No. 1 Gophers to Visit No. 7 Bulldogs
Oct. 16, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS – The No. 1 Golden Gopher women’s hockey team (4-0-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) travels north to face No. 7 Minnesota Duluth (2-1-1, 0-1-1-0 WCHA) in its first league series on the road this season. Puck drop is set for 6:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minn.
ABOUT THE SERIES: GOPHERS VS. BULLDOGS
The Gophers are 36-24-6 all-time against Minnesota Duluth. Minnesota swept UMD in two series last season; most recently, Minnesota posted 5-0 and 6-2 wins over the Bulldogs at Ridder Arena (Feb. 1-2, 2013). The Gophers defeated UMD, 4-1 and 4-0, in Duluth last season (Nov. 2-3, 2012). Dating back to the 2010-11 season, Minnesota has won 10 of the last 11 meetings between the two teams.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: MINNESOTA DULUTH BULLDOGS
No. 7 Minnesota Duluth (2-1-1, 0-1-1-0 WCHA) traveled to North Dakota last weekend, dropping a 4-3 decision on Saturday before skating to a 3-3 tie on Sunday. The Bulldogs gave up three unanswered goals in Saturday’s loss after leading 3-1 entering the third period. Sunday, the Bulldogs erased a two-goal deficit to tie North Dakota, 3-3. UND earned the extra league point by winning the shootout, 1-0.
Minnesota Duluth recorded a 14-16-4 overall record last season and tied for fourth in the WCHA regular-season standings with a 13-13-2 conference mark. The Bulldogs dropped a best-of-three series to Ohio State in the first round of the WCHA playoffs, falling 4-2 and 3-0 to end their season.
UMD lost nine players from its 2012-13 squad, including junior defenseman Brigette Lacquette, who is training with the Canadian National Team in hopes of making the 2014 Winter Olympic team. The Bulldogs added seven freshmen this year and return three of their top-five scorers. Junior forward Jenna McParland led the team with 28 points (11g-17a) in 33 games last season. Alternate captain Zoe Hickel also notched 22 points (10g-12a) in 30 appearances.
Minnesota Duluth also returns three goaltenders from a year ago; sophomore goaltenders Kayla Black and Karissa Grapp have both seen action already this season, and Sofia Carlstrom rounds out the trio. Black is 1-1-1 with a .930 save percentage and 2.28 goals against average in three games played, while Grapp is 1-0-0 with a .938 save percentage. She allowed one goal in her lone appearance this season.
Freshman defenseman Lara Stalder leads the WCHA in scoring with nine points (2g-7a) in four games for the Bulldogs, who swept Connecticut at home in their season-opening series. Stalder leads the nation in scoring among rookies with 2.25 points per game. Her 1.75 assists per game average is the best in the NCAA as well.
LEAGUE’S TOP DEFENSE MEETS TOP OFFENSE
Minnesota enters this weekend’s series tied for the WCHA’s best defense, having allowed just five goals in four games (1.25 goals per game). Meanwhile, Minnesota Duluth leads the conference in scoring with 19 goals in four games (4.75 goals per game). The Gophers’ offense ranks third with 15 goals in four games (3.75 goals per game), while UMD has allowed eight goals in four outings.
WEEKEND REWIND: GOPHERS SWEEP BADGERS
Minnesota maintained its unblemished recorded with a series sweep over visiting Wisconsin last weekend. The Gophers skated to 2-1 and 2-0 wins to improve to 4-0-0 on the season.
On Friday, Minnesota picked up a 2-1 win in front of 2,754 fans at Ridder Arena. Sophomore Milica McMillen broke a 1-1 tie midway through the third period when she netted her second power-play goal of the season. Sophomore goaltender Amanda Leveille made a career-high 34 saves, and fellow sophomore Maryanne Menefee scored Minnesota’s first goal after Wisconsin took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Erika Sowchuk.
