The No. 2 University of Minnesota women’s hockey team unofficially kicks off the 2019-20 season by hosting the Toronto Aeros and the Minnesota Whitecaps in a pair of exhibition games at Ridder Arena this weekend. The Gophers and Aeros face off at 12:07 p.m. CT Saturday with a meeting with the 2019 NWHL Isobel Cup champions on deck for 2:07 p.m. CT Sunday.
Head coach Brad Frost returns for his 13th season at the helm of the program with a .820 winning percentage in his first 12 seasons. The Gophers return 18 players from last year’s NCAA runner-up squad, including two of the WCHA’s top-five defensive scorers from a year ago in Emily Brown, who ranked second among WCHA defense with 27 points (4g-23a) last season, and Patti Marshall, who ranked fifth in the conference among blue-liners with 21 points (2g-19a).
The Gophers return over 70% of their scoring from a year ago, including seven of Minnesota’s top-10 scorers from 2018-19. Junior Grace Zumwinkle (25g-16a), sophomore Taylor Heise (13g-22a), and redshirt sophomore Amy Potomak (11g-20a) lead the way after each surpassing the 30-point mark a year ago. Redshirt senior Sarah Potomak returns as Minnesota’s active career scoring leader, tied for 24th in program history with 133 career points, as well.
Gopher head coach Brad Frost sat down with MNN Sports Director Mike Grimm for a quick preview of the season:
Four newcomers join the Gophers for the 2019-20 season in defense Madeline Wethington (Edina, Minn./Blake School), forward Sydney Shearen (Hugo, Minn./White Bear Lake High School), goaltender Makayla Pahl (Rochester, Minn./Rochester Mayo High School), and goaltender Olivia King (Garrison, Minn./Brainerd High School).
2018-19 Season in Review
Minnesota wrapped up the 22nd season of Gopher women’s hockey as NCAA and WCHA Final Faceoff runners-up in 2018-19. The Maroon & Gold took home the program’s 10th WCHA regular-season title and said goodbye to eight graduating seniors in head coach Brad Frost’s 12th season at the helm of the program. The Gophers posted an overall record of 32-6-1 as they fell one game short of the program’s eighth national championship.
Up Next: Colgate
The puck drops on the regular season the weekend of Sept. 27-28 when Minnesota welcomes 2018 NCAA runner-up Colgate to Ridder Arena. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m. CT Friday and 4:07 p.m. CT Saturday.
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)