The Minnesota Whitecaps team captain is back at the helm for the 2019-20 NWHL season. Word was released on the morning of Aug. 21, 2019 that original Whitecap Winny Brodt Brown had re-signed with the team for a second straight season in the league. The defender will turn 42 years old on Feb. 18.
“My goal for the season is to come back stronger than ever and help the Whitecaps have another successful season,” said Brodt Brown in the press release for her signing.
Brodt Brown represented the United States at both the 2000 and 2001 IIHF Women’s World Championships, and has two silver medals from those tournaments. She was also the first-ever recipient of the Minnesota Ms. Hockey Award.
A Univ. of Minnesota Grad
The Whitecaps captain is a very fluid skater and plays both ends of the ice quite well. Such skill accounts for at least some of her longevity and relevance in the game, as well as the fact that Brodt Brown has played portions of her career at the center position.
She played the majority of collegiate career at the University of Minnesota, and finished her NCAA tenure having scored better than a point per game. Brodt Brown was named the NCAA’s Defensive Player of the Year for the Western College Hockey Association (WCHA) in 1999-00.
A lone season with the University of New Hampshire Wildcats in 1997-98 saw Brodt Brown tally 11 goals and 23 assists for 34 points in 39 games. Returning to her native Minnesota, she played for the Golden Gophers for the 1998-99 and 1999-00 seasons, plus one final year in 2002-03.
In total, Brodt Brown had compiled 52 goals, 116 assists and 168 points in 124 career games by the end of her NCAA career. She set career highs for assists and points in 1999-00 when she went 13-37-50 in only 28 games.
Leading the Whitecaps Charge Once More
En route to the Whitecaps first ever Isobel Cup championship, Brodt Brown played in 14 of the team’s 16 regular season games, plus both playoff games too. Within the 14 season contests she would pick up a lone assist. Her helper came during a 9-0 drubbing of the Connecticut Whale on Jan. 20, 2019.
Brodt Brown did not put a lot of rubber on net – only six shots in the 14 games – which means Whitecaps fans will be hoping to see her first NWHL goal in 2019-20. Where she did make an impact though was with blocking the shots of her opponents. Brodt Brown’s six blocks during the regular season tied her with her sister Chelsey Brodt Rosenthal, Amy Schlagel and Allie Thunstrom for third-most on the Whitecaps.
In return, Minnesota finished first in the standings with a record of 12-4-0. They also allowed the second least amount of goals of the five NWHL teams – just 34 goals against in 16 games.
Come postseason play, Brodt Brodt captained the Whitecaps to a 5-1 semi-final victory over the Metropolitan Riveters on Mar. 15. She then helped her team out-duel the Buffalo Beauts in a dramatic 2-1 overtime decision to bring the Isobel Cup home to Minnesota. Brodt Brown did not factor in on the scoring for either contest, but her leadership and guidance were instrumental nonetheless.
A minor “fun part” of the Brodt Brown re-signing is that it comes the very next day after her sister’s re-signing was announced. Along with Brooke White-Lancette, the trio are the elder stateswomen of the team and provide some key intangibles for the team’s overall success.
Brodt Brown is the Whitecaps’ 14th signing overall and fourth one made on their blue line. Assuming that they will have seven or eight defenders when the season gets underway, they are about at the halfway point for rounding out their defense corps. Regardless, their fearless leader is back in the fold.
Here is a look at how the Whitecap’s roster is currently shaping out as of Aug. 21:
Goaltender: Amanda Leveille, Allie Morse.
Defense: Amanda Boulier, Lisa Martinson, Chelsey Brodt Rosenthal, Winny Brodt Brown.
Forward: Allie Thunstrom, Jonna Curtis, Nicole Schammel, Brooke White-Lancette, Haylea Schmid, Meghan Lorence, Audra Richards, Stephanie Anderson.
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 Dan Rice will keep THW readers up-to-date on Metropolitan and Connecticut’s signings throughout the summer, while I post updates on Buffalo and Boston. Together we will be keeping readers informed of all of Minnesota’s signings.