Gopher Women's Hockey 2022-23 Season

Meanwhile in the ECAC (the other conference nearly on par with the WCHA) these elite players won season-end awards. Minnesota may face some of them in the upcoming NCAA Frozen Four tournament.

As previously posted, here are some award winners for the WCHA:


A brief quote from the Star Tribune:

Murphy atoned in a big way for her mistake [penalty], giving her team the lead for good on a third-period power play as the Gophers defeated Wisconsin 4-2 in front of 2,334 at Ridder Arena. Catie Skaja's empty-net goal with 1 minute, 19 seconds to play sealed Minnesota's victory over its border rival.

"That was a fun, entertaining game, as you would imagine when two of the top teams in the country are playing,'' said Frost, whose team will try to win its first WCHA tournament title since 2018.

Madison Kaiser and Madeline Wethington also scored for the Gophers. Goalie Skylar Vetter secured the victory by making 23 saves, including two breakaway stops in the third period.

"We definitely had to play on our toes and weather the storm,'' Wethington said.


Minnesota Women’s Hockey: Gophers Defeat Badgers 4-2​

It’s a rematch of the 2022 WCHA Championship Game on Saturday

Bjorn Franke—


Gopher Women's Hockey Mic'd Up with Catie Skaja​

Catie Skaja scored today, the final nail.

This video of Skaja in practice from earlier this season is worth a repeat.


Highlights of the big win today against Wisconsin.


Minnesota has the two best forwards in hockey in Taylor Heise and Grace Zumwinkle. Minnesota has the #1 offense in NCAA women's hockey. Minnesota is loaded with many elite players, mentioned in previous posts. It's Minnesota, a super power of hockey.

For Ohio State, here are a few players to keep an eye on.

Sophie Jaques is a top defender who also scored 19 goals and made 23 assists during the regular season. She was named WCHA defender of the year. Also earned a long list of other accolades.


Jenn Gardiner. Gardiner is a leading scorer. She scored 21 goals (14th most) and made 33 assists (7th most) for 54 total points (5th most). Gardiner made the final-3 for WCHA Forward of the Year (won by Minnesota's Taylor Heise and also included Minnesota's Grace Zumwinkle). She is/was a finalist for other top awards.


Paetyn Levis is one of the top scorers in hockey. She was the MVP of the 2022 Frozen Four NCAA championship game.




Congratulations on the tournament championship!!! The trophy is back where it belongs. Excellent energy and play. Gophers kept the pressure on all game. Best wishes for the NCAA tournament.

I thought not scoring on that major penalty to start the second period was gonna be our downfall. Give credit to Vetter for making some incredible saves, and lucky for us as we probably caught Ohio State on one of their off days. Going forward we have to capitalize on those given opportunities and limit those turnovers, if we can do that then we'll break the tie with Wisconsin for most national championships.

I thought not scoring on that major penalty to start the second period was gonna be our downfall. Give credit to Vetter for making some incredible saves, and lucky for us as we probably caught Ohio State on one of their off days. Going forward we have to capitalize on those given opportunities and limit those turnovers, if we can do that then we'll break the tie with Wisconsin for most national championships.
Come on gals, get it done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Congrats to the girls! Nice to get this trophy in our case after coming so close on the regular season! Excited to carry this momentum into the NCAAs!

Meanwhile on the East Coast, #4 in the nation Colgate defeated #9 in the nation Clarkson for the ECAC tournament title. This is the third year in a row Colgate won that tournament title.

#2 in the nation Yale previously was upset by Clarkson in the tournament.


Minnesota is now the #2 team in the nation! Minnesota just defeated #1 Ohio State in the WCHA tournament.

Minnesota next has a first round bye in the NCAA tournament as a top seed.

On March 11, Minnesota will face the winner of the UMD-Clarkson game on March 9 to be held at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. See brackets below.



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Ever notice how they stack WCHA teams on one side of a bracket or rig it so WCHA teams play each other early in the tournament.

Minnesota may have to go through their two biggest rivals to get to the championship game.

