No secret: Hill-Murray girls' hockey looks strong

  • Article by: AARON PAITICH , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 2, 2013 - 5:17 PM

A strong core of returning players bodes well for the Hill-Murray girls’ hockey team.

hide

Left: Brittney Anderson, right, is a workhorse on the blue line for the Pioneers. She rarely loses 1-on-1 battles.

 

The Hill-Murray girls’ hockey team surprised a lot of people last season. The young, inexperienced squad began the season 3-3-3.

Once Christmas time came around, the Pioneers hit their stride, advancing all the way to the Class 2A state semifinals.

“I’m sure we caught some people off guard, definitely,” coach Bill Schafhauser said. “It took us a while to get going, but once they gained confidence in each other, it was fun, that’s for sure.”

Opposing teams won’t be fooled again this season. With a strong core returning, the Pioneers are expected to contend.

Four key veterans have played well in the Elite League this fall.

Sarah Bobrowski is the Pioneers’ leading returning scorer and senior captain. She is committed to play college hockey at Lindenwood. Bobrowski brings speed and a scoring touch that will be heavily relied upon.

Senior Brittney Anderson bolsters Hill-Murray’s blue line. Anderson, who will play for St. Cloud State next year, plays defense “the old-fashioned way,” Schafhauser said. Anderson is strong in small areas, protects the puck well and rarely gets beat 1-on-1.

“She’s an absolute workhorse,” he said. “She logs a ton of ice time. She has a great shot and is a great special teams player. The little tricks and details that not a lot of defensemen have — she definitely has all of that.”

Jess Bonfe is a prototypical power forward. Tall and strong on the wing, Bonfe is getting a lot of interest from Division-I schools but is uncommitted. The junior is expected to take another jump offensively this season.

“She’s really good in the trenches and in front of the net,” Schafhauser said. “She’s just a really good athlete.”

Transfer with skills

The Pioneers also have a newcomer in McKenzie Steffen, a sophomore transfer from Benilde-St. Margaret’s whose family moved, Schafhauser said. Steffen also had a strong season in the Elite League.

“[Steffen] brings a ton of skill,” Schafhauser said. “She’s great with the puck and is a great skater. I’m hoping she finds her way offensively. She definitely has the ability to put up a lot of points and be a really good special teams player.”

The Pioneers received contributions the past season as well from freshmen like Kate Smith, Kenzie Prater and Jac Kaasa.

“All those kids got some awesome experience,” Schafhauser said. “Pretty balanced scoring I think is what we’ll experience again. That’s what really carried us last year and I fully expect it to happen again this year.”

Depth and balanced scoring is what separates the pretenders from the contenders, and the Pioneers were able to run four lines without hesitation.

But after the Pioneers’ strong playoffs run, the secret’s out. Hill-Murray is preparing for another impressive campaign.

“There won’t be any surprises for other teams, and that’s OK,” Schafhauser said.

“It’s just a different learning experience. It will be a different approach for us, but our expectations will remain high.”

  • related content

  • Above:  Hill-Murray defenseman McKenzie Steffen, center, handles the puck and skates well. She is a transfer from Benilde-St. Margaret’s.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 97 FINAL
Golden State 110
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
UNLV 79
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Gophers head coach?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close