On July 30 the Minnesota Whitecaps strengthened the depth of their team as they prepare to defend their Isobel Cup championship coming to terms with
The Need for Schmid
With the re-signing of Schmid the Whitecaps now have five forwards signed, four of which are returning from last year’s team; of the nine players currently signed, seven will have their names etched on the Isobel Cup. In her four seasons at St. Cloud State the now 28-year-old Schmid posted 30 points (12g-18a) over 136 games. Immediately after college, she played 24 games in the Frauen-Bundesliga league in Germany for ERC Ingolstadt before joining the independent Whitecaps.
“I’m excited to be back with this great group of girls for my fourth season with the Whitecaps, doing what we love, in front of the best fans in the NWHL,” said Schmid in the press release announcing her re-signing. “It was a pivotal year last season, seeing our fan base grow more after joining the NWHL and the impact we’ve made with the youth. I’m honored to continue to be a part of that legacy.”
Morse Adds to Minnesota’s Depth in Goal
The signing of Morse makes Minnesota the only team in the league that currently has more than one goalie under contract, and it also means Minnesota has two of the three goaltenders that are signed. Buffalo has the only other goalie under contract: Mariah Fujimagari. Like Schmid, Morse has experience playing for the franchise which should make her transition to the NWHL seamless. The 25-year-old from Cottage Grove played in 40 games over four seasons (2012-16) for Providence College before returning home to Minnesota to tend goal for the Whitecaps.
“I’m excited to sign with the Whitecaps because I know it’s both an extremely fun and competitive environment,” said Morse, who wins Most Creative Tweet of the Summer with the video that announced her signing, in a press release. “I personally want to improve my game, and by doing that I’d like to help my teammates push their own game. As far as team goals, the ultimate goal would be to repeat as Isobel Cup champs and have a lot of fun along the way.”
The signing of Morse means that with only one goaltender spot left the Whitecaps won’t have either Julie Friend or Sydney Rossman back for the upcoming season. Last season Friend started the lone game that two-time Isobel Cup champion and workhorse Amanda Leveille did not start. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues as Leveille shows no signs of slowing down and she enters her prime.
This is what the Whitecaps roster currently looks like:
Goaltenders: Amanda Leveille, Allie Morse
Defense: Amanda Boulier, Lisa Martinson
Forward: Allie Thunstrom, Jonna Curtis, Nicole Schammel, Brooke White-Lancette, Haylea Schmid
Beginning May 15, NWHL teams can re-sign players from their 2018-19 roster and their draft picks. Additionally, for those players who have completed their college eligibility and want to continue their hockey careers, NWHL Free Agency provides the best opportunity to continue playing at the highest level of professional women’s hockey. The fifth season of the NWHL will begin in October as the Minnesota Whitecaps look to defend their Isobel Cup championship.
My colleague Nathaniel Oliver will keep THW readers up-to-date on Buffalo and Boston’s signings throughout the summer, while I post updates on Connecticut and the Riveters. Together we will be keeping readers informed of all of Minnesota’s signings.
Dan Rice is in his 9th year of reporting for THW & has covered NJ Devils home games for 15+ years at various websites. He began his journey working for legendary broadcaster/writer Stan Fischler from 2002-04 & completed an internship at the ECHL; he also has been writing features for the NWHL (nwhl.zone) website since 2016.