A few impressions from the tournament games this week.

-Minnesota defense looked very good against a very strong Ohio State team. There were a couple mishap passes that put the team at jeopardy but overall a fine job. Gophers looked pretty good against Wisconsin. The only thing that can stop Minnesota would be breakdowns on defense. Compared to recent prior games, I thought they looked a bit more motivated and effective at breaking stuff up.

-Vetter played strong in nets. Vetter made some astounding saves in this series. Really fine work.

-Now here is a surprising, and mostly-encouraging, development. Several players scored not named Taylor Heise and Grace Zumwinkle, the two top scorers and the two best forwards in hockey. In fact, all the goals were scored by other players. This is a big development.

First, I have felt lately that the Gophers were great at attacking and getting shots on net but that some of the players were not placing their shots as well as they could. So then wins often came from Heise goals and the other few scoring leaders. Well this weekend several players showed they can score.

Murphy is one of the team's best scorers and scored a couple times this weekend, but otherwise the goals came from players who are not the leading scorers.

The great Taylor Heise is a fifth year player, and the near great Grace Zumwinkle is a senior. The team is going to need these other players to carry the championship pedigree ahead.



Meanwhile on the East Coast, Danielle Serdachny of Colgate Women's Hockey was named ECAC Hockey Player of the Year.

"ECAC Hockey Player of the Year: Danielle Serdachny, Colgate

After shattering the program record for overall single-season points (previously held at 55), Serdachny also broke the Raiders’ record for career points (previously held at 163). A formidable presence on the ice but a compassionate, resilient leader off of it, Serdachny earns her second ECAC Hockey Player of the Year award to cap off an unbeatable 2022-23 campaign."


Thank you Star Tribune and Pioneer Press for the nice coverage of this sport!


Glad to see this exciting, fast-action college women's hockey sport getting national press.

"The Buckeyes (31-5-2) took top billing during Sunday's selection show ahead of their fifth tournament appearance in program history. Minnesota (29-5-3) grabbed the No. 2 seed, followed by Colgate (32-5-2) at No. 3, Yale (28-3-1) at No. 4 and Northeastern (33-2-1) at No. 5.

In the single-elimination format, those top four seeds will host regional action from Thursday until Sunday.

The first round of regionals will feature Quinnipiac (29-9-0) taking on Penn State (27-8-2), Long Island University (20-13-3) against Wisconsin (25-10-2), and Minnesota Duluth (25-9-3) battling Clarkson (29-10-2), all on Thursday."


For being the #2 seed, Minnesota faces a harder test by facing #3 Colgate midway through.


#4 Yale also will face a tough test #5 Northeastern but oddly not as hard as #2 Minnesota having to eventually face #3.


Ohio State gets a cake walk at first. Easy, easy for Ohio State. But then Ohio State will have to face Yale, formerly #2.

Interesting. Minnesota has it harder at first but then can avoid Ohio State until the very end. Yale and Ohio State have it easier at first but then have to face each other before then eventually facing Minnesota.

These are some excellent teams. Anything can happen.

All the teams I mentioned are elite.

I think Wisconsin is a dark horse team that plays top hockey at times but probably not consistent enough yet. Wisconsin has several terrific freshmen. Minnesota also has great younger players and a strong recruiting class coming in.

One game winner take all. Upsets happen.

Go Gophers! You can do this! Good luck, Gophers!

2023 NCAA women's hockey championship selection show​

"What stands out about Minnesota? Offense, offense, offense. This is the most gifted team in the NCAA offensively."



NCAA Tournament Time!

Saturday afternoon, Minnesota Gophers at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis will play the winner of the UMD-Clarkson game on Thursday.

Tickets are only $10!

Then the winner of that game will advance to the Frozen Four NCAA national championship tournament in Duluth.

