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Sydney Baldwin of Minnetonka named Ms. Hockey


Sydney Baldwin, a senior defenseman on the Minnetonka High School girls’ hockey team was named the winner of the 19th annual Ms. Hockey Award by Let’s Play Hockey newspaper today at the annual Ms. Hockey Awards Banquet.

The award, presented to the top girls’ high school hockey player in Minnesota, is based on the following criteria: academics, community/extracurricular activities, citizenship, coachability and, of course, on-ice performance.

The career leading scorer for defensemen at Minnetonka, Baldwin becomes the first blueliner to be named Ms. Hockey since South St. Paul’s Ashley Albrecht in 2002. Averaging over 30 minutes per game this season, Baldwin owned totals of 12-19—31 and helped Minnetonka to an unprecedented three consecutive state championships during her career. She captained the Skippers to the No. 5 ranking in Class AA this season to go along with a 19-6-2 overall record.

Baldwin had points in 19 of her 27 games this season, including nine multi-point contests. She was a three-time all-conference and all-state honoree for the Skippers. Baldwin was also a member of the silver medal-winning U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team at the 2013 IIHF World U18 Championship and will represent Team USA again this March.

Following high school, Baldwin will continue her hockey career at the University of Minnesota.

“Sydney Baldwin is like Bobby Orr,” Minnetonka head coach Eric Johnson said. “She’s the best defensive and offensive player on the ice and the most humble, team-first player off the ice. Syd is the best all-around skater we have ever seen at Minnetonka. She’s smooth, fast and strong, while making it look effortless as she glides by opponents. Her puckhandling, passing and shot are even more impressive than her skating ability.”

Away from hockey, Baldwin owns a 3.45 GPA and volunteers her time with the DinoMights Inner City Youth Hockey Program. She has also served as a Big Sister with Minnetonka youth hockey teams. In addition to hockey, Baldwin was a two-time member of the Skipper tennis team, captaining the squad to a second-place finish in the 2012 state tournament.

“Sydney is a giver,” Johnson said. “She has volunteered over 100 hours in the Minnetonka Youth Hockey Association, attending youth girls’ practices, games, study halls and pizza parties. She cares about the kids and about being a good role model. In addition to her academic and athletic commitments, she works four part-time jobs throughout the year. She understands that success is earned through hard work and expects nothing to be given to her.”

The other finalists for Ms. Hockey were forwards Sam Donovan of Irondale, Kelly Pannek of Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Nina Rodgers of Hopkins and Nicole Schammel of Red Wing.

Past winners include Dani Cameranesi of Blake (2013), Hannah Brandt of Hill-Murray (2012), Karley Sylvester of Warroad (2011), Bethany Brausen of Roseville (2010) Becky Kortum of Hopkins (2009), Sarah Erickson of Bemidji (2008), Katharine Chute of Blake (2007), Allie Thunstrom of North St. Paul (2006), Gigi Marvin of Warroad (2005), Erica McKenzie of Hastings (2004), Andrea Nichols of Hibbing/Chisholm (2003), Ashley Albrecht of South St. Paul (2002), Renee Curtin of Roseville (2001), Krissy Wendell of Park Center (2000), Ronda Curtin of Roseville (1999), Laura Slominski of Burnsville (1998), Annamarie Holmes of Apple Valley (1997) and Winny Brodt of Roseville (1996).

The 19th annual award, selected based on votes from a panel of high school coaches and Division I and III college coaches from Minnesota and Wisconsin, is sponsored by Let’s Play Hockey, the Minnesota Wild and Shakopee Chevrolet.



Erin O’Neil of Hopkins High School has been named the Let’s Play Hockey Senior Goalie of the Year, the newspaper announced today at the annual Ms. Hockey Awards Banquet. The award is presented annually to the top Minnesota senior goalie in girls’ high school hockey.

The owner of some of the best statistical numbers in the state, Erin O’Neil led Hopkins to a 21-5-0 overall record and the No. 4 ranking in Class AA. O’Neil compiled a 17-5-0 overall record, a.948 save percentage, a 1.25 goals-against average and seven shutouts. She ranked fourth in the state in save percentage and shutouts and fifth in goals-against average.

O’Neil allowed more than two goals in only three games this season. She was a two-time state tournament participant, and was all-state this season after earning honorable mention all-state laurels last season. O’Neil will play college hockey at Boston University.

“I believe Erin is the most improved player in the state, regardless of position,” Hopkins head coach Vin Paolucci said. “She is very composed, technical and reliable. She has strong positional skills and when needed, elite athletic skills. Her commitment to improve, her passion for the sport, and her internal desire to be the best leader possible sets her apart.”

Away from the ice, O’Neil owns a 3.552 GPA and is a three-time recipient of the Distinguished Academic Award. She was given the Minnesota Distinguished Family Service Award for her volunteer work with Special Olympics. A team captain on the ice, O’Neil also captains the Hopkins softball team.

“Erin is a great teammate that is respected by everyone,” Paolucci said. “She truly cares about others and has earned everything she has received. Nobody works harder that Erin O’Neil.”

The Senior Goalie of the Year Award is based on nominations from high school coaches and is selected based on votes from a panel of high school coaches and Division I and III women’s college coaches. The award is based on the following criteria: academics, community/ extracurricular activities, citizenship, coachability and, of course, on-ice performance.

The other finalists for the award were Hannah Ehresmann of Minnetonka, Madi Galstad of East Grand Forks, Alex LaMere of North Wright County and Abbey Miller of Benilde-St. Margaret’s

This is the 16th year of the LPH Goalie of the Year award. Previous winners include Sydney Rossman of Minnetonka (2013), Erika Allen of Roseville (2012), Julie Friend of Minnetonka (2011), Kallie Billadeau of Hopkins (2010) Laura Bellamy of Duluth (2009), Alyssa Grogan of Eagan (2008), Ashley Nixon of Blaine (2007), Alannah McCready of Centennial (2006), Johanna Ellison of Cloquet/Esko/Carlton (2005), Emily Brookshaw of Hill-Murray (2004), Robin Doepke of Chaska (2003), Amber Hasbargen of Warroad (2002), Jody Horak of Blaine (2001), Shari Vogt of River Lakes (2000) and Katie Beauduy of Blaine (1999).

The award is sponsored by Let’s Play Hockey, the Minnesota Wild and Shakopee Chevrolet.