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Gophers' Taylor Heise named 2023 WCHA Forward of the Year

For Heise, the honor comes for the second-consecutive season after she piled up 29 goals and a conference-leading 62 total points.
FILE - In this Sunday, March 24, 2019 file photo, Minnesota's Taylor Heise (9) controls the puck during the third period in the NCAA Division I women's Frozen Four hockey championship game against Wisconsin in Hamden, Conn. A viable professional hockey league for women is the goal of the current crop of veteran players, and the youngsters who dream of playing the sport professionally when they get older are behind the current efforts being made. Sophomore Taylor Heise of the University of Minnesota, says having them fight for players like her “is amazing.” (AP Photo/Stephen Dunn, File)

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Golden Gophers women's hockey captain Taylor Heise is not going to sneak up on opponents. Her reputation for putting the puck in the net means teams try and account for her every moment she's on the ice.

Sadly for them, even that doesn't work. 

For the second-consecutive season, Heise has been named the WCHA Forward of the Year after leading the conference in both goals and points. Her 29 goals (matching a career high) and 62 total points have also made the Lake City native a candidate for WCHA Player of the Year, an honor that will be announced Thursday, March 2. 

Heise, a 5th-year senior, is also a member of the WCHA All-Academic Team. She is the first Gopher to record back-to-back 60-point seasons since Hannah Brandt and Dani Camernesi, who have become mainstays in the U.S. Women's Olympic program. Heise herself was a member of the U.S. Women's National Team that won silver in the 2022 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship. 

In 2022 Heise was awarded the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the top female college hockey player in America, the only Gopher to win the award besides Krissy Wendell and Amanda Kessel. 

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