Gophers head west for Henderson Hockey Showcase

MINNEAPOLIS – The No. 3 Golden Gopher women’s hockey team (9-2-2) heads west for its first taste of non-conference action at the Henderson Collegiate Hockey Showcase this weekend in Henderson, Nev. Friday’s game against No. 12 Penn State (10-7-1) will take place at 6:00 PM CT at Lifeguard Arena with no streaming option. Minnesota will face Boston University (6-8-0) of No. 5 Yale (6-0-0) on Saturday at 3 p.m. or 6 p.m. CT at the Dollar Loan Center on B1G+.

Last timeout
Last weekend, the Gophers traveled to Madison, Wis., earning 2/6 points against the third-ranked Wisconsin Badgers (11-2-1). On Friday, Minnesota and Wisconsin battled to a 3-3 tie with the Maroon and Gold earning the extra point in the shootout. Peyton hemp recorded her second two-goal game of the season and Skylar Vetter stopped 40 shots. Murphy’s Abbey the only goal in the shootout turned out to be the difference. On Saturday, Wisconsin broke Minnesota’s five-game undefeated streak over the Badgers with a 4-1 win. Taylor Heise was the lone scorer in game two – extending her point streak to seven games.

Nevada non-conference action
After losing its only non-conference game of the year, Minnesota is set to take on some unknown non-conference opponents in Henderson, Nev. the only regular season series between the Gophers and Nittany Lions, Minnesota traveled to University Park and defeated the hosts 2-0 and 5-0 on October 1-2, 2015. On Saturday, the Gophers will face Boston University (5-1 – 0 record against) or Yale (9-0-0 record against) at the Dollar Loan Center. The ‘U’ is 44-5-1 in the last 50 non-conference games.

Watch Poll
Minnesota fell to No. 3 this week in the USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey national polls — its lowest ranking so far this season. Ohio State, Wisconsin and Minnesota make up the all-WCHA top three.

Neutral Venue Tournament Numbers
In Minnesota’s three previous midseason neutral tournaments, the Gophers were 4-1-1. Last season, the Maroon and Gold defeated Mercyhurst before falling to Colgate at the Smashville Showcase in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2019, the Gophers won the Country Classic after defeating Boston College (officially marked as a tie) and Harvard in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2018, Minnesota won the Windjammer Classic in Burlington, Vt., with victories over St Lawrence and Vermont.

Zumwinkle is climbing the ranks
After her goal on Friday, fifth-year forward Grace Zumwinkle now sits at 92 career goals, ranking eighth in program history. She trails fellow Olympian Dani Cameranesi (93) by one goal for seventh. The Excelsior, Minn. native leads the team in points (19) and has found the scoresheet in 12/13 games this season. Zumwinkle also ranks second in program history in career shots with 696, behind only Nadine Muzerall (726).

Scoring milestones on the horizon
Fifth-year ahead Taylor Heise continues to climb the program rankings as Minnesota’s active career scoring leader with 178 career points (74g-104a) in 147 career games. Fifth-year ahead Abigail Boreen (44g-55a), Emily Odden (28g-68a) and Catie Skaya (38g-56a) are the active skaters closest to the century mark.

Behind the couch
Head coach Brad Frost is back for his 16th season as bench boss of Gopher Women’s Hockey. Under Frost’s leadership, the program has posted a 451-95-37 record with four national titles and seven conference titles. Natalie Darwitz is back behind the bench for her fourth season as assistant coach and is joined by Jessica Scottwho served as the program’s Director of Operations for the past three seasons.

Quest for the eighth national title
Minnesota has won seven national championships (2000, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016) and is aiming for a historic eighth national title in 2022-23.

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