This weekend the Minnesota Wild, in conjunction with Schwan's™ Home Delivery, Minnesota Hockey, USA Hockey, WCHA and the Minnesota Whitecaps, will celebrate Girls Hockey Weekend December 16-17 at Xcel Energy Center. Girls players statewide will make the trip to Saint Paul to participate in on-ice clinics, dryland training, attend the Wild-Oilers game on December 16 and to celebrate girls/women's hockey in Minnesota.
Nearly 300 young girls from across the state are expected to participate in the festivities, in addition to many more girls players who will attend the game independently.
Today, we join them in celebration by taking a look back at some of the important dates and fun facts from the history of girls hockey.
1918 – According to University of Minnesota yearbooks, approximately 30 women tried out for the first-ever Gopher Women’s hockey team.
1978 – USA Hockey hosts its first National Championships for girls in New York at the Girls Junior (12U), Girls Open A (16+) and Girls Open B levels.
1979 – Wayzata Checkers are the first girls team from Minnesota to win a National title (Girls Midget)
1989 – Minnesota Hockey hosts its first Girls State Tournament (15U)
1990 – International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) host the inaugural Women’s World Championships
1994 – Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) becomes the first state to sanction girls high school hockey
1995 – MSHSL hosts the first Girls State High School Hockey Tournament. There were 454 participants at 35 schools in the first official girls high school season.
1995 – University of Minnesota is the first college in Minnesota to officially add Division I Women’s Ice Hockey
1996 – Winny Brodt (Roseville) wins the inaugural Ms. Hockey Award. To date, Roseville leads all high schools with four Ms. Hockey honorees (Brodt, Ronda Curtin, Renee Curtin and Bethany Brausen).
1998 – KMSP-TV conducts the first live broadcast of Girls State High School Hockey Tournament
1998 – U.S. wins the gold medal in the first Olympics in which girls hockey is included. Minnesota natives Jenny Schmidgall (later Jenny Potter) and Alana Blahoski were on the team.
1998 – Inaugural Patty Kazmaier Award is given to Brandy Fisher (University of New Hampshire)
2001 – University of Minnesota Duluth wins the inaugural NCAA Division I Women's Hockey National Championship in Minneapolis, MN. and won by Minnesota Duluth.
2002 - Ridder Arena was completed in Minneapolis and was considered the first venue nationwide built specifically for girls’ and women’s ice hockey. It was named after Bob Ridder, a founding member of Minnesota Hockey and a pioneer in women’s ice hockey.
2005 – Krissy Wendell becomes the first Minnesota native to win Patty Kazmaier Award (pictured below/right)
2006-07 – Minnesota surpasses 10,000 registered girls and women’s players
2008 – Cammi Granato is first woman inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame
Career Points – 468 - Natalie Darwitz, Eagan (1997-2000)
Career Goals – 316 - Darwitz, Eagan (1997-2000)
Career Assists – 217 - Jessie Aney, Rochester Century (2010-2014)
Season Points - 165 - Krissy Wendell, Park Center (1999-2000)
Season Goals – 110 - Wendell, Park Center (1999-2000)
Season Assists – 58 - Aney, Rochester Century (2013-2014)
Career Shutouts – 29 – Abbey Miller, Benilde-St. Margaret's (2010-2014)
Career Saves – 5012 – Brooklyn Drahota, Windom (2005-2010)
Most State Titles – 7 - Blake School
Consecutive Wins – 67 - South St. Paul (2001-2003)
Krissy Wendell (Park Center/Minnesota) won the Ms. Hockey Award in 2000 and the Patty Kazmaier Award in 2005 (pictured)
Career Points – 303 - Meghan Agosta (Mercyhurst); Hannah Brandt (Minnesota) is 2nd with 286 (pictured right/below)
Season Points – 114 - Darwitz (Minnesota, 2005)
Goals in a Game – 6 - Jenny Potter (UMD) – Dec. 18, 2002 vs. SCSU
Undefeated Season - Minnesota - The Gophers' 2012-2013 undefeated season holds records for most wins (41) and fewest losses (0). It is the only undefeated season on record.
Most Consecutive Wins - 62 – Minnesota (Feb. 18 2012 – Nov. 16 2013)
Longest Road Unbeaten Streak - 56 – Minnesota (Jan. 14, 2012 – Feb. 6, 2015)
NCAA National Championships - 6 - Minnesota (Minnesota Duluth is 2nd with 5 titles)
Photo Credit: Gopher Athletics
Career Points – 32 – Potter
Career Goals – 14 – Darwitz
Career Assists – 21 – Potter
Single Tournament Points – 10 – Potter/Darwitz (2010)
Single Game Points – 5 – Potter/Darwitz (2010)
Total Girls 8U Players - 4,436 - Minnesota leads the country in girl hockey players at 8U level and has seen growth at these young ages each of the past four season.
Total Girls/Women - 13,580 - Minnesota leads the country in total girls/women and has set state records in three consecutive seasons.
Sources: USA Hockey, NFHS, NCAA, MSHSL, Vintage MN Hockey