Gopher Women's Hockey 2022-23 Season

Gophers destroyed Saint Thomas. Good job in many areas.


WCHA Post-Season Results Today -- All Best of Three Games Series This Weekend

#1 Ohio State defeated #8 Bemidji State
#2 Minnesota defeated #7 Saint Thomas
#3 Wisconsin defeated #6 Minnesota State
#4 UMD defeated #5 St Cloud

Next weekend in Minneapolis could be Minnesota vs Wisconsin and Ohio State vs UMD, with the winners advancing to the championship game the next day in Minneapolis.

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Shockwave on the East Coast.

#3 in the nation Colgate was upset by unranked Princeton in game one of the ECAC series this weekend.

In other ECAC action today:

#2 in the nation Yale defeated Harvard in the first game of the ECAC tournament.

#9 in the nation Clarkson defeated #13 Cornell.

#8 in the nation Quinnipiac defeated St Lawrence.

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Next weekend is the WCHA Final Faceoff at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. The final four teams in the tournament face off for one game winner take all tournament action Friday (semi-finals) and then Saturday (championship game).

Tickets at:


Minnesota and Wisconsin likely to clash next weekend in the WCHA Final Faceoff Tournament

Here is how they fared today:

That Pioneer Press article by Dean Spiros was a good read.

QUOTE: "Despite earning the sweep when the teams met last weekend, the Gophers were less than pleased with playing two close, low-scoring games with the Tommies, including a 2-1 game decided in overtime.

Couple that with determination to get the postseason off with a bang, and it proved to be the stuff that dominating wins are made of.

The fourth-ranked Gophers led 3-0 after one period and cruised to a 7-0 victory. They can clinch the best-of-three series Saturday afternoon, which would move then on to the WCHA Final Faceoff next weekend at Ridder Arena.

“That’s the best I’ve seen them play this year,” St. Thomas coach Joel Johnson said.

Gophers coach Brad Frost felt much the same way.

“In particular, for 60 minutes,” he said. “And it’s really hard to maintain that pace for 60 minutes. Sometimes it’s a good first period, average second period, good third. I thought all three periods our team played really well.”

Grace Zumwinkle and Taylor Heise each had a pair of goals for the Gophers (26-5-3). Sophomore goaltender Skylar Vetter made 14 stops to pick up her sixth shutout of the season.

Heise increased her team-leading goal scoring to 27. Zumwinkle, who hit two posts in the third period in quest of completing the hat trick, is right behind at 24.

“We’re going to need our best players to be our best players,” Frost said. “Her and Heise and (Abbey) Murphy were. But also getting that secondary scoring as well is huge.”

The Gophers had 50-plus shots on goal in both games last week and topped 50 again on Friday. Frost and Johnson both noted how the Gophers were much more dangerous this time around.

“I thought tonight we did a much better job of getting to the inside,” Frost said. “The first goal was on a rebound, and we got very few rebounds all of last weekend. It was one and done. Tonight we were able to get inside their house.”

“I think they got more people to the net because they know our goalkeeper (Saskia Maurer) is going to stop the first shot. They realized that they had to get some pressure and make it awkward for our (defensemen) and our goaltender,” Johnson said.

The Gophers were flying from the opening faceoff and needed only 1 minute, 4 seconds to get on the board when Zumwinkle tucked a rebound past Maurer.

Zumwinkle’s second goal of the game gave the Gophers a 2-0 lead at 12:58. Murphy’s power-play goal with 9 seconds to play in the first period gave the Gophers a 3-0 lead. The Gophers outshot the Tommies 23-4 in the period.

Heise finished off some impressive stick handling with her team-leading 26th goal of the season 56 seconds into the second period. Peyton Hemp’s 15th goal of the season gave the Gophers a 5-0 lead heading into the third period." END QUOTE

See article for more:

I will add, all that plus Minnesota did a good job of backchecking, breaking up Saint Thomas efforts, getting to the player or the puck to thwart what they were trying to do. I thought against both Wisconsin and Saint Thomas that the other teams were able to better come up and place some shots well into the net -- in the case of Saint Thomas much fewer shots than Gophers -- without the Gophers disrupting it like we saw yesterday. Anyway, no need to beat that to death. The Gophers played strong hockey yesterday in all aspects. Really nice shots too.

Old news but here are the 2023-24 student athlete commitments to Minnesota Women's Hockey announced last November.

Biographies from Gophers below plus I added information:

Isa Goettl, Forward, Andover High School (Andover, Minn.)

"A left-handed forward, Isa Goettl joins the Gophers from Andover High School. With the Huskies, she was a two-time MSHSL AA state champion ('20, '22) and was named to the 2022 All-Conference, All-State and All-Tournament Teams.

