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ManBehindTheCurtain
04-05-2014, 09:25 PM
It's time.

Big shoes to fill at center as next year's team will not have Davis and Terry. There are some promising candidates to take those two slots, including last year's frosh Schipper and Cameranesi.

Stecklein's return will do a lot to fill the gaping hole left by Baylee's departure at D but even for an Olympian it looks like a lot to ask.

All of the returnees will be a year older and there are some promising new arrivals.

And the return of Kessel. I would say the Gophers have lost a lot but there is a lot to look forward to.

brookyone
04-06-2014, 11:18 AM
Both Räty and Bozek have to be locks for "M" Club Hall of Fame when the time comes...right?

D2D
04-06-2014, 11:57 AM
Both Räty and Bozek have to be locks for "M" Club Hall of Fame when the time comes...right?

Right! ;)

brookyone
04-07-2014, 12:34 PM
Minnesota*
Sydney Baldwin .................D ......................(USA 18s/Minnetonka) .................Shorewood, MN
Cara Piazza ......................F ...................(USA 18s/Chicago Mission) .......................Darien, IL
Kelly Pannek .....................F .........................(USA 18s/BSM) ...........................Plymouth, MN
Nina Rodgers .....................F .......................(USA 18s/Hopkins) ......................Minnetonka, MN

2 Lee Stecklein
3 Kate Flug
5 Rachel Ramsey
6 Kate Schipper
7 Rachael Bona
8 Amanda Kessel
11 Kelsey Cline
12 Megan Wolfe
13 Milica McMillen
14 Maryanne Menefee
15 Paige Haley
17 Jordyn Burns
18 Brook Garzone
20 Meghan Lorence
21 Dani Cameranesi
22 Hannah Brandt

29 Amanda Leveille G
31 Shyler Sletta G
37 Sidney Peters G

ARM
04-07-2014, 06:25 PM
2 Lee Stecklein, D
3 Kate Flug, F
5 Rachel Ramsey, D
6 Kate Schipper, F
7 Rachael Bona, F
8 Amanda Kessel, F
11 Kelsey Cline, D/F
12 Megan Wolfe, D/F
13 Milica McMillen, D
14 Maryanne Menefee, F
15 Paige Haley, D/F
17 Jordyn Burns, D/F
18 Brook Garzone, D/F
20 Meghan Lorence, F
21 Dani Cameranesi, F
22 Hannah Brandt, F
29 Amanda Leveille G
31 Shyler Sletta G
37 Sidney Peters G
Fr, Sydney Baldwin, D
Fr, Cara Piazza, F
Fr, Kelly Pannek, F
Fr, Nina Rodgers, F I think that we can safely put positions on some and then there will be others who will wind up as either a D or F but it isn't obvious right now. In any case, if everyone is back, there should be more depth than last season.

It figures to be harder to get on a PP unit, for example. Terry and Davis were regulars throughout their careers. Kessel will replace one of those, presumably Terry so that she's back with Brandt, and perhaps Cameranesi will team with Bona in the role that Davis held and Baldwin would then slide into Cameranesi's spot. Pannek figures to be on a PP before very long, so things will likely change again at some point. If the PP starts with Brandt and Kessel separated, then it will be an entirely new look. Given that the team just broke its one-year-old NCAA record for conversion percentage, there are definitely options.

brookyone
04-07-2014, 06:45 PM
I think that we can safely put positions on some and then there will be others who will wind up as either a D or F but it isn't obvious right now. In any case, if everyone is back, there should be more depth than last season.

It figures to be harder to get on a PP unit, for example. Terry and Davis were regulars throughout their careers. Kessel will replace one of those, presumably Terry so that she's back with Brandt, and perhaps Cameranesi will team with Bona in the role that Davis held and Baldwin would then slide into Cameranesi's spot. Pannek figures to be on a PP before very long, so things will likely change again at some point. If the PP starts with Brandt and Kessel separated, then it will be an entirely new look. Given that the team just broke its one-year-old NCAA record for conversion percentage, there are definitely options.
I was going to begin with the guesswork regarding who is added to the foursome I think we can count on as regulars on the blueline. The foursome of Ramsey, McMillen, Baldwin and Stecklein. You've Identified the five we'd have to consider as most likely candidates. I'm just going to say among those five...I think Wolfe & Garzone could quite possibly be better utilized up front. With potential greater benefit / impact for the team.

D2D
04-08-2014, 01:22 PM
I was going to begin with the guesswork regarding who is added to the foursome I think we can count on as regulars on the blueline. The foursome of Ramsey, McMillen, Baldwin and Stecklein. You've Identified the five we'd have to consider as most likely candidates. I'm just going to say among those five...I think Wolfe & Garzone could quite possibly be better utilized up front. With potential greater benefit / impact for the team.

