Gophers Head West for Henderson Hockey Showcase

MINNEAPOLIS – The No. 3 Golden Gopher (9-2-2) women’s hockey team heads west for its first taste of non-conference action in the Henderson Collegiate Hockey Showcase this weekend in Henderson, Nevada. Friday’s game against Penn State No. 12 (10-7-1) will be at 6:00 p.m. CT at Lifeguard Arena with no streaming option. Minnesota will face Boston University (6-8-0) or No. 5 Yale (6-0-0) on Saturday at 3 or 6 p.m. CT at the Dollar Loan Center on B1G+.

Last outing
Last weekend, the Gophers traveled to Madison, Wis., and scored 2 of 6 against the No. 3 Wisconsin Badgers (11-2-1). Minnesota and Wisconsin battled to a 3-3 tie on Friday, with Maroon and Gold earning the extra point in the shootout. Peyton Hemp recorded his second two-goal game of the season and Skylar Vetter stopped 40 shots. Murphy’s Abbey single goal in shootout proved to be the difference. On Saturday, Wisconsin ended Minnesota’s five-game unbeaten streak against the Badgers with a 4-1 win. Taylor Heise was the lone scorer in Game 2 – extending her points streak to seven games.

Non-conference action in Nevada
After losing its only non-conference game of the year, Minnesota is set to face unknown non-conference opponents in Henderson, Nevada. Minnesota will face Penn State on Friday for the fourth time in program history and the first since 2015. The only regular season series between the Gophers and Nittany Lions, Minnesota traveled to University Park and shut out the hosts. 2-0 and 5-0 on October 1 and 2, 2015. On Saturday, the Gophers will face Boston University (5-1 -0 record against) or Yale (9-0-0 record against) at the Dollar Loan Center. The ‘U’ is 44-5-1 in its last 50 non-conference games.

Survey monitoring
Minnesota fell to third in the USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey national polls this week — the lowest ranking so far this season. Ohio State, Wisconsin and Minnesota make up the WCHA’s top three.

Neutral Site Tournament Numbers
In Minnesota’s previous three midseason neutral-site tournaments, the Gophers are 4-1-1. Last season, the Maroon and Gold defeated Mercyhurst before falling to Colgate at the Smashville Showcase in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2019, the Gophers won the Country Classic after beating Boston College (officially scored as a tie) and Harvard in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2018, Minnesota swept the Windjammer Classic in Burlington, Vt., with victories over St Lawrence and Vermont.

Zumwinkle climbs the ladder
After her goal on Friday, the fifth-year forward Grace Zumwinkle now stands at 92 career goals, good for eighth in program history. She leads her compatriot Dani Cameranesi (93) by one goal for seventh place. The Excelsior, Minn., native leads the team in points (19) and has found the scoresheet in 12/13 games this season. Zumwinkle also ranks second in program history in career shots with 696, behind Nadine Muzerall (726).

Mark milestones on the horizon
Fifth year forward Taylor Heise continues to climb the program ranks as Minnesota’s leading active scorer with 178 career points (74g-104a) in 147 career games. Fifth year forwards Abigail Boreen (44g-55a), Emily Oden (28g-68a) and Catie Skaja (38g-56a) are the closest active skaters of the century.

behind the bench
The head coach Brad Frost is back for his 16th season as bench manager for Gopher Women’s Hockey. Under Frost’s leadership, the program posted a 451-95-37 record with four national titles and seven conference titles. Nathalie Darwitz is back behind the bench for his fourth season as an assistant coach and is joined by Jessica Scottwho served as the program’s director of operations for the past three seasons.

Quest for the eighth national title
Minnesota has won seven national championships (2000, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016) and is seeking a historic eighth national crown in 2022-23.

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