The Minnesota Ms. Hockey nominee tallied 56 points in 29 games last season.

As a freshman, Goettl won team Rookie of the Year while sharing a lineup with current Gophers Peyton Hemp and Madison Kaiser."

Goettl is a semi-finalist for Ms. Hockey 2023:

"On a team loaded with talent, Isa Goettl stands out despite her small frame. Toughness, grit and talent are a solid mix for Goettl who will play collegiately at the University of Minnesota. Like Boerger she is a 4-year starter and a two-time state champion. She leads the Huskies with 39 helpers this season after a 56-point campaign last season where the Huskies went 30-0 to claim their second state title in three years.

“Isa is a tenacious and crafty forward that is well known to her opponents and is a fan favorite due to her style of play,” said head coach Melissa Volk. “She has been an instrumental part of our success these last four years in which she has won two state championships her freshman and junior seasons. Assistant captain last year and Captain this year her work ethic and unwavering gritty style of play is one for all our high school and youth players to look up to.”


Josie Hemp, Defender, Minnetonka High School (Andover, Minn.)

"A right-handed defender from Andover, Minn., Josie Hemp joins the Gophers from Minnetonka High School.

With the Skippers, tallied 39 points in 29 games and was named all-conference and an honorable mention to the all-state team. As a freshman, Hemp won a state title with Andover High School with fellow-signee Isa Goettl and current Gophers Peyton Hemp and Madison Kaiser. She is a three-time 'A' honor roll student and the younger sister of Peyton Hemp."

Hemp is a semi-finalist for Ms. Hockey 2023:

"Hemp is a captain, leader and blueline stalwart for a Minnetonka squad that has maintained the top ranking in girls hockey for much of the year. On a team loaded with talent she is a at the top with a two-way game that includes the ability to shut down the team's opposing best player, but also the ability to move the puck efficiently offensively. Any good team needs a player on the blue line that can shut down opponents and that is Josie Hemp for Minnetonka. Hemp will continue her playing career at the University of Minnesota.

“She controls the hockey game with her poised puck possession, intelligent decision-making, team first play-making skills, and her talents to provide offense all while playing staunch defense,” said Minnetonka Head Coach Tracy Cassanno. "She logs more ice time on our team than any other player, and is often matched up against our opponents’ top lines. We rely on her to shut these players down night in and night out. She has incredible stamina and endurance; she never seems to get tired throughout even the toughest of games. She is extremely crafty with the puck, whether she is breaking the puck out of our zone, leading the rush up the ice, or running the top of the power play. Josie is a team Captain who leads with her competitive edge, passion for the game, inclusive attitude towards all of her teammates, and a mentality of doing whatever it takes to help her team win.”"


Elly Klepinger, Defender, Minnetonka High School (Corcoran, Minn.)

"A left-handed defender, Elly Klepinger joins the Gophers from Minnetonka High School.

With the Skippers, Klepinger tallied 30 points in 31 games last season and was named an honorable mention for the all-state team. Prior to her time with Minnetonka, she won two class A state titles with the Breck School and fellow signee Ava Lindsay and current Gophers Sadie Lindsay and Emily Zumwinkle.

Klepinger represented the United States at the U18 Series in Calgary in August."


Emma Kreisz, Forward, Stanstead College (Budapest, Hungary)

"A left-handed forward, Emma Kreisz joins the Gophers from Stanstead College in Canada. The first player to hail from Hungary in program history represented her home country at the 2022 IIHF Women's World Championship. She scored a goal against Sweden in that tournament.

Kreisz tallied 47 points in 37 games in her first season with Stanstead last season."

The Hockey News named Kreisz to the top 23-and-under talent at the 2022 women’s World Championship list that also included Gophers Taylor Heise, Nelli Laitinen, Grace Zumwinkle, and Josefin Bouveng. "It’s hard to judge Kreisz, who is still a teenager on a weak Hungarian team. Still, she is the future of Hungary’s attack internationally, which was evident when Kreisz had a point per game for Hungary at the Olympic qualifiers. With good edges and offensive instincts, Kreisz isn't afraid to take the puck solo to the net. The Stanstead College star will join the University of Minnesota in 2023-2024."


Ava Lindsay, Forward, Minnetonka High School (Minnetonka, Minn.)

"A right-handed forward, Ava Lindsay joins the Gophers from Minnetonka High School.

With the Skippers, Lindsay tallied 58 points in 30 games last season and was named team forward of the year. The sister of current Gopher Sadie Lindsay is a two-time all-state and all-tournament team honoree. She won three class A state titles with the Breck School and fellow signee Elly Klepinger and current Gophers Sadie Lindsay and Emily Zumwinkle.

Lindsay also won silver with Team USA at the U18 Women's World Championships this past summer."

