McMillen gives blue line offense

The senior is one of six defensemen in Minnesota history to score 100 points.

Minnesota defender Milica McMillen handles the puck against Bemidji State on Feb. 8, 2014 at Ridder Arena.

Holly Peterson, Daily File Photo

Minnesota defender Milica McMillen handles the puck against Bemidji State on Feb. 8, 2014 at Ridder Arena.

Emily Polglaze

Milica McMillen is positioned on the blue line, but she’s been an effective two-way player skating for the Gophers. 
 
The senior leads No. 3 Minnesota’s defensemen in scoring this season with 11 points in 10 games. 
 
“She’s a player that just has so much offensive talent,” head coach Brad Frost said in October. “She may be one of our top one or two offensive-skilled players.”
 
McMillen’s offensive impact has been notable in each season she’s played for the Gophers. 
 
McMillen had 13 goals and 13 assists in her rookie season — the last of which was the game-winning goal in the national championship game.
 
McMillen was also named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team and the All-WCHA Rookie Team her freshman year. 
 
McMillen had a career-high 39 points her sophomore season and tied with forward Rachael Bona for the best plus/minus ranking on the team at plus-49. 
 
McMillen also aided the Gophers defense in her sophomore season with 43 blocked shots, the second highest on the team, along with her offensive impact. 
 
McMillen didn’t slow down as a junior, and her final season has also started strong, as she is currently seventh on the Gophers in points.
 
She scored Minnesota’s first goal of the season at Penn State in its season opener on Oct. 1 and has added three more since then.
 
McMillen also became the sixth defenseman in program history to reach 100 career points in October. 
 
Junior Megan Wolfe has served as McMillen’s defensive partner for most of this season, and the pair has 22 points so far this season. 
 
“Milica has a big role on our team, so playing with her is an advantage,” Wolfe said. “She’s good on defense and offense, so I always know that she’ll have my back if I want to jump into the play.”
 
McMillen has also maintained her presence in the penalty box — something she developed early on. 
 
Each season she’s been at Minnesota, McMillen has led the team in penalty minutes. She has 190 total penalty minutes in her career so far, enough time to fill three games and half a period.
 
McMillen, who stands at 5 feet 10 inches without skates, said sometimes the calls are unavoidable because of her size and physicality, but she’s looking to minimize the
minutes.
 
“I think in the past they’ve been more aggressive [with] me trying to hit someone,” McMillen said. “So this year I’m trying not to do that. I try to use my size to my advantage,
but then sometimes I end up in the box for it.”
 
McMillen is also looking to make an impact beyond scoring points in her last year as the Gophers chase another national championship. 
 
“My goal this year is just to enjoy it as much as I can,” McMillen said. “And hockey-wise, I want to be more of a leader because the freshmen always look to the juniors and
seniors to know what they’re doing.”