Four Gophers were honored at the NCAA Frozen Four Banquet Thursday night with national awards. Gopher senior Hannah Brandt was named a First Team All-American for the third consecutive season, while juniors Lee Stecklein and Dani Camaranesi were both named Second Team All-Americans. Additionally freshman Sarah Potomak was named the NCAA Freshman of the Year.
Brandt becomes Minnesota’s fourth three-time All-American honoree, joining former Gophers Natalie Darwitz, Krissy Wendell, and Noora Ratty. Brandt comes into Fridays NCAA Semi-final ranked fourth in the nation with a 1.82 points per game average. A four-time All-WCHA honoree, and two time WCHA Player of the Year, Brandt is Minnesota's career leader in both points and assists along with being the NCAA's active career scoring leader with 283 career points (115 goals, 168 assists). She ranks sixth all-time in points in NCAA History.
Camaranesi had a career season in 2015-16 scoring 68 points on 33 goals and 35 assists. She was named a Second Team All-American for the second consecutive season, and was also named a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award and an All-WCHA First Team honoree for the second consecutive season. Camaranesi led the WCHA in scoring in 2015-16 recording 53 points (24 goals, 29 assists) in WCHA games. She currently is ranked fifth in the nation in scoring.
Stecklein also is now a two-time Second Team All-American. She also took home her second-straight All-WCHA First Team award this season. Stecklein has tied her career high with 27 points (eight goals, 19 assists) as a redshirt junior. Known for her rock solid defense, Stecklein can also score as she is among the NCAA's top-10 defensive scorers, averaging 0.71 points per game to rank 10th in the nation.
Potomak is the first Gopher to earn National Rookie of the Year honors since Cameranesi earned the award in 2014. Potomak was named the WCHA Rookie of the Year and an All-WCHA Third Team honoree. She impressed as a freshman, leading the nation's rookies in scoring the entire season. Potomak enters the NCAA Frozen Four averaging 1.42 points per game, tops among the nation's freshmen and eighth among all players.
All four Gophers will be in action Friday night against arch-rival Wisconsin in the NCAA Frozen Four Semi-finals. The Gophers and Badgers will face-off at 6:00 with the winner advancing to play either Boston College or Clarkson at 1:00 on Sunday for the National Championship.