Former U goaltender Killewald diagnosed with brain tumor

Anthony Maggio

In her four years with the Minnesota women’s hockey team, former goaltender Erica Killewald faced some tough opponents. None, however, compare with what she faces now.

Over the weekend Killewald, 21, was told by doctors that she has a brain tumor.

On Monday, Killewald’s father, Richard, said surgery will take place this week. The family is unsure of how long the tumor has been there.

“We’re waiting for the doctor to call us and let us know what is going on,” he said. “This is kind of difficult to talk about.”

Killewald had been “experiencing some lightheadedness and occasional vomiting for the past few months”, which prompted a medical checkup, according to her father.

Coach Laura Halldorson was unsure whether Killewald felt the effects of the tumor last season because “all players have bumps and bruises throughout the year.”

“I don’t know what was related and what wasn’t,” Halldorson said.

Players and coaches alike were stunned by the news.

“I was completely shocked,” Halldorson said. “We notified the team of the situation. I talked to some of the players and their reaction was complete surprise and shock.”

Assistant coach Joel Johnson added, “I was sad, and I’m hoping and praying for the best for Erica and her family.”

“I think that the best thing for Erica right now is that people support her and pray for her,” Johnson said.

Killewald, a native of Troy, Mich., ended her final season as a Gopher with a 19-8-2 record, allowing 62 goals against 657 saves for a .914 save percentage.

She led the team to the 2000 AWCHA title and was named tournament MVP after stopping 74 of 78 shots.

The backbone of her team for four years, Killewald told Halldorson “to pass on to her teammates that she could really use their support and prayers.”

 

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