Ramsey has long reach, just like her famous dad

The Minnetonka prep star will lead the defense when the Gophers take on UND this weekend.


Rachel Ramsey, daughter of Mike Ramsey, leads rookie WCHA defensemen in scoring. Mike Ramsey played for the Gophers, in the NHL and on the 1980 Olympic team.

Photo: ERIC MILLER, University of Minnesota

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Rachel Ramsey, who comes from a hockey family, had good hands and a good shot as a youngster. So naturally she grew up playing center.

Until her junior year at Minnetonka, that is, when her high school coaches decided to move her to defense. A switch that her father, Mike, a former NHL defenseman, was not too sure of.

He is now: "It was the right move."

Rachel Ramsey of the Gophers leads rookie defensemen in the WCHA in scoring this season. She has four goals and 18 assists for 22 points.

"The transition for her was pretty seamless," Gophers coach Brad Frost. "Early on, she was making a fair amount of high school kid mistakes, but as she got more comfortable with the pace of the [college] game ... she just started to develop into one of our top four defensemen."

The Gophers will need Ramsey and all their blue-liners to play well against North Dakota on Friday in the second semifinal of the Final Face-off in Duluth. The Sioux have the conference's top scorer in Jocelyne Lamoureux, and the season series is tied at 2-2.

Ramsey knows what to expect from North Dakota, a team she calls the most physical in women's hockey. "We know everyone is going to be out for blood, basically," Ramsey said. "It will be a battle out there. The main thing is to try to keep yourself composed."

Being calm is one of Ramsey's strengths, Frost said, adding that her vision on the ice and her reach are two others.

"If a girl gets an extra step on me," the 6-foot Ramsey said, "I can put my stick out there and poke the puck away. My reach is a big key to my defense."

Her dad had a nice reach, too. Mike Ramsey was 6-3. He played on the Gophers' NCAA championship team in 1979 and the U.S. gold medal "Miracle" team in the 1980 Olympics before an 18-year NHL career. More recently, he was a Wild assistant coach for 10 years until 2010.

"I missed a lot of my kids' games," he said. "But I haven't missed much the past two years."

Mike and Jill Ramsey have three children. Jack, the youngest, is a sophomore forward for the Skippers.

Her father became convinced Rachel had a hockey future when she led the under-12 Minnetonka girls' team to second place in a state tournament. Some of those same players celebrated a Class 2A state title a year ago when Rachel was a senior. The Skippers won the title again this year.

Girls' varsity coach Eric Johnson said Rachel Ramsey played a part as a youngster in the program's rise to prominence.

"When she went from boys' hockey to the girls' side on the U12 team, she made it cool," Johnson said. "She helped the girls' program grow to 170 players, U6 to U14. She was a great player who had the talent to play boys' hockey until peewees and bantams."

Her father helped Rachel's develop. He often brought her and her two younger siblings to the Xcel Energy Center on weekends and holidays to skate before and after Wild practices.

"I thank God for the natural ability he gave me and being born into the family I was," Rachel Ramsey said.

Mike, who coached her on that U12 team during an NHL lockout, warily watched her become a defensemen in her third season of varsity hockey. "I was reluctant to see her move," he said, "but when you go from high school to college, there are a lot of players with good shots and hands."

Rachel Ramsey said she knows her defensive skills still need to improve and plans to keep working hard.

"In high school she got by on talent," Mike Ramsey said. "Now she is learning the tricks of the trade to play defense. But she has settled in nicely."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Detroit - M. Scherzer 4:37 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Kansas City - J. Vargas 8:07 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Minnesota 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Philadelphia 6:00 PM
Tampa Bay 6:30 PM
Minnesota 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Winnipeg 8:00 PM
Los Angeles 8:00 PM
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
UCF 6:00 PM
Arizona 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Chicago 7:00 PM
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters


Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pm30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 am
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA




question of the day

Poll: How will the Gophers do against Michigan?

Weekly Question