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2023 NC women's ice hockey tournament predictions, right after selections​

The field for the 2023 NC women's ice hockey tournament has been officially revealed.
Reigning national champion Ohio State earned an at-large bid and the top seed, while rival and WCHA champion Minnesota took the second overall seed. Colgate checked in at No. 3 after winning the ECAC tournament, while conference foe Yale earned the fourth seed on an at-large basis. Northeastern came in at No. 5, fresh off its sixth straight Hockey East championship.

Penn State and LIU each won their respective conferences for automatic bids. PSU won its first CHA title and will make its first NCAA tournament appearance, while LIU clinched the NEWHA championship to earn the conference's first automatic bid.

Clarkson (ECAC), Quinnipiac (ECAC), Minnesota Duluth (WCHA) and Wisconsin (WCHA) made up the remaining at-large bids.

Regional competition will be held from Thursday, March 9, through Saturday, March 11, at campus host sites. The Women's Frozen Four will be played at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minn., from Friday, March 17, to Sunday, March 19.

Here are my immediate predictions after a busy day of selections:

Columbus Regional​

Opening round: Quinnipiac (29-9-0) vs. Penn State (27-8-2); 6 p.m. ET, March 9
Regional final: No. 1 Ohio State vs. TBD; 5 p.m. ET, March 11

Quinnipiac and PSU is one of the more intriguing opening matchups. The Bobcats were one of the most dominant teams in the first half, but tapered off a bit down the stretch. The Nittany Lions have won 11 straight and have a big-time weapon in Kiara Zanon, but they haven't fared well against higher-ranked teams. I'm giving the edge to QU, partly because of their strength of schedule.

In the final, I'm taking OSU. Emma Maltais has taken off in the second half of the season, and Sophie Jaques and Jennifer Gardiner have been among the nation's best from start to finish this season. There's key depth in Gabby Rosenthal and Paetyn Levis, who was clutch in last season's tournament.

BRACKET: Clip or tap here for the complete interactive bracket

Olivia Mobley gives Quinnipiac a top option, and Logan Angers had a good year in net. But the Buckeyes will likely be too much for QU to handle.
Prediction: Ohio State advances

Minneapolis Regional​

Opening round: Minnesota Duluth (25-9-3) vs. Clarkson (29-10-2); 7 p.m. ET, March 9
Regional final: No. 2 Minnesota (29-5-3) vs. TBD; 3 p.m. ET, March 11

UMD has its hands full with Clarkson in the opening round, but I'm expecting the Bulldogs to take that one. Duluth is battle-tested coming out of a gauntlet WCHA and is able to grind down opposing offenses.

Looking at the final, the Gophers were 4-0-0 against the Bulldogs in the regular season. Taylor Heise and Grace Zumwinkle have been on a tear of late, not to mention the likes of Abbey Murphy and Abigail Boreen.

While Gabbie Hughes is still cruising and Ashton Bell is as solid as ever as a two-way defender, UMD just might not have the firepower to keep up with Minnesota.

While Duluth proved it can make a run last season, I'm taking Minnesota in the regional final. However, it could all come down to goaltending between Skyler Vetter and Emma Soderberg.

Prediction: Minnesota advances

Hamilton Regional​

Opening round: Wisconsin (25-10-2) vs. LIU (20-13-3); 6 p.m. ET, March 9
Regional final: No. 3 Colgate (32-5-2) vs. TBD; 3 p.m. ET, March 11

I'm going with Wisconsin in the opening round. LIU had a great season in the NEWHA, but in three series against ranked opponents (Duluth, Northeastern and Penn State), the Sharks went 0-6-0. They just can't match the Badgers.

Colgate-Wisconsin was probably my most difficult regional final to pick.

The Raiders boast the nation's leading scorer in Danielle Serdachny (25-45--70) in addition to stars like Kristýna Kaltounková and Kaitlyn O'Donohoe. Both Hannah Murphy and Kayle Osborne had strong years in net, but split the starts 20-19. It's unclear who grabs hold of the net in the tournament.

HISTORY: Click or tap here for the complete list of NC women's hockey champions

Meanwhile, Wisconsin has one of the deepest rosters, on paper, in college hockey. Whether it's Casey O'Brien, Lacey Eden, Caroline Harvey, Jesse Compher, Britta Curl, Sophie Shirley and more, it's a murderer's row of offense. Cami Kronish has proven she can get the job done as the starter as well.

