Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Daily Email Edition

Get MN Daily NEWS delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday!


Gopher women’s hockey’s newcomers adjusting well after significant departures

The freshman and graduate transfers have found their place in the Gophers’ lineup and helped the team succeed in the first half of the season.
Image by University of Minnesota Athletics (courtesy)
Peyton Hemp (No. 15), Ava Lindsay (No. 9) and Solveig Neunzert (No. 27) celebrate a goal versus St. Cloud State on Oct. 17. The Gophers won the game 2-1.

Minnesota women’s hockey added nine new players to their roster this season after several significant departures of long-time Gophers, like Taylor Heise and Grace Zumwinkle.

Similar to last season, the Gophers have been ranked among the top teams on the U.S. College Hockey Online’s national poll. They started the season ranked No. 3 and have remained a top team in college hockey throughout the first half of the season.

Minnesota’s newcomers have been able to find their roles on the team during its success. Head coach Brad Frost said freshmen Emma Kreisz and Ava Lindsay have fit in well.

“They’re playing in all situations for us,” Frost said.

Kreisz and Lindsay have led first-years in scoring on the team, quickly adjusting to the collegiate pace. For example, Lindsay scored in her second game for Minnesota early in October.

Kreisz joined a group of three other international players in Minnesota, including another newcomer, fifth-year Solveig Neunzert.

Ella Huber, a junior forward for the Gophers, said the newcomers are bringing a lot of energy and skill to the team.

“I think Ava and Emma, in particular, have done a really good job with us,” Huber said.

Three of the nine players added to the roster this season are fifth-year players. Neunzert, Lucy Morgan and Taylor Stewart joined the Gophers after playing four seasons with other college teams.

Frost said the group of fifth years has provided steady and calm leadership for the team.

“It’s been fun to see them assimilate to our team and our culture,” Frost said.

Stewart, who transferred to the Gophers after four years with Minnesota-Duluth, said she acclimated to the team very well.

“The team has been incredibly welcoming,” Stewart said.

Frost said Stewart’s veteran experience has been helping the rest of the team. He added Stewart has paired well with another veteran defender, graduate Madeline Wethington.

“[Stewart] is a real steadying presence back there,” Frost said. “I think she’s actually been really good for Madeline.”

Wethington’s offensive-minded game compliments Stewart’s calm and reliable defensive capabilities, Frost said.

In their November trip to Washington, D.C. for the D1 in DC tournament, the Gophers allowed just two goals.

The Gophers defeated No. 9 Cornell in their second game in Washington, D.C., racking up five goals in the process. Minnesota’s defense allowed 13 shots on goal in the game as well, blocking 14 of Cornell’s shots in the 5-1 win.

Additionally, the Gophers’ defense successfully erased Cornell’s three power plays during the game, attesting to their top penalty kill in the NCAA.

“I think as D-pairs, we’re building a lot of chemistry back there,” Stewart said. “Everyone’s really working together for the same common goal and that’s shutdown defense.”

Early on in the season, No. 1 Ohio State was the only team that Minnesota seemed to struggle with, losing both their games against them on the road. Through their first 10 games of the season, Ohio State was the only team that scored more than two goals in a game against the Gophers.

Junior goaltender Skylar Vetter was in goal for both games and stopped a combined 98 shots over the weekend.

In a press conference Nov. 22, Frost said the team was able to bounce back well after the losses to Ohio State, sweeping both Minnesota State and Duluth before heading to Washington D.C. He said the losses encouraged the team to move forward.

“What I love about college hockey is you play your game, you turn the page and then you’re focusing on your next opponent,” Frost said. “That’s why the season tends to go really quickly. You have to have a short memory and just continue to build, which I think our team has done.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Accessibility Toolbar

Comments (0)

All The Minnesota Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *