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Cherkowski and Murphy: the future of Gophers women’s hockey

Freshmen Anne Cherkowski and Abbey Murphy are both on fire this season, playing on the Gophers’ top two lines.
Image by Emily Urfer
University of Minnesota women’s hockey team lines up before their game against Ohio State in Ridder Arena on Saturday, Nov. 21. The Gophers won in a shut out with an ending score of 4-0.

Two of the top five scorers on the No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers women’s hockey team are experiencing their first time playing in the NCAA.

Abbey Murphy, who is from the Chicago area and calls herself a “bruiser” type of player who brings a “mean game,” has three goals and five assists — totaling eight points over 11 games played. Murphy is a member of the second line on the Gophers, with Emily Oden and Taylor Heise.

“Heise and Oden are two people I look up to a lot, and I’m very excited to continue to roll with them and get to know them,” Murphy said.

Murphy is also from the same AAA club hockey team, Chicago Mission, as fellow freshman teammate Josey Dunne.

“It’s been awesome playing with Jos, especially coming from Mission,” Murphy said. “We know each other well, and it’s very rewarding to play four more years with someone you’ve grown up with and has totally made the transition from high school to college easier.”

Anne Cherkowski is the third player on the Gophers’ roster from British Columbia, Canada. She has one goal and five assists, earning six points over 11 games. Cherkowski is a member of the Gophers’ top offensive line with Grace Zumwinkle and Amy Potomak.

“Before our first game together, I was a little nervous, and I didn’t want to mess up, but they’ve shown me the way and have been great leaders,” Cherkowski said. “Finding my niche in the college game has been much easier with their support.”

Murphy and Cherkowski are great friends off the ice and have helped each other navigate what could be an otherwise challenging freshman year. Cherkowski said that Murphy is a “great teammate and a really good player.”

“She’s super fast and skilled, so that’s really fun to have someone like that my age who is that talented,” Cherkowski said. “She’s also so much fun to hang around with off ice as well.”

Cherkowski coming from Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic has presented quite the transition in playing American collegiate hockey. Cherkowski and Murphy both agree that college hockey has been more aggressive and faster than what they played as high school students. Cherkowski added that she is grateful for her veteran teammates who have helped aid the move to the next level.

“It’s been a huge help having Amy [Potomak] and [Olivia] Knowles just to guide me and be people to relate to and ask questions,” Cherkowski said.

Along with playing collegiate hockey, both athletes are enjoying the cuisine around campus. Murphy enjoys the occasional shake from MyBurger, and Cherkowski enjoys Noodles & Company, something she didn’t have across the northern border.

“There isn’t a place like Noodles in Canada; it’s so good,” Cherkowski said.

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