Minnesota Golden Gophers senior defender Sydney Baldwin was named a First Team All-American by CCM/ACHA on Thursday night. Baldwin adds to her honors this season as she was previously named the Big Ten Player of the Year, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, and one of the ten finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award, which is given to the best player in women’s college hockey.
Baldwin ended her Gopher career in a loss to Wisconsin in the NCAA Quarterfinals last weekend. She played in a total of 158 games in her Gopher career, and recorded 81 points and 24 goals. She recorded 277 blocked shots in her career on the blueline including a NCAA leading 104 this season. It is Baldwin’s first All-American honor, and she will be added to the Ridder Arena mural prior to next season.
Baldwin is now the 40th All-American in Gopher history. She keeps alive a streak of eleven consecutive seasons with at least one All-American honoree for Minnesota. Baldwin was the only First Team All-American from the WCHA. Both Wisconsin goalie Kristin Campbell and Ohio State defender Jincy Dunne were named to the second team.
Minnesota unfortunately will be missing this weekend’s NCAA Frozen Four held at Ridder Arena. However, two other WCHA teams will be looking to win the title. The first semifinal will pit the #1 seeded Clarkson Golden Knights against the Ohio State Buckeyes at 4:00 on Friday. The second semifinal will see the #2 seed Wisconsin Badgers play the #3 seed Colgate Raiders. That game should face off about 7:00PM. Both semifinals will air on BTN. The two winners will face off in the NCAA Championship game at 2:00 PM Sunday afternoon, and it will also air live on BTN.
Clarkson and Wisconsin are the teams that are used to being here, while Colgate and Ohio State are both playing in their program’s first ever Frozen Four. Clarkson has played in the last three Frozen Fours and will be looking for its third national championship. Wisconsin is playing in its fifth straight Frozen Four and will be looking for its fifth NCAA Title, but first since 2011.
If you are looking for a rooting interest as a Gopher fan, Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press beat me to my suggestion that you adopt Ohio State as your team for the weekend. The Buckeyes’ head coach is Nadine Muzerall who was a star for the Gophers from 1997-2001 and was a MInnesota assistant from 2011-2015 before taking the Ohio State job. Her top assistant is former Gopher All-American defender Milica McMillen who payed for Minnesota from 2012-2015. The Buckeyes have seven Minnesota natives on their roster including defender Dani Sadek, the sister of Gopher defenseman Jack Sadek. Plus, it would be nice to have the two teams chasing Minnesota in total National Championships not make up some ground.
So for one weekend, lets all be Buckeye fans. O-H-I-O!!