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Continued: U's Brandt famous for her goals and her falls

Brandt is an A student who’s studying to become a nurse, though she admits, “Some of the things I say and do, you wouldn’t expect that. I tend to speak before I think, so people quote me all the time.”

Asked for her favorite Brandt story, Lorence paused and said, “There are so many. … She definitely has the most embarrassing moments on the team.”

Stecklein captured one on videotape. She went Halloween costume shopping with Brandt and Gophers captain Bethany Brausen last fall. Brausen grabbed an ugly mask and hid behind a corner, and Stecklein grabbed her cellphone to start videotaping.

When Brandt came around the corner, she saw Brausen’s mask and collapsed in fear.

“She said, ‘I think someone hit me,’ ” Stecklein said. “And I was like, ‘No, Hannah, you fell.’ ”

Lorence recently sent Brandt a collage filled with photos of some of her most spectacular falls. She sprinkled in a few photos of herself falling, along with linemate Maryanne Menefee’s stumbles, too.

That trio has combined up 56 goals this season, but they call themselves The Awkward Line.

“We can make some pretty plays, but then we’ll also look like a bunch of clowns out there,” Brandt said.

With Brandt providing the thrills and spills, the Gophers hope to keep laughing all the way to another championship.

 

Follow Joe Christensen on Twitter to stay updated with the Gophers in Connecticut: @JoeCStrib

 

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  • The Gophers’ Hannah Brandt always finds something to smile about on and off the ice.

  • Hannah Brandt doesn’t act like a star, often making fun of herself as much as her teammates make fun of her for malaprops and propensity for falling.

  • the semifinals

    TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn.

    At stake: Winner advances to the NCAA championship game (2 p.m. Sunday).

    gophers vs. wisconsin

    4 p.m. Friday

    clarkson vs. Mercyhurst

    7 p.m. Friday

    Gophers at a glance: The Gophers (37-1-1) defeated Boston University 5-1 in last Saturday’s NCAA quarterfinals behind three goals from Kelly Terry. Sophomore goalie Amanda Leveille has started every game this season and ranks second in the nation with a 1.07 GAA. Minnesota has won its past 10 games against the Badgers, including all four this season. The Gophers are looking to win a third straight NCAA title, something they haven’t done in any sport since the football team did it from 1934-36.

    Wisconsin at a glance: The Badgers (28-7-2) ranked No. 2 behind the Gophers in the USCHO.com poll for much of the season but slipped to No. 3 after losing 1-0 to North Dakota in the WCHA tournament. Wisconsin rebounded with a 2-1 win over Harvard in the NCAA quarterfinals. Senior goalie Alex Grigsby started both games at the Frozen Four as a freshman when the Badgers won their last NCAA title in 2011. This year’s team has struggled to score goals. Juniors Brittany Ammerman (22 goals, 21 assists) and Blayre Turnbull (18 goals, 22 assists) lead the team in points. The Badgers are coached by former U.S. Olympian Mark Johnson.

    How to follow: No TV. There is live video on NCAA.org, and audio only on GopherSports.com. Track the game on Twitter by following @JoeCStrib.

    JOE CHRISTENSEN

    Who’s the MVP?

    On Saturday in Connecticut, between Friday’s Frozen Four semifinals and the title game Sunday, the Patty Kazmaier Award will be given to the best player in women’s college hockey. Twice Gophers have won it: Krissy Wendell (2005) and Amanda Kessel (2013). Hannah Brandt could very well make it two in a row for the U. The finalists:

    Hannah Brandt leads the nation with 63 points (22 goals, 41 assists).

    • Clarkson senior Jamie Lee Rattray (28 goals, 34 assists).

    • Cornell junior Jillian Saulnier (28 goals, 28 assists).

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