Hockey Wilderness has been looking to cover all aspects of Minnesota hockey. You've seen us tackle the pro level, we've added Jack van Thomme to tackle the college ranks, and we've even had high school hockey coverage on the site as well. However, there is a hockey team in this state that absolutely deserves to be covered.
Enter Cat Lenander. Cat will be covering the best women's college program in the nation for us here at Hockey Wilderness - the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. The perennial national title favorites deserves to be covered here on our site, and she will provide that coverage.
Until I decided to start watching Minnesota Wild games to reconnect with a friend and make new ones, I didn't know anything about hockey. That was March 2013 and while I enjoyed the Wild's playoff run, I still didn't have a great grasp of the game. Figured the best way to learn hockey was watch lot of games live. That's when I turned to women's college hockey. I knew that the University of Minnesota Gopher Women's Hockey team was "good" (I had no idea how amazing at the time), easily accessible, and affordable. Went to half a dozen games that season, followed the Olympics for the first time, and got hooked.
I adore the GWH team. It was easy to become passionate about them. They're incredibly fun to watch - regularly winning is a satisfying fannish experience - and it's been rewarding watching the skaters develop and improve. The atmosphere and community at Ridder Arena is welcoming to everyone, which quickly made me feel like I belonged, even though sports had never been a thing in my family growing up. My experiences online with women's hockey have been similar. Plus, it's exciting watching all the visiting goalies break out their best moves to keep the Maroon and Gold machine at bay. Goalies are the best.
Part of my learning experience has been taking notes on all the women's hockey games I've attended since I got GWH season tickets. Initially I started because a buddy asked for summaries, but that's what got me to pay attention and learn the game. I still miss things, but I understand so much more than I used to and I know I'll keep improving. There are so many awesome women playing amazing hockey and I'd hate to see it all completely ignored because no one was willing to write about it. When I heard that hockeywilderness.com needed someone to cover Gopher Women's Hockey, I figured I could do it. The lady Gophers will be my main focus, but the Badger Women's Hockey team, the Minnesota Whitecaps, and the National Women's Hockey League (which is unfortunately entirely out east) will likely come up. I look forward to talking up a lot of women's hockey.
Everyone, please welcome Cat to our community!