Defense of National Titles Begins at Colgate
Oct. 2, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS - The No. 1 Golden Gopher women's hockey team enters the 2013-14 season on a NCAA-record 49-game winning streak. Under the direction of head coach Brad Frost (Bethel, 1996), Minnesota claimed back-to-back national titles in 2012 and 2013.
Minnesota opens the regular season on the road at Colgate this week before hosting WCHA rival Wisconsin in its home-opening series at Ridder Arena Oct. 11-12.
Minnesota opens the regular season on the road at Colgate this week. The Gophers are 2-0-0 all-time against the Raiders after sweeping them in their season-opener at Ridder Arena last season. Colgate posted an 11-21-3 overall record in 2012-13, finishing eighth in the ECAC Hockey standings.
The Raiders have six freshmen on their roster and return 16 student-athletes from a year ago, including three of their top five scorers. Junior Miriam Drubel is the Raiders' returning leading scorer after posting 19 points (9g-10a) in 35 games as a sophomore. Seniors Megan Wickens (captain) and Jocelyn Simpson (assistant captain) both posted 16 points in 35 games last season and return to lead the Raiders this year.
Colgate returns all three goaltenders from a year ago, including sophomore Ashlynne Rando, who posted a .902 save percentage and a 3.03 goals against average in 30 games last season. Juniors Susan Allen (8GP) and Brittney Brooks (2GP) each saw action in 2012-13 as well.
The Raiders skated to a 1-1 tie with Western University (Ont.) in their lone exhibition game this season. Edina, Minn., native Liz Trautz, a rookie forward, tallied Colgate's lone goal, and all three goaltenders played one period. Allen made two saves in the opening period while Brooks recorded six saves before Rando finished the game with 11 stops.
GOPHERS SHUT OUT EXHIBITION OPPONENTS
Minnesota posted two exhibition wins in preparation for the 2013-14 regular season, defeating the Japan National Team, 6-0, and blanking the University of British Columbia, 7-0. Junior Meghan Lorence led the Gophers with five points (2g-3a) in the two games. Senior Kelly Terry recorded four points (1g-3a), while Rachel Bona (3g) and Bethany Brausen (3a) each added three points. Amanda Leveille went 2-0-0 in net and made 21 saves in four periods of exhibition action, while Shyler Sletta stopped the lone shot she faced in two periods against British Columbia.
2013-14 SEASON OUTLOOK
Minnesota returns 14 players from last year's national championship team while losing six seniors. The Gophers are also without 2013 Patty Kazmaier Award winner Amanda Kessel and Lee Stecklein, who are currently training with the U.S. Women's National Team in hopes of competing for Team USA at the 2014 Olympic Games. Nevertheless, Minnesota looks to pick up where last season left off, riding a 49-game winning streak in search of the program's sixth national championship.
The Gophers return six of their top 10 scorers from last season, led by sophomore Hannah Brandt. In her rookie season, Brandt was second on the team with 82 points (33 goals-49 assists). Minnesota also returns sophomore Maryanne Menefee, who was fourth on the team with 38 points last season (16g-22a). Rachael Bona (32 points), Kelly Terry (32 points), Rachel Ramsey (29 points) and Milica McMillen (26 points) all surpassed the 25-point mark during the 2012-13 season and return to lead the Gophers' offense this year.
Minnesota's blue line will look significantly different than last season with the graduation of Megan Bozek, Mira Jalosuo, and Katie Frischmann and the temporary loss of Lee Stecklein to the U.S. National Team. Senior Baylee Gillanders, junior Rachel Ramsey and sophomore Milica McMillen will anchor the Gophers' defensive corps. Freshmen defensemen Kelsey Cline and Paige Haley will contribute immediately, and sophomore Brook Garzone and junior Jordyn Burns will likely see action at the blue line as well.
The Gophers will be young in goal, led by sophomore Amanda Leveille, who saw action in seven games with three starts during the 2012-13 season. Junior Shyler Sletta also returns in net, and freshman Sidney Peters is a newcomer with U.S. Under-18 Team and USA Hockey Development Camp experience. The trio will be tasked with filling the void left by the graduation of three-time All-American goaltender Noora Räty.
MINNESOTA ADDS SEVEN FRESHMEN FOR 2013-14
Seven freshmen join the Gophers for their rookie seasons this year. In addition to goaltender Sidney Peters and defensemen Kelsey Cline and Paige Haley, rookie forwards Dani Cameranesi, Kate Flug, Kate Schipper and Megan Wolfe will debut in Maroon and Gold this year. Six of the new players hail from Minnesota; Peters is a native of Geneva, Ill., but attended the North American Hockey Academy in Stowe, Vt.
Cameranesi was named the 2013 Minnesota Ms. Hockey after leading Blake to the Minnesota Class A State championship with 95 points as a senior. Flug was a three-time all-state honoree at Roseville Area High School who played with Bethany Brausen and Lee Stecklein as a freshman. Schipper led Breck to three Minnesota Class A State Tournament appearances and won a state title with Gopher teammate Milica McMillen in 2012. Wolfe was the 2013 Pioneer Press Player of the Year after recording 71 points as a senior at Eagan High School.
Cameranesi, Flug, Peters, Schipper and Wolfe all have experience with the U.S. Under-18 team at the IIHF Under-18 Women's World Championships. Blueliners Cline and Haley participated in USA Hockey national development camps as well. Cline played for Bloomington Jefferson and earned all-state honors as a senior, while Haley was a four-time all-state honoree at Red Wing High School.
