The five finalists for the Ms. Hockey Award have been named.
Ella Boerger (Andover), Ellah Hause (Hill-Murray), Suzy Higuchi (Blake), Lauren O'Hara (Centennial/Spring Lake Park) and Kamryn Van Batavia (Luverne) will vie for the award with the winner being announced Sunday, Feb. 26 at the annual Ms. Hockey Banquet at the Saint Paul RiverCentre.
The players were first nominated by their respective coaches and then a panel of high school and college coaches voted on 10 semifinalists before the list was narrowed to five finalists.
The 10 semifinalists included Isa Goettl (Andover), Ava Lindsay (Minnetonka), Josie Hemp (Minnetonka), Rylee Bartz (Warroad) and Stella Retrum (Maple Grove).
Seven of the 10 semifinalists will play in the state tournament and three of the five finalists will play, which begins Wednesday for Class A.
The five finalists include:
Ella Boerger – Forward - Andover
40 G – 33 A – 73 Points
Boerger is the leading scorer on a Huskies squad that will look contend for another state championship after going undefeated last season. She recently notched a 10-point night against Northern Tier in the section playoffs. Boerger was named Team MVP last season as a member of the undefeated state champions that went 30-0 and beat Minnetonka 5-4 in the state final thriller. She notched 74 points as a junior. She has eclipsed 200 points in her career and is a two-time state champion. A two-year captain for the Huskies, Boerger will play college hockey at the University of St. Thomas.
“Ella is a two-year Captain at Andover which says huge things about her leadership and character,” said head coach Melissa Volk. “At Andover we pride ourselves on having good hockey players but even better people, and that is who she is. On the ice she is a mix between a power forward but with finesse and very good in our own end. She has been an instrumental part of our success these last four years in which she has won two state championships her freshman and junior seasons. Finally, I am very proud to have her represent our program in the community. Due to all the time she volunteers with our youth, she is loved and adored by all the little girls coming up in our program.”
Ellah Hause – Defense - Hill-Murray
19 G – 25 A – 44 Points
A top-tier defender, Hause can also play in the offensive zone as evidenced by her 44 points in 23 games. A member of Team USA’s U18 squad that competed in Sweden, Hause possesses great skill with a high hockey IQ that helped her lead the Pioneers to the section final where they fell to Gentry Academy. A two-year captain for the Pioneers, she will play next season at the University of St. Thomas.
“As a coach for more than two decades, I can enthusiastically state that Ellah is one of the best I have had the privilege of coaching,” said head coach Shawn Reid. “Yes, her talent is great. But more importantly, she is unconditionally dependable and sees the world beyond herself. I am pleased to give her my highest recommendation.”
Suzy Higuchi – Forward - Blake
32 G – 36 A – 68 Points
Higuchi is the latest in a long line of great Blake players which includes three former Ms. Hockey winners (Katharine Chute 2007, Dani Cameranisi 2013, Madeline Wethington 2019). A skilled forward who can both score and dish, Higuchi has racked up 68 points in 26 games. Born in Saitama, Japan, Higuchi qualifies to play for Team Japan, so you may see her donning her native country’s Olympic jersey in the years to come. She will play collegiately at Yale University.
“I often times refer to Suzy as a magician. Her hand eye coordination, her hands, they’re unbelievable,” said Blake Head Coach Kristi King. “Often times Suzy leaves everyone with a jaw drop reaction. The plays Suzy makes are above and beyond the high school level. Suzy makes everyone around her better with her high hockey IQ and her work ethic. She also makes everyone around her better with how she leads by example and gives to the community.”
Lauren O’Hara – Forward – Centennial/Spring Lake Park
35 G – 20 A – 55 Points
O’Hara has a rare combination of size and skill. The 5’11” forward has led Centennial/Spring Lake Park to a top-10 ranking all season. She has 35 goals in 28 games and is coming off a 51-point season as a junior. She is a three-time Team MVP and will play next season at the University of Minnesota.
“Lauren has helped build a legacy at Centennial that will last many years.,” said head coach Sean Molin. “She was instrumental as a leader in changing the culture into a positive, winning one. She is adored by her teammates, and she is always the hardest worker on the ice. She stayed home, didn’t join one of the super teams, and was still able to achieve her goals. She is a perfect example of what a top girls hockey player in Minnesota should be. Others may have better stats due to the situations on their teams, or the competition they have faced, but none will likely have done more for their community and girls hockey in Minnesota than Lauren.”
Kamryn Van Batavia – Forward – Luverne
59 G - 20 A - 73 Points
Van Batavia is closing in on potentially becoming the all-time leading scorer in girls high school hockey history. That is quite an accomplishment. Last year, as a junior, she racked up 127 points. This season she leads the state with 59 goals. Currently she has 450 career points, ranking third behind Nicole Schammel (Red Wing, 457) and Natalie Darwitz (Eagan, 468).
She is committed to Minnesota State-Mankato.
“Kamryn loves the game of hockey. Her shot, strength, speed, knack for the puck, and constant motor all contribute to her dominance throughout her varsity career,” said head coach Tony Sandbulte. “Kamryn’s been a team Captain for the last two years. She leads with her unmatchable work ethic and she always rises up in times of need. Kamryn is a game-changer and has carried her team to three consecutive state tournaments. Kamryn is respected in our locker room, rink, and the Luverne community for not only being one of the best hockey players the state has to offer, but she’s a great person as well.”
The winner of the Ms. Hockey Award will be announced Feb. 26 at the Ms. Hockey Banquet. The banquet will be held at 11 a.m. with doors open at 10:00 a.m.
For ticket information contact Bryan Zollman at 320-333-3279 or firstname.lastname@example.org.