Feb. 3, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS – Junior Jordyn Burns has seen action at both forward and defense for the Gophers during her two seasons at the University of Minnesota. The Chanhassen, Minn., native spent her freshman season at Syracuse before transferring to Minnesota to be closer to home. Burns’ flexibility on either end of the ice has been vital to the Gophers’ continued success.
How did you first start playing hockey?
I was six or seven years old when I started playing hockey. I moved to Minnesota from Illinois, and everyone in my neighborhood played hockey. I was jealous! I would be playing with them in the neighborhood, and then they’d have to leave to go to hockey. I went home and told my mom I wanted to play hockey, too. The next day, we went out and got equipment and I went to one of the neighbor’s practices and have been playing ever since.
How did you make the transition to Minnesota from Syracuse?
I initially picked Syracuse because I had always wanted to go out east to play hockey. I loved the school, so I went there for a year but then I made the decision to leave. My hope was to come back closer to home somewhere in the Midwest. Coach Frost and Coach Johnson showed interest in me, and when I visited I knew I would love to go to school and play hockey here.
As a transfer, it was weird coming in as almost like a second-year freshman. I had to go through all of that again, learning everyone’s role and how the team works. It was definitely an experience, but everyone made it a really easy transition. I knew a ton of people on the team already, so I found my niche pretty easily.
What has it been like playing both forward and defense in college?
In youth hockey, I was a forward, but then I switched to defense. All throughout high school and at Syracuse, I played defense. Then my first year here I played forward, which was crazy. It was hard, such a different position. I hadn’t played it for so long, and especially not at the collegiate level. This year I’ve been split between forward and defense, and it’s been good. I have a year of forward under my belt, so playing there isn’t as hard. I do prefer playing defense. I really like having the play in front of me. Once I came back to defense, I appreciated how much the forwards skate a lot more, too.
What was your high school hockey experience like?
I went to Benilde-St. Margarets, but I grew up playing hockey in Minnetonka. I had all those friends, and then I went to Benilde because that was what my parents always wanted. It was hard having to split from all those friends and then seeing them have so much success throughout high school. But, Benilde was great. I got to play with a couple of really good players, like Kate Bacon, who went to Providence, and Ashley Duffy, who went to Cornell, so that was fun. I was kind of a big fish in a little pond over there, which was something new to me.
What’s your major?
I am a psychology major, but I’m taking pre-med requirements. I was hoping to go to medical school, but I think I figured out that I would rather go to P.A. school to become to a physician’s assistant. I may work for a couple years and then go back to medical school. I always wanted to work in the medical field. I’d eventually like to be an emergency room doctor. I think that would be really fun.
Who’s your favorite opponent to play against?
You always get up to play Wisconsin and North Dakota. Those games are special because the other team thinks they are special, too. We hold each other to such high standards, so the play is always really good. It’s a game of mistakes when we play them, coming down to whoever makes the first mistake. It’s always really fun.
What is the biggest life lesson that you’ve learned from hockey?
There are a lot of things, but I think one thing that I’ve taken away from hockey is not to shy away from adversity. We haven’t been faced with a lot of adversity, but when you are faced with adversity, don’t shy away from it and instead rise above it. As a team, we’ve gotten pretty good at being hungry for more. Learning that lesson will serve me well for the rest of my life.
What do you think makes Gopher women’s hockey so special?
There are a lot of things, but it starts with the coaching staff. Right when you come in as a freshman or a transfer, they lay out the expectations and standards that you need to rise to, not only as a hockey player, but off the ice as well. I think, as a whole, we all believe in those morals and everything that the coaches set forth. The fact that everyone buys into it, which does not happen on every team, makes us successful.
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