Freshman Potomak helping out first line

The forward leads the team in points so far in her first season with nine.

Emily Polglaze

Freshman forward Sarah Potomak is fitting right in with the Gophers top line this season, even though she has only four college games under her belt.
 
Potomak leads the team in points with nine so far after tallying six last weekend against St. Cloud State. Despite skating on the team’s top line right away with senior Hannah Brandt and junior Dani Cameranesi, Potomak’s success hasn’t been surprising to her head coach. 
 
“It’s not an easy role to be in as a freshman, to be relied on, because we’re going to [rely on her],” head coach Brad Frost said. “But she’s doing a great job. She’s really starting to fit in well with Dani and Hannah, and this past weekend was kind of her breaking-out party.”
 
A native of Aldergrove, British Columbia, Potomak got the chance to play with some of her Gophers teammates in August at this summer’s Team USA vs. Team Canada Under-22 series held in Lake Placid, N.Y. 
 
“That was the first time I’d really seen her play, so that was fun,” said Brandt, who played on the U.S. team. “She was kind of the enemy, but she definitely stood out at times.”
Brandt and Potomak reunited shortly after, this time as linemates.
 
In her first weekend, Potomak scored three points but was still getting used to her linemates’ styles of play. 
 
“Those two have obviously played together for a while and have a lot of chemistry,” Potomak said. “It was a little slow to start, but we’re starting to build our own chemistry slowly and have seen good results.”
 
Any jitters Potomak may have had seemed to go away last weekend in her six-point performance. Five of them came in an 11-0 victory Saturday.
 
Potomak’s two goals were scored on two shots, and she had three assists, one on the power play, one shorthanded and one on even-strength.
 
Potomak’s performance earned her Western Collegiate Hockey Association Rookie of the Week honors, helping her live up to the WCHA preseason Rookie of the Year title she received in September.
 
Her nine points are the highest in the NCAA among all rookies, and she is second overall in the WCHA in points. 
 
Potomak added to her list of accolades Monday when she was selected to represent Canada in the Four Nations Cup that will take place in Sweden early this November during a Gophers bye week.
 
Potomak joins fellow Canadian and former Gophers player Sarah Davis on the Canadian side. Minnesota alumnae Megan Bozek, Gigi Marvin and Anne Schleper will represent the U.S.
 
Potomak has been modest about her achievements, but Brandt said her performance thus far is just a small preview of what’s to come. 
 
“We need our freshmen to step up, and Sarah did that this past weekend,” Brandt said. “Frost always says, ‘You’re not really a freshman after your first weekend on this team,’ and I thought she did a good job. I’m excited to see where she goes.”