In high school, Gophers freshman forwards Dani Cameranesi and Kate Schipper were opponents.
But now they’re not only playing on the same team — they’re on the same line.
Along with senior forward Kelly Terry, the trio has been one of the most productive lines for the Gophers so far this season.
Minnesota head coach Brad Frost said all three forwards are similar players, and they’re probably three of the fastest players in the country.
“It’s always hard to defend against a line like that,” Frost said. “It’s hard with one player like that, let alone two or three.”
Because all three are speedy, they create frustrating matchup issues for opponents.
“We just felt like they would be able to apply a lot of forecheck pressure and create some turnovers and get some goals that way,” Frost said.
The trio’s speed can be tiring to opponents trying to battle for puck possession.
“When you get three of us out there at the same time, we have a tendency to pin teams in and get them running around and trying to keep up with us,” Terry said.
Terry, the line’s leader, said the two freshmen bring a lot of enthusiasm because they’re excited to be playing for the Gophers.
“We kind of feed off of each other’s energy, whether that’s on the forecheck or trying to score some goals, or even backchecking,” Terry said. “They just like to do it all.”
As the line has begun to play together more, and the freshmen have acclimated themselves to the college game, the trio’s chemistry has developed.
The two freshmen aren’t the loudest voices on the ice, but Cameranesi said Terry has been breaking them out of their shell.
Schipper said communication among the three has been getting better, slowly but surely.
“We hear [Terry] screaming all the time, but we could too … especially when she has the puck and we’re open,” Schipper said.
While her linemates aren’t the loudest on the ice, Terry is still able to find them.
“We’re … very similar players, so what’s not actually communicated on the ice, we still kind of read off each other well and we know where we’re going,” Terry said.
Schipper said she’s enjoyed playing with linemates that are quick like her.
“When we’re actually going full speed ... we usually have the puck and we usually have possession most of the time, so it’s really fun,” Schipper said.
Along with communication, a focus of the line has been putting more shots on goal.
Schipper said they’ve been focusing on going to the net instead of just circling in the offensive zone.
“If you have possession and you’re not doing anything with it, then it’s pointless,” Schipper said.
Terry said the line sets pregame goals, which help remind them to put shots on goal.
“If we have an off period where we’re not playing as well, we kind of remind ourselves, ‘Hey, we’re not hitting our quota yet,’ so we kind of refocus and try to do that,” Terry said.
She said their initial goal was 10 shots per game as a line, but they’ve since “raised the bar a little bit” because they did such a good job with the first goal.
In the team’s first game against Minnesota-Duluth last weekend, the line recorded 11 shots on goal. In the second game, Cameranesi and Terry recorded a combined eight shots on goal and three points apiece.
Schipper was injured during the game and didn’t practice Monday, but Frost said he expects her to play this weekend against Bemidji State.
And that means the Gophers’ speed line could create mismatches for the Beavers defense this weekend.