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Editorial Cartoon: Peace in Gaza
Editorial Cartoon: Peace in Gaza
Published April 19, 2024

Homegrown: 5 Minnesotans sign with Gophers women’s hockey

The Gophers welcome five new players to the program, all of whom have histories of leadership and accomplishment.
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Image by Emily Urfer
The team will be stacked with young offensive and defensive talent.

Minnesota announced its new signing class last week, improving its already brilliant year.

This season’s first-years, such as Nelli Laitinen and Josefin Bouveng, had an incredible start to the season. But there is also a bright future ahead for the program with the recent signees.

Twenty players on the current roster are from Minnesota, so the five additions improve the team’s homegrown aspect.

Current sophomores Peyton Hemp and Sadie Lindsay will be joined by their sisters, Josie and Ava respectively.

Josie Hemp, a defender, hails from Andover, Minnesota, and currently plays for Minnetonka High School. Last season with Minnetonka, Hemp posted 39 points in 29 games, the third most points on the team.

The player with the most points on Minnetonka’s roster last season was another Minnesota signee, Ava Lindsay. The forward lit up the scoresheet in the 2021-22 season for a total of 58 points and 22 goals. Lindsay received two all-state honors and won silver — alongside current Gopher Madison Kaiser — with Team USA in the 2022 Under-18 Women’s World Hockey Championship in Madison, Wisconsin.

The second blue-liner in this signing class, Elly Klepinger, completes the Minnetonka trio. She is coming off an incredible season that saw her score 30 points, including 10 goals, and receive an all-state honorable mention. Klepinger and Lindsay were both selected to play for Team USA in the 2023 Under-18 Women’s World Hockey Championship in Sweden.

Quality leadership is coming to the Gophers; the three Minnetonka players and the other signees, Isabelle Goettl and Lauren O’Hara, are all captains.

Goettl, a forward, is returning after a 56-point season with Andover High School. Goettl brings a champion mentality to the Gophers’ roster with two Minnesota High School State Championships under her belt.

O’Hara, the third forward in this class, is from Blaine, Minnesota. She is representing Centennial Spring Lake Park this season and is coming off a 51-point season with 21 goals. O’Hara also received an all-state honorable mention last season.

Gophers fans have plenty to look forward to in the coming years; the team and its future are stacked with young offensive and defensive talent.

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