Border Battle Set for Home-Opener
Oct. 9, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS – The No. 1 Golden Gopher women’s hockey team (2-0-0) hosts No. 4/5 Wisconsin (2-0-0) in its home-opening series at Ridder Arena this weekend. Puck drop is set for 6 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday.
MINNESOTA TO RAISE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP BANNER
The Gophers will take one final look at their perfect 2012-13 season when they raise the 2013 NCAA National Championship banner before Friday's game. Fans should arrive to Ridder Arena by 5:45 p.m. to be in their seats for the raising of the banner.
STUDENT DAY AND MAROON MADNESS SET FOR FRIDAY
The Gophers are pleased to host two promotions for Friday's game: Student Day and Maroon Madness. The first 200 students at Ridder Arena will receive a free shirt. All students receive free admission with their U-Card. Maroon Madness is a special invitation to all Gopher student-athletes to support Gopher women's hockey. Pizza will be available.
ABOUT THE SERIES: GOPHERS VS. BADGERS
The Gophers are 35-26-8 all-time against the Badgers. The most recent series saw Minnesota earn 2-0 and 5-1 wins over UW on the road in Madison (Jan. 25-27, 2013). The Gophers have won the last six meetings between the two teams.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: WISCONSIN BADGERS
Wisconsin opened the season at home with a sweep over WCHA foe Minnesota State last weekend. The Badgers skated to 3-0 and 5-1 victories over the Mavericks, led by Brittany Ammerman’s four points (three goals, one assist). Senior goaltender Alex Rigsby made 53 saves on 54 shots for a series save percentage of .981.
Wisconsin posted a 23-10-2 overall record last season and tied for second in the WCHA regular-season standings with a 17-9-2 league mark. The Badgers’ season ended with a 2-1 loss to North Dakota in the semifinal round of the 2013 WCHA Final Face-Off.
This year, UW has five freshmen on the roster and returns 19 student-athletes from a year ago, including six of their top 10 scorers. Senior Madison Packer is Wisconsin’s returning leading scorer after posting 37 points (18g-19a) in 35 games as a junior. Ammerman, a redshirt junior, is back in the Badgers’ lineup after missing most of the 2012-13 season. Rigsby anchors Wisconsin’s defensive corps as the program’s career leader in saves (2530). She has amassed 85 career victories in net for the Badgers and needs seven wins to become the Wisconsin program leader.
GOPHERS EXTEND WIN STREAK TO 51 WITH WINS OVER COLGATE
Minnesota opened the season with a pair of non-conference wins on the road at Colgate University last weekend, topping the Raiders 3-1 and 8-3. Junior Rachael Bona led the Gophers with seven points (4g-3a) in the two games. Ten Gophers recorded points against Colgate, and sophomore Amanda Leveille went 2-0-0 in net and combined for 45 saves. She posted a .918 save percentage in her first complete series for the Gophers.
GOPHERS OFFER YOUTH VIP PASS
After a successful first year of the program last year, the Gophers are pleased to offer the Youth VIP Hockey Pass again this season. Over 1,300 fans took advantage of the program during the 2012-13 season. This program provides youth with free access to all regular season Gopher women's hockey games at Ridder Arena.
Boys and girls in eighth grade and younger who play on a youth hockey team are eligible to sign up as an individual or as a team for the Gopher Youth VIP Hockey Pass. Online registration is available, or you may sign up in the lobby of Ridder Arena at any Gopher women's hockey home game.
Youth VIP Hockey Pass holders who pick up their pass at either of this weekend’s games will receive an autographed picture of a current or former Gopher women’s hockey player.
BONA PICKS UP FIRST WCHA WEEKLY HONOR
Rachael Bona took home Minnesota’s first WCHA weekly award of the season this week, as the junior forward was named WCHA Offensive Player of the Week after recording seven points on four goals and three assists to lead the Gophers to a series sweep of Colgate University. Bona's four goals included both game-winners and one unassisted short-handed tally. She finished the weekend with a +7 rating and 10 shots.
GOPHERS LAND AMONG THE NATION’S STATISTICAL LEADERS
Rachael Bona leads the nation with 3.50 points per game after her two-game, seven-point effort against Colgate. She is tied for the national lead in goals per game (2.00) and game-winning goals (2).
Hannah Brandt is tied for second in the nation with 2.50 assists per game. Three Gophers are tied for seventh in the country in points per game for defensemen (1.00 points per game): Rachel Ramsey, Milica McMillen and Kelsey Cline. Cline and fellow freshman Kate Schipper are among the nation’s rookie scoring leaders, landing in a tie for ninth with 1.00 points per game.
Amanda Leveille shares the national lead in winning percentage at a perfect 2-0-0 (1.000). Her 2.01 goals against average is 14th in the nation, and she ranks 15th with a .918 save percentage.
MINNESOTA MAINTAINS NO. 1 RANKING
The Golden Gophers remained No. 1 in both national polls this week. The USCHO.com poll ranks the Gophers number one with 150 points and all 15 first place votes. No. 2 Boston College (1-0-0) and No. 3 Clarkson (3-0-0) round out the top three, while Cornell (0-0-0) and Wisconsin (2-0-0) are tied for fourth. In the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, Minnesota received 18 of 19 first-place votes. No. 3 Clarkson was the only other school to receive a first-place vote.
MINNESOTA ADDS SEVEN FRESHMEN FOR 2013-14
Seven freshmen have joined the Gophers for their rookie seasons this year, five of which have already made their debut in Maroon and Gold. Rookie defensemen Kelsey Cline, Paige Haley and Megan Wolfe and forwards Dani Cameranesi and Kate Schipper saw action against Colgate. Goaltender Sidney Peters and forward Kate Flug round out the newcomers. 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 is Minnesota’s captain this season. Fellow seniors Sarah Davis, Baylee Gillanders and Kelly Terry are serving as assistant captains. Brausen, a native of Little Canada, Minn., was co-captain of the 2012-13 national championship squad and is a two-time All-WCHA academic team member and WCHA Scholar-Athlete award recipient. 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. Gillanders, a defenseman from Kyle, Sask., has earned academic All-WCHA and academic All-Big Ten honors during her career, while Terry, a right-handed forward from Whitby, Ont., was a 2013 All-WCHA third team honoree.
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 opened the season at No. 1 in both the USCHO.com Division I Women’s Poll and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Women’s College Hockey Poll as well.
BRANDT, CAMERANESI HONORED BY WCHA
Sophomore forward Hannah Brandt, an All-WCHA first team performer last season, was named the league coaches’ preseason WCHA Player of the Year, and freshman forward Dani Cameranesi was named preseason WCHA Rookie of the Year.
GOPHERS IN SEASON-OPENERS
The Gophers improved to 16-1-0 all-time in season-openers with their 3-1 win over Colgate University last weekend. Minnesota has won its last five season-openers by a combined score of 25-5, including two shutout victories. The Gophers have opened on the road in six seasons.
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. After opening the season on the road with a non-conference series at Colgate (Oct. 4-5), Minnesota opens WCHA play against Wisconsin at home Oct. 11-12. 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.