Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.
Just think how much media hysteria there would be if the men's and women's basketball teams at the U of M were both No. 1s in the land?
Well, the men's and women's hockey teams continue to be and it's almost expected. Especially on the women's side.
The U women have been unanimous No. 1s since the start of the season -- 18 weeks in all. They are 28-0-0 overall, 22-0-0 in conference play.
Looks like they have a good shot at finishing regular season 34-0-0 with only three weekends of WCHA games left. They play at Ohio State, tied for third in WCHA. That might be a little tricky. But then they finish with Bemidji State at home and St. Cloud State on the road. Those two teams are at bottom of WCHA standings, seventh and eighth places.
Behind the Gophers in the USA Today national poll are all teams from the East: Boston College and Boston University are Nos. 2 andd 3. Then come Cornell, Harvard, Clarkson and Mercyhurt before the WCHA claims spots No. 8-10 with North Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota Duluth.
So this seems like a down season for the WCHA except for the Gophs.
Katherine Schipper of Brooklyn Park had two goals and an assist as the U.S. team crushed Sweden 8-0 in the under-18 IIHF women's world championships in Heinola, Finland.
Danielle Cameranesi of Plymouth had a goal and an assist for the U.S. while Megan Wolfe of Eagan had a goal and Amy Menke of Shakopee two assists.
The U.S. team outshot the Swedes 57-10 to finish the preliminary round 3-0. They outscored Russia the Czech Republic and Sweden 25-0.
They play in the semifinals on Friday.
Thirty-six players, including 13 members of the U.S. women's team in the 2010 Olympics, will be at the national team's six-day winter camp, starting Wednesday at the National Sports Center in Blaine.
They will be divided into two teams – blue and white – for a series of intrasquad scrimmages.
“This camp is a critical step in our player evaluation process as we look ahead to the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Championship,” said Reagan Carey, USA Hockey’s director of women’s hockey. “It’s an extremely competitive camp that allows our top 36 players to compete at the highest level.”
The camp will include two days of physical fitness testing, three days of practice, and three games open to the public.
Half the players competed for Team USA at the 2012 IIHF Women’s World Championship. Ten of those players were on both the 2010 Olympic and 2012 Women's World Championship rosters. Twenty-two are playing college hockey.
Players come from 16 different states. Minnesota and Massachusetts have the most, with six apiece. ... Eleven players are from the WCHA.
Jenny Potter of Edina will be the oldest player at camp (33 years, 11 months) and Courtney Burke (Albany, N.Y.) the youngest (18 years, 3 months) ... Head coach Katey Stone of Arlington, Mass., will guide Team USA in the 2013 IIHF Women's World Championship in Ottawa, Canada, and the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
Among the players in camp will be three currrent Gophers defensemen, Megan Bozek, Milica McMillen and Lee Stecklein and two former ones, Anne Schleper and Gigi Marvin, now of the Boston Blades in the CWHL.
Also in the camp are two Gophers forwards, Hannah Brandt and Amanda Kessel, and two former ones, Sarah Erickson and Jenny Potter. The Gophers, at the holidays break are 20-0 and rated No. 1 in the nation.
Intrasquad Game Schedule
Date Event Time
Fri., Dec. 28 Team Blue vs. White 6:30 p.m.
Sat. Dec. 29 Blue vs. White 6 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 31 Blue vs. White 8:45 a.m.
Times subject to change; games will be played on Rink 6 at Schwan's Super RInk.
Alex Rigsby,. University of Wisconsin (WCHA)
Jessie Vetter, Oregon Outlaws (GLHL)
Kacey Bellamy, Boston Blades (CWHL)
Megan Bozek, Minnesota (WCHA)
Milica McMillen, Minnesota (WCHA)
Emily Pflazer, Boston College (HEA)
Anne Schleper, Boston Blades (CWHL)
Lee Stecklein, Minnesota (WCHA)
Kelly Babstock, Quinnipiac University (ECACH)
Julie Chu, Montreal Stars (CWHL)
Kendall Coyne, Northeastern University (HEA)
Brianna Decker, Wisconsin (WCHA)
Jordan Smelker, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (ECACH)
Jocelyne Lamoureux, North Dakota (WCHA)
Monique Lamoureux, North Dakota (WCHA)
Jenny Potter, Minnesota Whitecaps (WWHL)
Haley Skarupa, Boston College (HEA)
Karen Thatcher, Boston Blades (CWHL)
Brianne McLaughlin, Ohio Men’s League in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Molly Schaus, Boston Blades (CWHL)
Courtney Burke, Wisconsin (WCHA)
Caitlin Cahow, Boston Blades (CWHL)
Lisa Chesson, Men’s League in Columbus, Ohio
Alyssa Gagliardi, Cornell University (ECACH)
Gigi Marvin, Boston Blades (CWHL)
Michelle Picard, Harvard University (ECACH)
Hannah Brandt, Minnesota (WCHA)
Alex Carpenter, Boston College (HEA)
Jillian Dempsey, Harvard University (ECACH)
Sarah Erickson, not listed
Emily Field, Boston College (HEA)
Lyndsey Fry, Harvard University (ECACH)
Amanda Kessel, Minnesota (WCHA)
Hilary Knight, Boston Blades (CWHL)
Amanda Pelkey, Vermont (HEA)
Kelley Steadman, Boston Blades (CWHL)
Junior forward Amanda Kessel of Madison, Wis., is the WCHA's offensive player of the week. She had one goal and three assists as the U of M swept Minnesota Duluth 4-1, 4-0 on the road.
She has 15 goals and 17 assists for 32 points in 11 games for the No. 1-ranked Gophers (12-0-0).
Center Hannah Brandt, of Vadnais Heights, is the conference's rookie of the week. She had two assists in both UMD games. So for the season, she has 12 goals and 21 assists for 33 points -- one ahead of Kessel -- in 12 games.
Kessel has received the same award twice, Brandt three times.
The defensive player of the week is Wisconsin junior goalie Alex Rigsby of Delafield, Wis. She shut out Minnesota State Mankato 2-0 and 5-0. She had 36 saves in the two games. ... Gophers defenseman Megan Bozek also was nominated for this award.
Senior goalie Noora Raty is nearing the end of a wondrous career at the U of M. Raty won her 82nd and 83rd games last weekend as the Gophers swept Ohio State 7-2 and 8-0. She is now tied in career victories at the U with Jody Horak for first on the all-time list.
She also earned her 10th WCHA defensive player of the week award. She was actually co-defensive player this week with sr. goalie Jorid Dagfinrud of North Dakota. Dagfinrud is from Sarpsborg, Norway and was in nets for UND's 3-1 and 1-0 sweep of St. Cloud State. She stopped 34 of 35 shots.
Raty stopped 15 shots the first night, 20 the second in her 30th shutout. The Gophers play at UND this weekend, so Raty, of Espoo, Finland, will probably face Dagfinrud.
FRESHMAN STAYS HOT
Hannak Brandy of Vadnais Heights, a forward for the Gophers, is the offensive player of the week. She had two goals and two assists for the U in the first game against the Buckeyes and two more assists in the second.
She has 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points in eight games. She was a plus-7 for the weekend.
* Tracy McCann, a junior forward for Minnesota State, was named the offensive player of the week. She had one goal and two assists as the Mavericks tied UMD 3-3 and then won the shootout on another goal of hers. She also had the goal as MSU Mankato beat the Bulldogs 1-0 in their second game.
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