It will be very interesting to see which players emerge to take positions on the starting three pairs of defensemen and the starting three forward lines. Assuming everyone returns, is healthy and academically eligible, it's probably safe to assume that after Ramsey, McMillen, Stecklein and Baldwin the team will need at least two of the following to "step up" and show they can be counted on to be reliable and effective on the blue line...in alphabetical order:

Burns
Cline
Garzone
Haley
Wolfe

Being named as one of the starting six D and staying there will likely be the best chance that any of these players will have to see significant ice time over the course of the season, again assuming they play up to expectations throughout. I'm not sure that going into the season that any of these five will be considered to be a favorite to assume that 5th D or 6th D spot - I would guess that any of the five will need to consistently show the coaches they deserve to be there. As was the case this past season, there very well could be some juggling if any of them struggle, or if the coaches merely decide to give someone else an opportunity, particularly if they are showing they deserve it because of their hard work and good play in practice.

And at forward a similar competition for playing time should develop, if for no other reason than the number of quality players. Based on their past production here are the forwards that I think will be regarded as the "starting seven", again in alphabetical order: Bona, Brandt, Cameranesi, Kessel, Lorence, Menefee and Schipper. Again, assuming all of these return healthy, in good shape and are academically eligible, that leaves the following who would compete to fill the remaining two forward spots on the first three lines...in alphabetical order:

Flug
Pannek
Piazza
Rodgers

plus two or three of the above F/D's:

Burns
Cline
Garzone
Haley
Wolfe

If I've laid this out correctly that would mean as the season begins we'd have at least 6 players competing for the last two forward positions on the starting three lines. As is the case at D, we should expect to see all of these players getting opportunities in games to show what they can do, some at both forward and D.

Being familiar with all but one of the players (Piazza) it's a pretty safe bet that the Gophers will be able to put a very strong 4th line on the ice, and the 4th line will get more playing time than what we're used to seeing in recent years.

I would also add that over the course of the last two fantastic seasons the Gophers have been pretty fortunate on the injury front, and it goes without saying that we all hope this favorable trend continues. But, should things take a turn for the worse, it sure is nice to know that the depth is there and others will be able to step in and assume those starting roles in very capable fashion. Indeed, things look very promising for yet another great season of Gopher Women's Hockey!

Best of luck to all the players! :)

96IllinoisDad
04-08-2014, 02:04 PM
Being familiar with all but one of the players (Piazza) it's a pretty safe bet that the Gophers will be able to put a very strong 4th line on the ice, and the 4th line will get more playing time than what we're used to seeing in recent years.

Piazza is the best Mission player since Coyne/Bozek (and at their level). If she is on the 4th line, I'm petitioning the NCAA/WCHA for a supplemental draft to reallocate UM's bench players.

D2D
04-08-2014, 02:39 PM
Piazza is the best Mission player since Coyne/Bozek (and at their level). If she is on the 4th line, I'm petitioning the NCAA/WCHA for a supplemental draft to reallocate UM's bench players.

Thanks for your opinion, 96IllinoisDad! I know how closely you follow all of the younger players so your assessment of her abilities means a great deal!

KTDC
04-08-2014, 02:53 PM
Piazza is the best Mission player since Coyne/Bozek (and at their level). If she is on the 4th line, I'm petitioning the NCAA/WCHA for a supplemental draft to reallocate UM's bench players.

COOL!!! Maybe she can be one of the center replacements for Davis/Terry.

A couple weeks ago I was thinking Schipper and a freshman should be 2nd and 3rd center, as I thought Cameranesi and Bona should stay at wing. I've been questioning that as I think about it, though. Cameranesi's speed and agility, and Bona growing again next year as she did this past year they might be good at center.

Eeyore
04-08-2014, 03:42 PM
I don't know about Bona, but Cameranesi took a lot of draws this past season. Obviously, there's a lot more to playing center than that, but it's something.

ARM
04-08-2014, 06:17 PM
I've been questioning that as I think about it, though. Cameranesi's speed and agility, and Bona growing again next year as she did this past year they might be good at center.I think Bona is in a category similar to Kessel. Could either play center if need be? Definitely, but playing wing frees both of them up a little bit offensively. Yes, the wings still have to play defense in their own zone, but the responsibility isn't quite as great as it would be for a center. That's also why I think that Cameranesi will wind up at center, because I think of those on the roster, she is most ready to assume the Terry role defensively. For the other center spot, Pannek may have more of an offensive upside, but I expect either Schipper or Piazza to be more ready defensively, so that's what I expect in October.

If everyone is healthy, someone very talented is going to have to accept being on the 4th line at times, like Lorence was early in her rookie year. Because of that, I think that the team will fill the openings on the blue line first from the candidates, because it is more important to have the best options taking regular shifts as the 5th and 6th D than it is to have a slight upgrade at forward, because I don't see there being much of a drop off from the 9th F to the 10th or 11th.

