Gophers creating a dynasty in Minneapolis

Some say Brad Frost’s Gophers may have created a hockey dynasty.

Gophers celebrate after scoring on the Badgers in the NCAA Women's Frozen Four semifinal round in Ridder Arena on Friday, March 20th. Minnesota defeated Wisconsin 3-1, securing their place in the finals on Sunday.

Alex Tuthill-Preus

Gophers celebrate after scoring on the Badgers in the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four semifinal round in Ridder Arena on Friday, March 20th. Minnesota defeated Wisconsin 3-1, securing their place in the finals on Sunday.

Grant Donald

Head coach Brad Frost entered his fourth national championship postgame press conference in as many years Sunday.

But this time, the leader of the University of Minnesota women’s hockey team featured an unprecedented accessory.

Frost, who coached the Gophers to a 4-1 national championship victory over Harvard on Sunday, had his “national champions” hat backward with a piece of one of Ridder Arena’s nets sticking out the front.

“This is the first time we cut the net — I don’t know if anyone else has ever done it,” Frost said. “I had it in mind [before the game], but you never want to think about it too much because the last thing you want to do is watch someone else cut down the net.”

If cutting down the nets does indeed become a tradition for Frost and the Gophers, he’ll have a hefty collection of twine by the time he retires.

Sunday’s victory marks the Gophers’ third national title in the last four years. The only year they didn’t win, they finished second.

Creating a program that has had so much success has some people talking about a dynasty.

“I don’t know if the team or the players or the coaches want to be the ones to say ‘Yes, this is a dynasty,’” senior captain Rachel Ramsey said. “I will say that I think what we have done is incredibly special.”

But Frost or any of his players don’t have to say anything — their actions speak louder than any words they could utter.

Over the last four years, Minnesota set an NCAA record for the longest winning streak — 62 games — and no other class in program history has won as many games at Minnesota as this year’s seniors.

Also, over the course of the last four years, Minnesota has taken home three regular-season WCHA championships and three WCHA Final Faceoff titles.

“I don’t know how you explain what’s going on here,” Frost said. “To come away with three [national championships in four years] speaks volumes to our team, our program and our players.”

Frost’s program shows no sign of stopping, either.

Although Minnesota will lose four seniors this year, the Gophers will return their top four scorers from this year — including two-time Patty Kazmaier award finalist Hannah Brandt.

The Gophers also return a solid defensive nucleus that includes Olympian Lee Stecklein and goaltender Amanda Leveille.

Combine those with a trio of freshmen that only got better as the season progressed, and the Gophers could cut down more nets next year.

The Gophers will be ready to start their quest for a fourth national title in five years once they’re done celebrating this one.

“We’ll leave it up to you guys to decide if [the Gophers] are a dynasty or not,” Ramsey said.