The Gopher Women’s Hockey Team ended another fantastic season in March by claiming the 2016 NCAA championship title. However, this isn’t a surprise. The Gophers program and history has become what some call a “hockey dynasty.”
What exactly does it take to be the “winningest team in women’s college hockey history”? A quick look at a few of the team’s impressive stats can answer that:
Seven national titles – the most in women’s college hockey history
Five consecutive national championship appearances
Four national titles in five years
Only D1 women’s hockey team to finish with a perfect season of 41-0
Fastest goal in a women’s NCAA championship game – 13 seconds
These records don’t even cover the amazing accomplishments of the individual players, themselves. After taking a look into the women and the team, I wanted to learn a little more about the two captains of the squad, Hannah Brandt and Lee Stecklein.
Getting to Know Hannah
Hannah Brandt is a senior at the University of Minnesota from Vadnais Heights. She’s studying Health and Wellness and aspires to be a Physician’s Assistant. Her favorite memory at the U has been being a part of the Gopher Women’s Hockey Team and winning three national titles. When she’s not playing hockey, Hannah can be found at Kafé 421, Tony’s Diner in Dinkytown or volunteering with Fairview Hospital, The Hope Kids and other organizations. Brandt says that her parents are her role models and have taught her everything she knows. Some of the best advice she’s ever gotten was to “enjoy the journey.”
Just for Fun
Coffee Order: Latte
Favorite Food: Tacos
Favorite Song Right Now: Anything by Carrie Underwood
One thing you can’t live without: My family
One thing you love about yourself: I like to have fun.
One thing you’re grateful for: family and friends
Celebrity Dream Date: Patrick Dempsey
Getting to Know Lee
University of Minnesota Junior, Lee Stecklein, is studying Marketing and Entrepreneurial Management. Her goal is to be a member of the 2018 Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey
Team. No matter what happens, she wants to continue playing hockey and staying involved with the sport, either professionally or through youth programs. Stecklein volunteers through the student-athlete program MAGIC. She also enjoys giving back in her hometown of Roseville, where her role model, Winny Brodt, is also from. While at the University of Minnesota, Lee’s favorite memories have been in Ridder Arena: hanging out in the locker room and on the ice and winning two national championships.
Just for Fun
Coffee Order: Chai Latte
Favorite Food: Ahi Tuna Steak
Favorite Song Right Now: “Here” by Alessia Cara
One thing you can’t live without: My dog, Laana
One thing you love about yourself: My height
One thing you’re grateful for: My family
Celebrity Dream Date: Ryan Reynolds
Lee and Hannah led the Gophers in another incredible season, but every single player contributed to their success, and they all deserve recognition for their accomplishments. There is no doubt that the team will continue to build upon the legacy that is Gopher Women’s Hockey.
PHOTO CREDITS: Eric Miller/Gopher Athletics