FiveHoleFrenzy
04-09-2014, 12:07 AM
Piazza is the best Mission player since Coyne/Bozek (and at their level). If she is on the 4th line, I'm petitioning the NCAA/WCHA for a supplemental draft to reallocate UM's bench players.

I think I recall Frost mentioning Piazza in comparison to Terry from a speed standpoint. It will be interesting to see how this freshmen class performs in the upcoming season.

ARM
04-09-2014, 08:00 AM
I think I recall Frost mentioning Piazza in comparison to Terry from a speed standpoint. It will be interesting to see how this freshmen class performs in the upcoming season.He also said that Piazza was similar to Terry in terms of being relentless on the puck. Many players are fast, but the willingness to put that speed to work can be make a huge difference in a player's effectiveness. Coming into the year, he made similar comparisons for Cameranesi and Schipper to Terry, and I'd say we saw the accuracy of those comments. Both were not only willing to back check and forecheck, but appeared to be happy to do so.

One aspect of the graduating senior class that will be tough to replace immediately is an ability to stay out of the box. Brausen committed only 22 minors in her four years, and if my memory is at all accurate, she drew far more from opponents. Gillanders averaged 7 minors per season over her career, a very low number for a D seeing a regular shift. The good news there is that Stecklein only committed four penalties as a rookie.

OldDave
04-09-2014, 10:23 AM
Based on the tenor of the comments here, I think I was not the only one uneasy about the fact that there is only one player on the squad with experience playing center at this level. Although the incoming class is undoubtedly talented, it is rare to use the words “freshman” and “consistent” to describe the same player. Since Cameranesi and Schipper have both played center on their U18 team, I’m more than willing to concede they will step in and do a great job.

So the fun part of the offseason is to guess who Frost will put together. I think he will be tempted to reunite Kessel with Brandt and Menefee, creating one of the most feared lines in women’s D1. In the spirit of keeping lines together, perhaps he will keep Bona with Schipper, plugging in Wolfe or Flug on the right side. Since both of Cameranesi’s linemates are gone, Lorence might step in on her left and the other half of Wolfe/Flug on her right. Of course, this scenario falls apart because it puts the three freshman together on one line. I’m guessing Brad would rather listen to fingernails on a blackboard than have an all-freshman line.

On D, my subconscious thinks that Ramsey, McMillen, and Stecklein are all most comfortable playing left D (no basis for this other than watching them play). That leaves Baldwin, Burns, Cline, Garzone, and Hailey to fill in the right D and/or a fourth pair of D.

In goal, there is a part of me that wonders if Leveille would break Raty’s records if she got the bulk of the minutes. There is another part of me that thinks the team would be better off with a rotation in goal with both Leveille and Peters. Glad I don’t have to make the decisions.

ARM
04-09-2014, 07:27 PM
On D, my subconscious thinks that Ramsey, McMillen, and Stecklein are all most comfortable playing left D (no basis for this other than watching them play). That leaves Baldwin, Burns, Cline, Garzone, and Hailey to fill in the right D and/or a fourth pair of D.Ramsey and Stecklein played together most of the time two years ago, so I wouldn't rule that out as a pair. The four that most of us consider to be locks on the blue line are all left-handed, so I doubt that handedness will rule out any pairing.

pokechecker
04-10-2014, 09:43 PM
There is another part of me that thinks the team would be better off with a rotation in goal

when a coach wins 2 championships in a row and 62 games in a row, it is a little foolish to Monday morning QB him

yet, when I think back to 2012-13 and that Raty benefited from the days off, I have to wonder why it was so important for Leveille to be in goal as much as she was

pokechecker
04-10-2014, 09:55 PM
...I think Wolfe & Garzone could quite possibly be better utilized up front.


problem with that is between a healthy Flug from the start of next year and the incoming freshmen, it is going to be very competitive for the 2 "open" positions at F
Garzone had a very nice year at D, unless a couple players show they can do better I would expect her to be there again next year
as much as I would like to see Wolfe at F, unless someone can show they can do better at D ...

pokechecker
04-10-2014, 10:22 PM
One aspect of the graduating senior class that will be tough to replace immediately is an ability to stay out of the box.

it depends WHY a player is going to the box
at the start of this season, a couple people said that McMillen needed to stop taking so many penalties
she had as many penalties as the number 2 & 3 players
but only 1 and a half goals were scored while she was in the box (one of the goals they were 2 players short)
how many goals did she prevent by taking a penalty?
one penalty stands out in my mind, when UMD was getting chippy late in one of the games at Ridder
A UMD player was skating in alone and she knocked her down good, killing a scoring chance for UMD AND sending a message to the Bulldogs

a good penalty IMO

for the Gophers, the reason to stay out of the box isn't because the opposition might score a goal on the PP
it's 2 minutes they are less likely to score a goal

brookyone
04-11-2014, 06:57 PM
A brief aside. Now we tear up Dinkytown for a semifinal win? W T F! :eek:

Now back to your regular scheduled programming.