Hill-Murray grad, former Gopher, Olympian, Whitecap Hannah Brandt practices w/ Wild

December 14, 2018 04:48 PM

Olympic gold medal-winner and current Minnesota Whitecaps forward Hannah Brandt skated with the Minnesota Wild on Friday morning at the Tria Rink in St. Paul.

The Wild invited Brandt to skate in connection with 'Girls in Hockey Weekend'.  They'll host 12U, 10U and 8U girls for practices at the Xcel Energy Center this weekend.

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Click the video box on this page to see Hannah Brandt skate with the Minnesota Wild and post-practice thoughts on her skate from Brandt, Mikko Koivu, Bruce Boudreau and Zach Parise

"This was a lot of fun today. I have to admit I was gripping my stick a little tight out there, I just wanted to keep up and not slow down their practice. The Wild was my favorite team growing up and I enjoyed watching Mikko Koivu play when I was younger, he was my favorite player," Brandt said.

RELATED: Koivu re-joins Wild practice, could play Saturday

Brandt has been a fixture on the Minnesota hockey scene since starring at Hill-Murray High School a decade ago. She moved on to a record-setting career at the University of Minnesota where she helped the Gophers win a national championship 2015.

She was on the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic team in Korea earlier this year and now plays professionally in the debut season for the Minnesota Whitecaps.

Brandt's Whitecaps and the team plays its home games at the Tria Rink, so this is very familiar territory for her.

"This rink is packed for our home games and it's exciting, I will say it's amazing to see how much faster the men's game is. It was a thrill just to be on the same ice with them," Brandt added.

Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau liked what he saw when Brandt took the ice with his team.

"She did really well out there, she kind of reminded me of a mini-Granlund out there. You can really tell how far the women's game has come in hockey and she proved that today," Boudreau said.

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Jeff Brioschi

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