gophers are pleased to welcome six student-athletes for the 2018-19 season. Abigail Boreen (Somerset, Wis./Hill-Murray School), Taylor Heise (Lake City, Minn./Red Wing High School), Crystalyn Hengler (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie High School), Emily Oden (Edina, Minn./Edina High School), Gracie Ostertag (Shakopee, Minn./Shattuck St. Mary’s School), and Catie Skaja (New Prague, Minn./New Prague Senior High School) make up the newest class of Gophers.
Frost Enters Second Decade
Head coach Brad Frost is back for his 11th season at the helm of the program with a career record of 319-53-27 in his first 10 seasons. Last season, the Gophers celebrated Frost's 300th career coaching victory with a road sweep at Ohio State in October 2016.
Eight Gophers Headed to Olympic Games
Six players with Gopher ties were named to the 2018 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team in senior Kelly Pannek, Hannah Brandt ('16), Dani Cameranesi (’17), Amanda Kessel ('16), Gigi Marvin ('09), and Lee Stecklein (’17). Alumnae Noora Räty (’13) and Mira Jalosuo (’13) are expected to represent Finland at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games as well. Megan Bozek (USA), Sarah Potomak (Canada), and Amy Potomak (Canada) were centralized with their respective national teams in preparation for the Olympic Games but were not selected for the final Olympic rosters.
Marvin leads the USA Gophers in making her third Olympic Games appearance after earning silver at both the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C., and the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Kessel and Stecklein also return to the line-up for the Red, White, and Blue after earning silver in 2014. Brandt, Cameranesi, and Pannek are making their Olympic debuts.
The PyeongChang Games kick off in South Korea on Friday, Feb. 9 and conclude Thursday, Feb. 25. The women’s ice hockey competition begins Sunday, Feb. 11 at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in the PyeongChang Coastal Cluster. The gold-medal game will be held Monday, Feb. 22 at the Gangneung Hockey Centre. The U.S. and Finland join Canada and Russia in competing in Group A.
WCHA Final Faceoff, NCAA Frozen Four Return to Ridder Arena
Minnesota will once again serve as host of the WCHA Final Faceoff in 2017-18, marking the 11th time the league’s postseason tournament has been held at Ridder Arena. All-tournament ticket packages for the 2018 WCHA Final Faceoff, to be held Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4, are now on sale.
The NCAA Women's Frozen Four also returns to Ridder Arena this season, marking the fourth time the national championship will be played on the Gophers' home ice. Ticket packages are on sale now and include tickets to both national semifinals on Friday, March 16 and the national championship game on Sunday, March 18. Single-session tickets will go on sale at a later date, subject to availability. Ridder Arena hosted the NCAA Women's Frozen Four in 2010, 2013, and 2015.
Duo Serving as Captains
Seniors Sydney Baldwin and Cara Piazza are serving as the Gophers’ co-captains this year. The duo was part of back-to-back national championship teams their freshmen and sophomore years at the University of Minnesota, and they have helped the program advance to three-straight NCAA Frozen Fours. Baldwin, a health services management and human resources development major, is a Minnetonka, Minn., native. Piazza hails from Darien, Ill., and is studying mechanical engineering; she is the first Illinois native to captain the team since Megan Bozek in 2012-13.
WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year Grace Zumwinkle (Excelsior, Minn.) leads Minnesota’s talented freshmen class, which also includes defense Emily Brown (Blaine, Minn.), goaltender Alex Gulstene (Vancouver, B.C.), defense Olivia Knowles (Campbell River, B.C.), and forward Taylor Wente (Maple Grove, Minn.). Junior forward Jackie Pieper (Edina, Minn.), who spent three years at Merrimack College, rounds out Minnesota’s newcomers. Freshman Amy Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C.) joins the Gophers for the spring semester, but she is expected to red shirt the season after beginning the year centralized with Canada’s National Women’s team in preparation for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Minnesota’s 2017-18 roster includes 16 players from last year's team, which advanced to the program’s sixth-straight NCAA Frozen Four. Co-captains Sydney Baldwin and Cara Piazza and fellow seniors Sidney Peters and Caitlin Reilly lead this year’s team.
Gophers Tabbed as League Favorite
Minnesota was named the WCHA preseason favorite heading into the 2017-18 season. The Gophers collected four first-place votes and 34 points in the annual poll of the league's seven head coaches. The Gophers edged back-to-back defending WCHA champion Wisconsin by one point. Minnesota Duluth and Ohio State tied for third in the poll with 23 points each while Bemidji State (14 points), St. Cloud State (11 points), and Minnesota State (9 points) rounded out the poll.
Season Recap: A Look Back at 2016-17
Minnesota's 2016-17 season came to a close in the semifinal round of the 2017 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four. The Gophers posted an overall record of 26-8-5 while going 19-4-5 in WCHA play. Minnesota finished as WCHA regular season runner-up for the second-straight year and tied for third at the WCHA Final Face-Off. Under the leadership of senior captains Lee Stecklein, Dani Cameranesi, and Kate Schipper, Minnesota produced two of the nation’s top-10 scorers, multiple All-Americans for the sixth-straight year, a program-record 17 WCHA All-Academic Team honorees, and the NCAA’s second-ranked power-play.
Gophers in the NCAA Tournament
Minnesota made its 10th-straight and 15th overall appearance in the NCAA postseason last year. The Gophers saw their streak of NCAA title game appearances come to an end at five but made the program’s sixth-straight and 13th overall appearance at the Frozen Four. Since 2011-12, the Gophers are 15-2-0 in NCAA games. Minnesota owns an all-time record of 24-10-1 in NCAA tournament games since 2000-01 as well.
Quest for Eighth National Title in 2017-18
Despite falling short of a third-straight national title in 2017, Minnesota has still won four of the last six national championships and has seven national titles overall (2000, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016). The program looks for a historic eighth title national crown in 2017-18.
Alumni Spotlight: Courtney Kennedy
1/18/2018 - W. Ice Hockey
Courtney Kennedy checks in in the latest Gopher women's hockey alumni spotlight.
Five Minutes with Taylor Williamson
1/18/2018 - W. Ice Hockey
Taylor Williamson spoke with the Voice of Gopher Women's Hockey Dan Hamann before last Saturday's game.
Cameranesi Cherishes Olympic Opportunity
1/17/2018 - W. Ice Hockey
After injury derailed her senior year at Minnesota, Dani Cameranesi is set to make her Olympic debut with Team USA this winter.