Women’s hockey team going strong in first year

The Gophers women’s hockey team has made several statements in its inaugural season to indicate Minnesota is not an average first-year program.
Although the Gophers won the Princeton Thanksgiving Tournament in late November, defeating three established East Coast teams in the process, the biggest eye-opener of the program’s short history might have come at the Brown Holiday Tournament, held Dec. 28-30 in Providence, R.I.
Minnesota went just 1-2 in the tourney, dropping its overall record to 9-4-1, but in the tournament finale the Gophers lost by a narrow 5-4 margin to New Hampshire, the top-rated women’s hockey team in the country.
In the Gophers’ only other action during break, they won and tied in a home series against Princeton.
Minnesota’s more-than-competitive play against Eastern schools should bode well for the future of the program — as well as the future of this season.
The Gophers return to action in a two-game home series Tuesday and Wednesday against St. Lawrence.
Swimming and diving
The men’s swimming and diving team defeated Hawaii 133-60 in the only competitive action for either the men’s or women’s team during break. Both squads participated in training trips in warmer climates. The swimmers were in Hawaii while the divers were in Florida.
Both teams return to action in the Gold Country Invitational on Saturday at the Aquatic Center.
Track and field
The men’s track and field team hosted the Early Bird Open over the weekend, a meet that featured mostly alumni.
Both the men’s and women’s teams have their first competitive indoor meet on Saturday, when they host the Northwest Open at the Fieldhouse.
Tennis
The Gophers men’s tennis team returns to action on Tuesday after a long layoff.
Minnesota travels to Wisconsin for the Milwaukee Open, which will conclude Saturday.
The men’s team returns home Jan. 16 to face New Mexico. The women’s team is also home that weekend, hosting the Federated Insurance Court Classic.
— Michael Rand