Coulombe, Glenn lead by example, not points

Noah Seligman

Melissa Coulombe and Jerilyn Glenn are not goal scorers. They are not the superstars. And they probably skate under the radar of most opponents.

But the two seniors are still vital to Minnesota’s top-ranked women’s hockey team. Coulombe and Glenn are role players who do their job and do it well.

“They are just as important as players that score goals,” assistant coach Brad Frost said. “We need people to lead by example, we need people to work hard, and I think Jer and Mel in particular have accepted their role and they’ve flourished in it.”

With the loss of senior co-captain Kelsey Bills to a leg injury until February, Coulombe and Glenn know their leadership roles on the team have changed.

“I am taking it upon myself a bit more to be a leader in terms of talking and getting people going,” Coulombe said.

Coulombe, a native of St. Pierre-Jolys, Manitoba, did not start playing hockey until seventh grade. She decided to play for the Gophers in part because of the history of hockey in Minnesota. It’s a historical lesson she wants to pass on to the team’s younger members.

“I just want them to realize the tradition we’re trying to put together for this team,” Coulombe said. “Keep passing on this tradition of excellence.”

Glenn has an impressive history of her own. The Ham Lake, Minn., native won 11 varsity letters and was a Ms. Hockey finalist in 2000. Glenn also won the team’s Ridder award, given to the player who excels in community service.

But her exhaustive energy is her trademark. Frost gave Glenn the nickname “Horse” because of her hard work, strong play and incessant vigor on the ice.

That ceaseless desire Coulombe and Glenn display has made a positive impression on the program.

“It’s really neat to see the way players mature freshman to senior year,” Frost said. “And both of them have definitely matured throughout their four years and have now become just great people and great leaders.”

The maturing process is a natural progression that has put Coulombe and Glenn in an important position.

“They both have leadership roles,” coach Laura Halldorson said. “Even though they’re not wearing a ‘C’ on their jersey as a captain, they’re both very focused and excited about having a great finish to their careers.”

The Gophers’ goal this year is the national championship, a task the team takes seriously.

But Glenn knows that the key to the championship is to enjoy the game.

“The key is to trust each other’s roles and have fun,” she said. “Without that we won’t get very far.”

Role players are often the key to title runs, and Minnesota will look to two seniors to help lead the way.

Darwitz, Wall honored

Sophomore forward Natalie Darwitz and freshman defender Lyndsay Wall were named the offensive and defensive players of the week by the WCHA.

Darwitz scored seven points in a series sweep over St. Cloud State including her fifth career hat trick. Wall scored four points over the weekend to bring her season total to 10, tops in the WCHA among defenders. This is the second time Darwitz has been honored this season and the first time this year a Minnesota defender has received player of the week honors.