These are two of the nation's highest-flying teams, but between their depth, experience and strength of schedule, I'm taking the Badgers.

Prediction: Wisconsin advances

New Haven Regional​

Regional final: No. 4 Yale (28-3-1) vs. No. 5 Northeastern (33-2-1); 3 p.m. ET, March 11
This might be the marquee matchup of the regionals.

The Bulldogs had rolled through the ECAC before an upset at the hands of Clarkson in the conference semifinals. Nevertheless, they have a bonafide star in Elle Hartje as well as Jordan Ray and Charlotte Welch. Pia Dukaric was one of the best netminders in the nation, and they benefitted from a strong schedule in a deep ECAC.

As for Northeastern, they mowed through Hockey East once again, making the absolute most of their schedule. NU has three legitimate superstars in Alina Müller, Maureen Murphy and Chloé Aurard. Gwyneth Philips has the best statistics of any goaltender in the nation, and Megan Carter and Maude Poulin-Labelle are each top-flight defenders. The Huskies also have key experience of winning a trophy already after taking home the Beanpot and the conference title.

It's a toss-up, but Northeastern has been on a mission this year. I'm going with the Huskies in what will be appointment viewing.

Prediction: Northeastern advances

Frozen Four

First semifinal: 3:30 p.m. ET, March 17
Second semifinal: 7 p.m. ET, March 17

Everything above leaves us with four super teams in the Frozen Four, pitting Ohio State against Northeastern in one semifinal, and Minnesota against Wisconsin in the other.

FROZEN FOUR: Click or tap here for everything you need to know about the 2023 Women's Frozen Four

Northeastern's top line will get theirs, and while the Huskies have a solid supporting cast, the depth can't compare to Ohio State. In the end, OSU's depth is what should put the Buckeyes over the edge in this one.

Even with all its weapons, Wisconsin was still prone to going quiet offensively, especially in its losses this season. In nine of their 10 losses, the Badgers were held to one goal or fewer. The blueprint to beat them is there, and Minnesota's ability to win in any fashion is a big help. The Gophers have the pieces to keep pace on offense, too.

Prediction: Ohio State and Minnesota advance


National championship: 4 p.m. ET, March 19

I've gone with the Gophers all year long, and I'm standing by my pick.

Minnesota has one of the only other rosters that can go toe-to-toe with the Buckeyes, and they proved it with a 2-1-1 record in the regular season series before winning 3-1 in the WCHA championship.

Between the superstar power that each team boasts between Jaques-Gardiner-Maltais and Heise-Zumwinkle-Murphy is probably a wash, but Vetter gives the Gophers a distinct advantage between the pipes.

Minnesota also proved it can win in multiple ways against Ohio State, whether it be in an offensive shootout or shutting down the Bucks' attack.

Prediction: Minnesota wins its seventh national championship (first since 2016)

Below is my completed bracket:
Patrick Donnelly's bracket for the 2023 NC women's ice hockey tournament

2022-23 Preview: Gophers Women's Hockey loaded with Olympians​


Will the game be picked up by a local feed, like Fox9+, or just ESPN+?

Will the game be picked up by a local feed, like Fox9+, or just ESPN+?

Saturday's Game
I have not heard that Saturday's game will be on a major network. I will watch for that and post it if that happens.

The game is listed at BigTen+ for Saturday at 2 PM. It says free. I will watch for more details. Or anyone else can post about that.


Tickets for the game at the venue are only $10, an amazing value.

Frozen Four Championship in Duluth

"Both national semifinals will be broadcast Friday, March 17. The first semifinal game will air on ESPN+ at 3:30 p.m. ET with the second also being broadcast on ESPN+ at 7 p.m. ET. The national championship will air at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 19, on ESPNU."

If Minnesota goes to the championship game, tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster. And then drive to Duluth for that Sunday game.

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