Women’s College Hockey Goes From Strength to Strength
November 1, 2017

Women’s college Hockey is getting more widespread, and more competitive, across the United States. The landscape is changing and more girls around the country are playing, which is creating a more balanced situation among the Division I recruiting programmes operating in Arizona, California, Illinois and other states.

The welcome changes in parity make the competition for every women’s college Hockey team stiffer, which means we get to see even more skills and great action on the ice. As Brad Frost, head coach of the Women’s Hockey team at the University of Minnesota said in 2016, it is hard to summit the mountain, but staying at the top is every more difficult.

Clear Evolution and Development in Women’s College Hockey

Women’s Hockey in North America is in a great stage of evolution and it keeps getting better. This is due in part to the landmark agreement that was reached with USA Hockey in March 2017, which saw more support and better pay for female players, as well as a new Advisory Group formed to advance Women’s Hockey at all levels and in all ways.

The effect on Women’s Hockey at the college level is already being seen, and the shift was seen a long time before the March ruling was made. The past 4 Patty Kazmaier Awards, for example, have gone to young women from different states and provinces; the past 5 winners have each come from different schools.

The Patty Kazmaier goes to the year’s best women’s college Hockey player, and in years gone by it always went to a player from one of a handful of different schools, including Minnesota-Duluth, Wisconsin and Harvard. The diversity seen now is telling of an overall strengthening in Women’s University Hockey in the USA. This is great for athletes and spectators, and online betting enthusiasts are in for more challenging and rewarding wagers.

New Challenges for Old Teams

As the world of women’s Hockey in colleges heats up and there are more schools looking for and producing top players, top performers of the past are feeling the crunch. Frost’s Gophers, for example, lost 2 of their stars after the 2016 season when Hannah Brandt and Amanda Kessel both moved on. They open this season without a full 65% of their last season’s scoring. In any sport, being a beginner is tough, but losing star players bites a little harder.

Frost’s squad is making do without 3 of its top players, in addition to losing 6 of its seniors, as the trio prepares for the 2018 Olympics in South Korea. Women who make their country’s Olympic Hockey teams are expected to spend the entire year with the side. This means Sarah and Amy Potomak, as well as Kelly Pannek, will all be away from the Gophers this season.

Minnesota was still able to reach the Frozen Four in the last season, eventually losing to current champion Clarkson, which speaks to how strong this team remains, but Frost has commented that this year the team really doesn’t have much depth to spare. The pressure is on, and one of the biggest challenges will be to find creative ways to score. Ultimately, though, it should keep shaking things up and producing great results and players in the sport.


This page is maintained by © 2017 Andria Hunter (andria@whockey.com).

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