Periodically, gophersports.com will catch up with Gopher women's hockey alums throughout the summer months. This feature of "Where Are They Now?" is former Gopher forward Krissy (Wendell) Pohl. One of the most highly decorated women's hockey players in Minnesota history, Wendell ranks second in school history in career points. Playing in 101 career games for the Maroon and Gold, Wendell scored 106 goals and 131 assists for 237 points. A three-time All-American, Wendell was the WCHA Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons to help the Gophers win national championships in 2004 and 2005. In her final year with the Gophers in 2005, Wendell earned the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, which is given to the top women's hockey player in the nation. She was Minnesota's and the WCHA's first recipient of the prestigious award. Wendell still ranks second in the Gopher record books in career points (237), goals (106), assists (133), power-play goals (33) and first in short-handed goals (16). Along with her collegiate accomplishments, Wendell was a two-time U.S. Olympian and captained Team USA to a bronze medal in 2006.
Gophersports.com: You started your college career in 2002 and ended it in 2005. What were some of your most memorable moments during your tenure?
Krissy Wendell Pohl: Being a part of two national championship teams (’04, ’05), beating Wisconsin in OT for the Final Five Championship in 2005 where great, but the friendships and memories are the things that mean the most.
GS: What did it mean to you to wear the M’?
KP: Being from Minnesota and being able to represent the U of M was a great honor, especially after watching my older brother who had represented the U the four years prior, I was excited to be a part of the tradition.
GS: Other than winning a national championship, what was your most memorable moment?
KP: My first home game in Ridder Arena was something that I will always remember. Stepping on the ice for the first time was a great feeling.
GS: How are you still involved in hockey?
KP: I played a little bit in Switzerland this past year but it got pretty busy with our daughter being so young and Johnny playing. I would like to get back involved sometime in the near future possibly with coaching.
GS: Since you’ve left Minnesota you were the captain of the U.S. Olympic Team in 2006. What was the hardest part about being a captain for Team USA?
KP: I was very fortunate and lucky because our team had several great leaders and they were great teammates so it made my job very easy!
GS: Although you haven’t competed with USA Hockey for a while, do you have an itch to get back into the game?
KP: I haven’t had a real itch to get back to playing to be honest. I miss seeing many of the teammates on a regular basis, but I am really happy with where I am at right now and enjoying being able to do other things.
GS: After the Olympics you and former Gopher men’s hockey player Johnny Pohl were married and the two of you had a daughter, Emmy. Talk a little about how your life has changed and becoming a mother.
KP: My mornings are much earlier and I have had to become a little bit of a planner. I used to be a much more spur of the moment person and I have had to become much more structured. Having a daughter has been one of the most difficult challenges but no question the one I have enjoyed the most. I feel very blessed to have such a great family!
GS: You and Johnny have lived in a couple different places since you graduated from the U. Where have you all been and which was your favorite place?
KP: Our first year after we got married we moved back to Toronto where Johnny was playing. This past year we went to Europe when Emmy was two months old. We started in Lugano, Switzerland (about 40 minutes north of Italy) and ended the last two months in Gothenburg, Sweden, which is the second largest city in Sweden. I really enjoyed Toronto since it was close to home and we were there a couple years so we made some close friends. Europe was a great experience for our family and we really enjoyed it. Toronto was probably my favorite place to live, mostly because it was in North America but I really enjoyed my time overseas and I am glad I got the chance to experience it!