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Get to Know: Minnetonka Girls Hockey

Twin Cities powerhouse seeks state tourney return

by Devin Lowe /

To prepare you for Hockey Day Minnesota 2017, will be checking in on each of the high school teams participating in this year's festivities between now and Jan. 21. Today, get to know the Minnetonka girls hockey program.

The basics

Class: 2A
Section: 6AA
Conference: Lake
Nickname: Skippers
Head coach: Eric Johnson

The town

Minnetonka is a suburb on the western side of Minneapolis that borders the eastern edge of Lake Minnetonka. Industrial activity flourished in the area as early as the 1850s, and today it is home to Cargill, the largest privately-owned company in the United States. Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner grew up in Minnetonka, and the city hosted Hockey Day Minnesota in 2012.

The program

The Skippers have been one of the most successful girls hockey teams in the state in the past decade. They won three straight MSHSL State Championships from 2011 to 2013, and they last appeared at the MSHSL State Tournament in 2015, where they were runners-up. Minnetonka's record in 2015-16 was 21-4-2, and this year, the Skippers' 8-5-2 record has them ranked ninth in the state. Minnetonka's home rink is the Pagel Activity Center.

Players to watch

Senior Emma Bigham leads the Skippers in the goals and points columns with 11 and 19, respectively. Sophomore Kailey Langefels' nine assists are the most on the team, and senior goaltender Elizabeth Kubicek's .946 save percentage and 1.23 goals-against average are good for ninth-best in the state.

What to expect on Hockey Day Minnesota

The Skippers' 4 p.m. match-up against Stillwater in Lowell Park falls on the second half of a back-to-back; they play Wayzata the night before at 7 p.m. That could give the Ponies an advantage, as their last game before Hockey Day Minnesota is against Mounds View on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

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