U women’s hockey inks key recruits

The Gophers women’s hockey team announced Thursday it has signed three players to national letters of intent.
Laura Slominski (Burnsville, Minn.), Tracy Engstrom (Willmar, Minn.) and Crystal Nicholas (Tulsa, Okla.) will join Jenny Schmidgall, who played with Team USA last year, as the 1998-99 freshman class.
Coach Laura Halldorson also announced that sisters Shannon and Courtney Kennedy will join Minnesota as transfers from Colby College.
Slominski won the 1998 state Ms. Hockey Award and was a three-time all-conference player at Burnsville High School.
Engstrom was a captain on the Minnesota Thoroughbreds last season and recorded 48 points for the team two years ago.
Nicholas, a goalie, posted a 2.4 goals against average and 9.30 save percentage playing on the Union High varsity boys’ hockey team last season.
Schmidgall had two goals and three assists during the Olympics for the gold medal-winning U.S. team.
Courtney Kennedy was one of 11 finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award as the national women’s player of the year after.
Shannon Kennedy recorded 27 points last year and finished 17th in the nation in goals per game.
— Michael Rand