June 26, 2013The Big Ten Network announced Wednesday night on the sixth annual BTN Awards Show that the University of Minnesota women's hockey team has been named the Big Ten Women's Team of the Year. In addition, the Golden Gophers' head coach Brad Frost was tagged Big Ten Women's Coach of the Year. Frost orchestrated the Gophers to a perfect 41-0 record, back-to-back National Championships and arguably the greatest season in the history of women's hockey.
After winning the 2012 National Championship, the Gophers entered the 2012-13 season with high expectations and an `X' on their back, but no one predicted the team to do what they did. Minnesota returned a trio of All-Americans in Megan Bozek, Amanda Kessel and Noora Raty, but Frost was unsure how the seven new additions would fill the shoes of the nine players lost from the 2011-12 championship squad. Little did he know that the dynamic of the team would mesh immediately and ultimately generate the first undefeated season in NCAA women's ice hockey history.
"I still remember on day one talking to our players about the importance of the process and not the outcome, and I made a comment such as `We're going to lose a hockey game, so it's not always about the wins and losses. Let's focus on the process and those things'," said Frost, who just completed his sixth season at the helm. "41 games later we are undefeated, and it's just mind boggling. I can't even believe it. This is an incredibly special team and one that will go down in the history books as one of the best ever, if not the best ever."
The Gophers were nearly unstoppable as they were lethal in all facets of the game. Their offense was the best in the country generating 216 goals (5.27 per game), which ranks third in NCAA history, and hoisting the best power-play conversion percentage in NCAA history (32.2% - 59/183). On the other end of the ice, their defense was stifling allowing just 36 goals (0.88 per game), which is tied for the NCAA record. One of the most astonishing statistics is that Minnesota trailed their opponents in only five games. Of those five games, the total amount of time they trailed was 50 minutes, 42 seconds.
With a 6-3 win over Boston University in the National Championship game, Minnesota garnered its fourth NCAA title and repeated as National Champions in front of a sold-out Ridder Arena crowd. Frost was named the American Hockey Coaches Association Coach of the Year, while a number of Gophers received conference and national recognition, including the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Winner, three All-Americans, four Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Finalists and seven All-WCHA Team honorees.
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