Lindsay is a semi-finalist for Ms. Hockey 2023:

"Lindsay is the top goal scorer on the top team in the state. A member of Team USA’s U18 squad, she has three state titles to her credit while playing at Breck before transferring to Minnetonka. Last season she led the Skippers with 57 points, as they came one win short of a state title. A three-time All-State recipient and 4-time all-conference player, Lindsay will play collegiately at the University of Minnesota.

“Ava Lindsay is the most dynamic and electric hockey player in the State,” said head coach Tracy Cassano. “She creates highlight reel plays with her puck possession better than any other player. Her hockey IQ, vision, puck skills, smooth skating edgework, and offensive talents make her one of the most feared forwards to play against. She is a remarkable talent and exceptionally fun to coach. She is a two-way player with a refuse to lose mentality. She is an unselfish player who makes the right plays, at the right time, for the right reasons. Ava is a team captain for the Skippers. She is truly humble and leads by example through her incredible work ethic, upbeat attitude, and calm demeanor on a daily basis. She is always the first player to compliment her teammates and she makes everyone around her a better hockey player and person. Ava is loved and well respected by her teammates and opponents. She has earned the right to represent our country in the U18 Worlds Tournament as a member of the USA Women’s team the past two seasons. Ava is an all-around MVP player and teammate.”

Ava Lindsay was named Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year [2023]:


Lauren O'Hara, Forward, Centennial High School (Blaine, Minn.)

"A right-handed forward, Lauren O'Hara joins the Gophers from Centennial High School.

Last season with the Cougars, O'Hara tallied 51 points in 28 games and was named an honorable mention to the all-state team. She is a three-time all-conference team honoree and a two-time team MVP. O'Hara is also a three-time 'A' honor roll student."

O'Hara is a semi-finalist for Ms. Hockey 2023:

"O’Hara has a rare combination of size and skill. The 5’11” forward has led Centennial/Spring Lake Park to a top-10 ranking all season. She has 31 goals in 25 games and is coming off a 51-points season as a junior. She is a three-time Team MVP and will play next season at the University of Minnesota.

“Lauren has helped build a legacy at Centennial that will last many years.,” said head coach Sean Molin. “She was instrumental as a leader in changing the culture into a positive, winning one. She is adored by her teammates, and she is always the hardest worker on the ice. She stayed home, didn’t join one of the super teams, and was still able to achieve her goals. She is a perfect example of what a top girls hockey player in Minnesota should be. Others may have better stats due to the situations on their teams, or the competition they have faced, but none will likely have done more for their community and girls hockey in Minnesota than Lauren.”

O'Hara was named East Metro Girls Hockey Player of the Year by Pioneer Press:



And the new commits form last season currently on the team, old news:

Allie Franco, Forward/Defense, Hill-Murray (Oakdale, Minn.)
"A left-handed forward/defense, Allie Franco joins the Gophers from Hill-Murray. She was named all-conference all four years with the Pioneers and was named as an honorable mention on the 2020-21 All-State team. Franco was invited to USA U15 National Camp, USA U18 National Camp, and USA U18 Festival. The multi-sport athlete was named all-conference in softball as well. Franco brings exceptional leadership qualities to the Gophers, as she was named captain on both her hockey and softball teams."

Madison Kaiser, Forward, Holy Family (Ham Lake, Minn.)
"A left-handed forward from Ham Lake, Minn., Madison Kaiser joins the Gophers from Holy Family Catholic High School. Prior to her time at Holy Family, Kaiser played for Andover High School. With the Huskies, she won the 2019 MSHSL state title alongside current Gopher freshman Peyton Hemp. Kaiser was a member of the U.S. women's U18 team in 2021 and was named captain at Holy Family for her senior season."

Minnesota will advance to the WCHA Final Faceoff in Minneapolis next weekend. The next game will be Friday in Minneapolis.

And most likely face Wisconsin who also won their series.

UPDATE: It's official. Minnesota will play Wisconsin since Ohio State also advanced past Bemidji State:



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Meanwhile on the East Coast, drama in the ECAC tournament.

#3 in the nation Colgate, #8 in the nation Quinnipiac, and #9 in the nation Clarkson all face game three elimination games tomorrow.

#2 in the nation Yale won in two games and advances.

In the WCHA, UMD plays tonight. Minnesota, Ohio State, and Wisconsin all advanced today with sweeps.

And the WCHA Final Faceoff teams are set. UMD won tonight.

Minnesota vs Wisconsin on Friday at 5 PM.

Ohio State vs UMD on Friday at 1 PM.

The winners faceoff on Saturday at 2 PM in the championship game.

All this happening at Ridder arena in Minneapolis at Ridder Arena.



Tickets at:


In the conference called Hockey East, all four top seeds advanced to their tournament finals weekend.

