Updated: 02/24/2014 5:48 PM
Created: 02/24/2014 4:27 PM KSTP.com
By: Let's Play 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 Sunday 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. A panel of coaches from Minnesota and Wisconsin decide the winner.
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).