Saturday’s game saw senior Kelly Terry score two third-period goals to lead the Gophers to a 2-0 win. Minnesota outshot the Badgers, 33-27, in the game, after being outshot 22-19 through the first two periods. Leveille made 27 saves in her first shutout of the season.
RECORD-CROWD WATCHES GOPHERS TOP BADGERS
Friday’s attendance of 2,754 was the highest attendance in a home-opener at Ridder Arena since Ridder Arena first opened to a crowd of 3,239 against St. Cloud State (W, 8-0) on Oct. 19, 2002. Friday’s attendance was also the 11th-best crowd for women’s hockey all-time at Ridder Arena.
WINNING STREAK MOVES TO 53 GAMES
The Gophers’ 4-0-0 start to the 2013-14 campaign has pushed their NCAA-record winning streak to 53 games. Minnesota entered the season riding a 49-game winning streak, having last lost on Feb. 17, 2012.
FROST SECURES 190TH CAREER WIN
Head coach Brad Frost is closing in on 200 career wins as Minnesota’s head coach. Frost entered the 2013-14 season with a career mark of 186-36-16 in six seasons at the helm of the Gopher women’s hockey program. Last Saturday’s win over Wisconsin moved Frost’s career record to 190-36-16 for a .818 winning percentage.
...AND THEN THERE WERE THREE
Minnesota (4-0-0), Boston College (3-0-0) and Clarkson (5-0-0) are the only three teams with unblemished records so far this season. North Dakota (3-0-1), Quinnipiac (3-0-1), Ohio State (2-0-1) and Boston University (1-0-1) are also unbeaten on the year but have each tied one game.
HOCKEY CITY CLASSIC TICKETS ON SALE OCT. 22
Individual tickets for the 2014 Hockey City Classic will go on sale to the general public at 9 a.m. CT on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Tickets for the outdoor college hockey doubleheader at TCF Bank Stadium start at $15, are valid for both games and may be purchased at www.mygophersports.com/online/HockeyCityClassic or by calling 612-624-8080.
The Hockey City Classic will kick off with the Gopher women’s hockey program taking on Minnesota State at 4:30 p.m. CT followed by the Gopher men’s hockey program hosting Ohio State at 8 p.m. The outdoor college hockey doubleheader will be part of a Winter Festival, which will consist of a variety of events, including youth, high school and adult hockey events, private ice rentals, a public skate and much more.
GOPHERS LAND AMONG THE NATION’S STATISTICAL LEADERS
Hannah Brandt is tied for third in the nation with 1.50 assists per game, and Rachael Bona is tied for fourth with 1.00 goals per game. Brandt and Bona are tied for 12th in the nation with 1.75 points per game. Bona is tied for the national lead in game-winning goals (2).
Amanda Leveille ranks fourth with a .955 save percentage and fifth with a 1.25 goals against average. She leads the WCHA in both categories. Leveille also leads the nation with a 1.000 winning percentage.
Minnesota’s power play ranks third in the country at 26.3 percent (5/19), while the penalty kill is 17th at 85.0 percent (17/20). In combined special teams, the Gophers are fifth in the nation at 56.4 percent. Milica McMillen is tied for second in the nation with two power-play goals.
MINNESOTA IS UNANIMOUS NO. 1
The Golden Gophers are the unanimous number one selection in both the USCHO.com and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national polls this week. No. 2 Boston College (3-0-0) and No. 3 Clarkson (5-0-0) complete the top three in both polls.
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 have seen ice time already this season. 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 NAMED CAPTAINS
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 HOME-OPENERS
The Gophers improved to 11-1-0 all-time in home-openers at Ridder Arena with their 2-1 win over Wisconsin. Minnesota has won its last five home-openers by a combined score of 20-5, including two shutout victories.
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 Gopher women’s hockey taking on Minnesota State at 4:30 p.m. followed by the Gopher men’s hockey team 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. Non-conference match-ups include Colgate, Yale and Princeton.
The Gophers welcome 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.