The 2012-13 University of Minnesota women's hockey season officially began today as the defending National Champions stepped foot on the ice at Ridder Arena for their first practice of the season. The Golden Gophers have been tagged by both USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine as the unanimous preseason No. 1.
The Maroon & Gold return 15 letterwinners for last year's championship squad, including a pair of AHCA All-Americans in senior Megan Bozek and junior Amanda Kessel. Head coach Brad Frost, who enters his sixth season at the reigns, has brought in six freshmen and a sophomore transfer in Jordyn Burns to assist this team in reaching their goal of repeating.
If Minnesota is going to repeat, they will be doing it in front of their home crowd since the 2013 NCAA Frozen Four will be hosted at Ridder Arena from March 22-24. By accomplishing that feat, it would only be the third time a host school has won the title since the NCAA recognized women's ice hockey as a collegiate sport 12 years ago.
The Gophers' journey to fulfill that goal begins this coming Friday, Sept. 28 as they open up the 2012-13 season against Colgate. The puck drop against the Raiders is slated for 7:07 p.m. at Ridder Arena.