The notable team this season from Hockey East is Northeastern, ranked the #5 team in the nation. Vermont is good to at #11.

The WCHA is the strongest and most historic conference in the nation with teams like Minnesota, UMD, Wisconsin, and Ohio State.

The ECAC is the other strong conference with teams like Yale, Clarkson, Colgate, and Harvard.


College Women Hockey Stats
Meanwhile on the East Coast, drama in the ECAC tournament.

#3 in the nation Colgate, #8 in the nation Quinnipiac, and #9 in the nation Clarkson all face game three elimination games tomorrow.

#2 in the nation Yale won in two games and advances.

In the WCHA, UMD plays tonight. Minnesota, Ohio State, and Wisconsin all advanced today with sweeps.

Colgate, Clarkson and Quinnipiac (OT) all advanced in their ECAC tournament today.

Minnesota may clash with a couple of them in the national NCAA Frozen Four tournament later.

Friday Minnesota and Wisconsin battle in the WCHA Final Faceoff Semi-finals game at Ridder Arena.


Minnesota leads the NCAA is goals and goals per game. Minnesota has the best offense.


Taylor Heise (29), Abbey Murphy (26), and Grace Zumwinkle (25) are scoring leaders.

The last month Minnesota's good defense/goaltending looked not as good.

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Taylor Heise of Gophers among three finalists for Player of Year in WCHA​

Heise, a fifth-year senior, won the award last season. She leads the nation with 29 goals and is second in points with 62.


ALEX KORMANN, STAR TRIBUNE - Gophers forward Taylor Heise, above vs. Wisconsin last month, is one of three finalists for WCHA Player of the Year.

Gophers center Taylor Heise, the reigning WCHA Player of the Year, is one of three finalists for the 2023 honor as well, the conference announced Tuesday.

Heise, a fifth-year senior who leads the nation with 29 goals and ranks second with 62 points, is joined by Ohio State defenseman Sophie Jacques and Minnesota Duluth goalie Emma Soderberg. Jacques has 22 goals and 24 assists, which lead all blue-liners. Soderberg is 20-8-2 with a 1.36 goals-against average (third nationally) and .938 save percentage (fourth nationally).

Read more at:


The Great Taylor Heise wins forward of the year! I feel lucky I've seen her play.


The Great Taylor Heise wins forward of the year! I feel lucky I've seen her play.

WCHA Presents Four 2022-23 Individual Awards​

WCHA Forward, Defender, Goaltender, and Rookie of the Year Announced​

(I will add that Minnesota's Grace Zumwinkle also was to the caliber of Forward of the Year except only one award is given out that went to Taylor Heise.)

"Minnesota’s Taylor Heise has been named WCHA Forward of the Year for the second straight season, while Ohio State’s Sophie Jaques also repeats as WCHA Defender of the Year. Minnesota Duluth’s Emma Soderberg earns WCHA Goaltender of the Year and Wisconsin’s Caroline Harvey has been named WCHA Rookie of the Year.

The individual awards, presented by Sterling Trophy, continue tomorrow, March 2 with the announcement of WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year, Coach of the Year, and overall WCHA Player of the Year."

Grace Zumwinkle and Taylor Heise are both named as prestigious finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award. A great honor.

Grace Zumwinkle is the best player in NCAA women's hockey except that Taylor Heise is that little extra rare freakish kind of scorer. Since Heise won the award last year, it's possible Zumwinkle wins it this year. They both are the best.


Ohio State just beat UMD 2-1 in the first game of the WCHA Final Faceoff tournament.

The winner of the Minneaota-Wisconsin game tonight plays Ohio State tomorrow in the championship game.


Minnesota freshman Madison Kaiser with a goal to take the lead. Gophers outplaying Wisconsin.

Phenomenal goaltending by Minnesota's Vetter. Several tough shots.

One shot on a power play I thought went in because it was so well.placed to upper corner but she got a stick on it.

Gophers outplayed Wisconsin. Pesky Wisconsin is so good at placing good shots and a risk even when outplayed.

Shots on goal 12 for Minneaota and several more close. Shots on goal for Wisconsin 7.



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Defense breakdown. Handed it to Badger side behind net who walked around free to the goal and shot it in.

Tied 1-1.

Wisconsin with intense sustained offense.

Now Wisconsin power play. Could be ugly.

And it was. Wisconsin ties it up.

Tied 2-2 after the second period.

Meanwhile on the East Coast, #9 Clarkson upsets #2 Yale in the ECAC tournament after double overtime.


Gophers win!

Tough game today against a strong Wisconsin team but they got it done. Some outstanding saves by goaltender Skylar Vetter.

Gophers win 4-2 including an empty net goal.

Tomorrow afternoon in Minneapolis is the championship game against Ohio State.


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