Gophers women’s hockey season preview – The Minnesota Daily

The Gophers down Bemidji State University at Ridder Arena for his or her first two convention video games.


Ethan Fine

Captain Taylor Heise is returning for her 5th season as a Gopher.

Gophers women’s hockey opened their season on Sept. 24 in opposition to the University of Manitoba Bisons. The Bisons—based totally in Winnipeg, Manitoba—traveled around the border to stand the Gophers at Ridder Arena. This near-500-mile expedition ended relatively poorly for the Bisons because the Gophers ruled and gained 13-0.

Following their win in opposition to Manitoba, the Gophers confronted the Minnesota Whitecaps of the Premier Hockey Federation in any other exhibition recreation. The Gophers had a a lot more aggressive recreation, prevailing through a rating of 4-2.

On Friday and Saturday, the Gophers had their first two Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) matchups in opposition to Bemidji State University. The Beavers got here to Ridder Arena with a 2-1-1 report of their exhibition video games. Minnesota swept the sequence, profitable 6-0 and 4-1. Last season, the Gophers had an excellent run in opposition to the Beavers as Minnesota outscored the Beavers through a complete of 20-6 of their 4 victories.

Heading into this season, the Gophers are ranked quantity two within the U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) scores. Above Minnesota is the reigning National and WCHA Tournament Champions, Ohio State University. The Gophers don’t face the Buckeyes till the top of October once they shuttle to Columbus. Minnesota has attractions to avenge their WCHA Championship loss; Ohio State crowned Minnesota 3-2 in extra time.

The following weekend, the Gophers may have any other alternative for revenge as they face the University of Minnesota–Duluth at house. The Bulldogs disenchanted the Gophers within the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament 2-1. Duluth made it to the NCAA Championship, the place they fell to the Buckeyes 2-3. In the USCHO’s preseason scores, Duluth used to be ranked fourth.

Fifth-year Lizi Norton transferred to the Gophers after defeating them with Minnesota Duluth in remaining 12 months’s NCAA quarterfinals. Alongside Norton, a handful of latest faces will grace Ridder Arena this season. Newcomers come with Madison Kaiser, Allie Franco, Nelli Laitinen and Josefin Bouveng.

Kaiser and Franco are merchandise of the Minnesota High School Hockey League, and each had been in rivalry for the 2022 Minnesota Ms. Hockey Award. Neither Kaiser nor Franco gained the award, however Kaiser used to be a finalist. Kaiser represented Team USA within the 2022 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) U18 Championships and gained silver. In 5 match video games, Kaiser registered 5 issues, scoring one objective and notching 4 assists.

Minnesota introduced in some global ability as neatly with Laitinen and Bouveng. Both participated within the 2022 Beijing Olympics; Bouveg hailing from Sweden and Laitinen profitable the bronze medal with Finland. Laitinen used to be a point-per-game within the Olympic Games, an out of this world accomplishment for the younger defender.

Laitinen and Bouveng additionally performed within the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championship with Gophers’ captain Taylor Heise. The captain used to be named Most Valuable Player within the match and gained silver with Team USA.

Heise returned for her 5th season as a Gopher. Last season she boasted a large number of awards: WCHA Player of the Year, the Patty Kazmaier Award and First Team All-American. In addition to her awards, Heise led the WCHA in objectives, assists and issues.

Abbey Murphy additionally returns to the Gophers after sitting out remaining season. Murphy represented Team USA within the 2022 Winter Olympics and registered one level in Team USA’s silver medal end.

Quite the season is at the horizon for the Gophers. Minnesota comes into the 12 months with the 2021-22 WCHA common season name. The group additionally seems to win their first NCAA championship since 2016 once they defeated Boston College 3-1. Since their name run, Minnesota has recorded 24 or extra wins in keeping with season (no longer together with the abbreviated 2020-21 season). Already 2-0 this season, the Gophers’ adventure again to the NCAA Tournament has begun.

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