MINNEAPOLIS – The 2017-18 season was one to remember for the Gopher women's hockey team as the Maroon & Gold won the program's first WCHA postseason title since 2013-14 and made its 11th-straight and 16th overall appearance in the NCAA postseason.
Sydney Baldwin collected WCHA Player of the Year, WCHA Defensive Player of the Year, and CCM/AHCA All-American First Team honors while Sidney Peters was selected as this year's recipient of the prestigious Hockey Humanitarian Award. Six newcomers joined the squad for their first season repping the Maroon & Gold while four seniors capped off their collegiate careers.
The Gophers shared some of their favorite moments from the 2017-18 season, highlighted by the WCHA Final Faceoff title and Sierra Smith's first career goal. Read the Gophers' responses below, and be sure to check back as GopherSports.com relives some of the best moments of the season.
Taylor Williamson: Beating Wisconsin to win the WCHA Tournament! Throughout the season our team put in so much work and truly became one big family so winning that collectively as a team was a blessing.
Kippin Keller: Winning the WCHA game was really fun at home! That was definitely one of my favorite on ice memories. Off the ice I have to say the debut of Serena and I’s paparazzi videos.
Nicole Schammel: My favorite memory of last season would have to be winning the WCHA Championship. We came so far as a team over the year, so winning that was really special -- totally had our backs up against the wall knowing we had to win to make the NCAA tournament. It was so fun seeing everyone come together as a team to win the tournament. In addition, another fond memory from the season was when Sierra Smith scored her first career goal!
Emma May: My favorite memory from this season has to be our WCHA win. I think that was just such an amazing moment because everyone competed to the best of their ability in their role and we really showed up as a team. Also the amount of love that we showed each other throughout the game. If the bench was mic-ed up, you would have heard non-stop encouragement, laughter, and love for the game. Everyone wanted that win, and the energy flowing up and down the bench was a clear sign of it. Although it was nice to win the game and the title, that was not the reason I picked this as my favorite memory. I picked it as my favorite memory because that was the moment that we really found out what kind of team we are -- gritty, passionate, and hardworking. Nothing beats holding up that #1 at the end and letting out a scream of excitement with your team, or better yet, your family.
Jackie Pieper: My favorite memory was Sierra scoring her first goal.
Sophie Skarzynski: My favorite memories from this year are the Jeanly Cup and playing hockey outside in St. Paul with the team and coaches. That was awesome! Also, winning the WCHA tournament, scoring against Wisconsin, and beating Wisconsin. JJ wearing figure skates at OSU - HAHAHA! Emily Brown on-ice celebrations whenever she scores -- she is incredible!
Emily Brown: I have a few favorite memories from the 2017-18 season. One of them was when JJ came out onto the ice in figure skates at a practice at Ohio State and toe picked as he was skating across the ice. Another one was learning to play the tambourine and forming a band with Olivia Knowles and Amy Potomak. The most memorable and fun game for me was beating Wisconsin to win the WCHA Final Faceoff tournament.
Grace Zumwinkle: My favorite memory of the 2017-2018 season was winning the WCHA Final Faceoff. It was thrilling to beat Ohio State and then Wisconsin in the same weekend and to win in front of all of our Minnesota fans at Ridder Arena. In addition, I enjoyed the away trips and spending time with everyone on the team.
Taylor Wente: Establishing new friendships with some of the best teammates in the country, experiencing Gopher Women's Hockey traditions like singing a song while we are leaving the rink after sweeping a team on the road, and winning the WCHA tournament.
Patti Marshall: My favorite memory from this year was watching Sierra getting her first collegiate goal in Mankato. I will never forget seeing how excited she was and how happy the team was for her.
Alex Gulstene: One of my favorite memories from this year was our first road trip of the year. We did rookie karaoke, and hearing all of us sign our own songs was so fun -- especially hearing Zum sing! It was a great to see everyone just having fun and laughing with each other. The song choices were also great especially hearing the coaches' feedback on the song choices. It was also even better when some of the staff members participated in the karaoke!
Sidney Peters: I loved being the underdogs in the WCHA this year and pulling out two huge upsets to win the league. It made me very proud of all of the work our team had put in during the season despite the frustration we faced.
Whitecaps Add Two More Gopher Alums
6/20/2018 - W. Ice Hockey
Hannah Brandt and Lee Stecklein have signed contracts to play with the Minnesota Whitecaps for the 2018-19 season.
Raty Returns to Kunlun Red Star
6/19/2018 - W. Ice Hockey
Gophers alum Noora Raty has re-signed with the CWHL’s Kunlun Red Star for the 2018-19 season.
Leveille Returns to State of Hockey
6/18/2018 - W. Ice Hockey
University of Minnesota alumna Amanda Leveille has signed with the NWHL's Minnesota Whitecaps for the 2018-19 season.