Nov. 12, 2012
As the 2012 Ms. Hockey Minnesota winner, Hannah Brandt had a lot to live up to when she arrived at the University of Minnesota. She did not disappoint. The freshman from Vadnais Heights, Minn., netted a hat trick in her first game as a Golden Gopher. Prior to her arrival at the “U,” Brandt led Hill-Murray to four consecutive conference titles and an appearance in the 2011 state tournament. She has represented Team USA multiple times, including on the U-18 team that won gold at the 2011 World Championships.
Q: You came in and scored a hat trick in your first college game. What was that first game like for you?
A: It was really exciting. We were all pretty nervous before that game. To get the first goal of the game, I was kind of surprised. Then to get the next two, I was even more surprised. I was in the right place at the right time and I was able to get lucky and get the first three goals of the game.
Q: What is it like playing with the other freshmen in your recruiting class?
A: It’s awesome. I’m on a line with Maryanne (Menefee), and we’ve been doing well together and I enjoy playing with her. It’s a lot of fun with the other freshmen, too. It’s been awesome so far.
Q: What are some of your favorite things about being at the University of Minnesota so far?
A: My favorite things about being at the U so far would be hanging out with the other freshmen and the rest of the team. It doesn’t seem like such a big campus. The hockey has been awesome. I really have enjoyed the practices and, obviously, the games as well.
Q: Before you came here, you spent some time playing for Team USA. What were some of the highlights of your national and international hockey experiences?
A: The highlights of Worlds would obviously be the gold medal game, having a packed house and being able to put on the jersey. Also, it was nice to be able to play with (Amanda) Kessel and (Megan) Bozek before I came here.
Q: Winning the Ms. Hockey Award in the State of Hockey is a pretty big deal. What did that honor mean to you?
A: That’s a huge honor, especially with all the other players that have won it in the past, like Bethany (Brausen) and Becky (Kortum). It was fun because Lee (Stecklein) and Milica (McMillen) were up there for it, too. Anyone could have won it and I would have been so happy for them.
Q: What was it like attending a high school that is so well-known for its hockey?
A: Our boys’ hockey at Hill-Murray has been known forever. So it was fun for us to finally get on the map a little bit with the girls’ hockey. We went to the state tournament my junior year, so that was a pretty cool experience.
Q: When you were deciding where to go to college, did you consider any schools besides Minnesota?
A: I pretty much always wanted to come to Minnesota. I looked around a little bit, but it would have taken a lot for me to go somewhere else, because I really wanted to come here. Basically, if they didn’t want me, which would be the only reason I wasn’t going to come here.
Q: What was it like putting on the “M” jersey for the first time for a game?
A: I was so excited, but also so nervous, because I’ve always wanted to do that.
Q: What are you looking forward to the rest of your freshman season?
A: I’m just looking forward to winning some games and getting closer with the team and having a good season.