When Minnetonka wrapped up its record setting third straight Class AA girls hockey title Saturday night at the Xcel Energy center in St. Paul, it was also the end of an era for seven special Skipper seniors who will be playing Division I hockey next season.
Gopher fans will be delighted will be delighted that Sydney Baldwin will be playing for Minnesota. Two of Baldwin's teammates will be playing for Penn State, which will begin its second varsity season next fall. They are Laura Bowman and Amy Petersen. Another Skipper, junior goalie Hannah Ehresmann has committed to Penn State. Skipper goalie Sydney Rossman will be headed to Quinnipiac, Sydney Morin will head up I-35 to Minnesota-Duluth and Hannah Behounek is headed for New York to play for RPI.
Three other Minnetonka seniors, Maggie Bazany, Christine Gagnon and Darby Flatley will also be graduating. But the program remains in good shape. According to the Class AA media guide, 175 girls participated in the Minnetonka Youth Hockey Association program, which starts at the six and under level, so the future looks bright in Minnetonka.
However, the Skippers road to a fourth state title could be even tougher next season since Benilde-St. Margaret's has a very talented team, led by Minnesota recruit Kelly Pannek and goalie Abby Miller.
Who knows what will happen when practice begins in late October. Will the Skippers be back next February or will their championship reign come to an end?