ASU women's hockey set to start first out-of-state recruiting camp

ASU is hosting three prospect camps this offseason, hoping to recruit new talent and grow the program

While Minnesota has a rich hockey history, Arizona is still growing the game. ASU women’s hockey is taking a big step to jumpstart that growth this June.

On June 16 and 17, the Sun Devils will host their first out-of-state prospect camp at the Minnesota Wild’s brand new practice facility, the TRIA Rink, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The state of 10,000 lakes is a hotbed for hockey, producing hundreds of talented players from youth leagues all the way up to the professional ranks. 

“It’s the state of hockey,” ASU assistant coach Katie McGovern said. “There are a lot of girls there, and it’s going to be awesome to show what we are about and hopefully recruit some girls while we are there.”

McGovern, an Arizona native who played college hockey just a couple of hours up the road at University of  Minnesota Duluth, is in her first season as a coach alongside head coach Lindsey Ellis and goaltending/assistant coach Kaley Marino. 

Together, the three coaches arranged the trip to the TRIA Rink. The 40,000-square-foot facility opened its doors earlier this month.

The rink holds nearly 1,200 people and it is located within the Treasure Island Center in downtown St. Paul. The building used to be a Macy’s, and the actual ice rink is located on the top floor of the facility to give the venue an elevated rooftop feeling. 

“We were actually looking at different NHL practice rinks around the country, and we were actually first looking at the Boston Bruins practice facility,” Ellis said. “We kind of started looking at different options, and we realized the Minnesota Wild has a brand new facility, so we actually emailed them two weeks before it even opened. We had priority ice time, and it was all just a matter of communication.”

ASU has three players on its current roster from Minnesota: sophomore defenseman Molly Potter, senior forward and captain Amber Galles and sophomore goaltender Brianna Hersom

Galles is among the team leaders in scoring this year, and the senior goal scorer is originally from Prior Lake, Minnesota, which is located just outside of St. Paul. She said having a recruitment camp in her home state is a great opportunity to get more talent to come to ASU.

“I think it will be really great for the program,” Galles said. “I know the talent level in Minnesota has so many more girls and so many more girls who are playing. It’s a lot of high-speed players going Division I all over the country… I think realizing that there is a club team here in Arizona, where the weather is beautiful, will be really good for the program.”

Along with the camp in Minnesota, ASU will host local camps in Tempe at Oceanside Ice Arena on April 21 and June 9-10. The Sun Devils currently have four in-state players who are committed to the maroon and gold for next season.

As a relatively new program, the idea of extending the program’s outreach throughout the rest of the country could provide huge benefits.

Earlier this week, ASU added its ninth commitment to its 2018-19 recruiting class, and the Sun Devils continue to look toward the future.

“We would really like to get up to 30 players next year,” Ellis said. “We are doing everything in our power to be able to recruit that many players so that we can turn the tides and be able to start playing very competitive hockey with the top teams in the country.”

This season, ASU has managed to compete with elite opponents despite having a small roster that only features 15 players. 

Next year’s list of commitments to ASU includes four in-state players, two players from Illinois, two from Canada and one from Pennsylvania.

The recruiting class spans across the country in hopes of cultivating ASU's program and hockey in Arizona as a whole.

“It’s just being able to market ourselves in different areas of the country as well as here, and girls being able to come down here and see the campus,” Ellis said. “It makes recruiting a lot easier.”


Reach the reporter at atbell1@asu.edu or follow @AndrewBell7 on Twitter.

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