BRAUSEN, FELLOW SENIORS TO CAPTAIN MINNESOTA
Senior forward Bethany Brausen has been named Minnesota's captain this season. Fellow seniors Sarah Davis, Baylee Gillanders and Kelly Terry will serve as assistant captains. Brausen, a native of Little Canada, Minn., has appeared in 120 career games and has 36 career points on 12 goals and 24 assists. A co-captain of the 2012-13 national championship squad, Brausen is a two-time All-WCHA academic team member and WCHA Scholar-Athlete award recipient.
Davis has tallied 91 career points on 30 goals and 61 assists in 115 career games for the Gophers. A native of Paradise, N.L., Davis participated in Canada's National Women's Team September Camp/Fall Festival last season and was a member of the Canadian Under-18 Team. At Minnesota, the forward has a career plus/minus ratio of +72.
Appearing in 120 career games, Gillanders has amassed 26 career points on three goals and 23 assists for the Gophers. Gillanders, a defenseman from Kyle, Sask., has earned academic All-WCHA and academic All-Big Ten honors. Her career plus/minus ratio of +103 is a team-best mark among active players.
Terry has skated in 117 career games. The right-handed forward has 101 career points on 35 goals and 66 assists. Last season, she was named to the All-WCHA third team and earned All-WCHA academic and WCHA Scholar-Athlete accolades. The Whitby, Ont., native was named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team as a freshman.
GOPHERS TABBED NO. 1 IN PRESEASON POLLS
Minnesota was picked to win the 2013-14 WCHA league title, according to the annual preseason poll of the league's head coaches. The Gophers collected seven first place votes and 49 points in the league's preseason poll. Wisconsin was second, followed by North Dakota, Ohio State, Minnesota Duluth and Minnesota State, respectively. Bemidji State and St. Cloud State tied for seventh place.
Minnesota earned the preseason No. 1 ranking in both the USCHO.com Division I Women's Poll and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Women's College Hockey Poll. The Gophers earned all but one first place vote in each preseason poll. Boston College and Clarkson rounded out the top three in both polls, respectively. Three WCHA teams were ranked in the top 10 as the Gophers were joined by No. 8/5 North Dakota and No. 6/7 Wisconsin (USCHO/USA Hockey rankings). Minnesota earned the unanimous No. 1 ranking in this week's USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll (Oct. 1).
BRANDT, CAMERANESI HONORED BY WCHA
Sophomore forward Hannah Brandt, an All-WCHA first team performer last season, has been named the league coaches' preseason WCHA Player of the Year, and freshman forward Dani Cameranesi was named preseason WCHA Rookie of the Year.
Last season, Brandt finished second in the nation in scoring and set a Minnesota freshman record with 82 points (33g-49a). She led the team with a +77 plus/minus rating. Brandt was a Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award top-10 finalist in addition to being named USCHO.com Rookie of the Year and WCHA Rookie of the Year.
Cameranesi joins the Gophers after a successful high school career at the Blake School. She was named the 2013 Minnesota Ms. Hockey and led Blake to the 2013 Minnesota Class A state title. A four-time all-state honoree, Cameranesi recorded 357 career points (200 goals and 157 assists). She was also a member of U.S. Under-18 Team.
GOPHERS IN SEASON-OPENERS
The Gophers are 15-1-0 all-time in season-openers. The lone loss was to Robert Morris at home on Oct. 3, 2008. Minnesota has won its last four season-openers by a combined score of 22-4, including two shutout victories. Last season, the Gophers defeated Colgate at home, 7-0 and 11-0, in their season-opening series. Minnesota has opened on the road in five seasons, most recently defeating Clarkson 5-0 on the road to start the 2010-11 season.
HOCKEY CITY CLASSIC TO HIGHLIGHT 2013-14 SLATE
Minnesota will host the 2014 Hockey City Classic Jan. 17 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The outdoor college hockey doubleheader will kick off with the Gopher women's hockey program taking on Minnesota State at 4:30 p.m. followed by the Gopher men's hockey program hosting Ohio State at 8 p.m.
The Gophers are on the road for much of the first half of the 2013-14 season, hosting just seven regular-season games at Ridder Arena from October to December. Minnesota opens the season on the road with a non-conference series at Colgate (Oct. 4-5) before opening WCHA play against Wisconsin at home the following weekend. The Gophers travel to Minnesota Duluth, Bemidji, Minnesota State (home-and-home) and St. Cloud State before hosting North Dakota Nov. 16-17. A pair of non-conference series follows as Minnesota heads east to Yale (Nov. 23-24) before hosting Princeton (Nov. 30-Dec. 1). A road trip to Ohio State (Dec. 7-8) closes out the first half of the season.
The Gophers face the Buckeyes in back-to-back series, welcoming Ohio State to Ridder Arena when play resumes in the new year (Jan. 10-11). The second half of the regular season is highlighted by the Hockey City Classic at TCF Bank Stadium on Jan. 17; the weekend marks a second home-and-home series with the Mavericks, including the Gophers' first outdoor hockey game. The final five weeks of the regular season alternate between home and away with Minnesota traveling to North Dakota (Jan. 31-Feb. 1) and Wisconsin (Feb. 14-15) between home series with St. Cloud State (Jan. 24-25), Bemidji State (Feb. 7-8) and Minnesota Duluth (Feb. 21-22).
The postseason begins with the WCHA First Round best-of-three series set for Feb. 28-March 2. Bemidji State is hosting this year's WCHA Final Faceoff at the Sanford Center March 7-8. The NCAA First Round is set for March 14-15, and the 2014 NCAA Women's Frozen Four is March 21-23 in Hamden, Conn.