NOVAS SUCCESSFUL DEBUT
On Tuesday November 14, 1995 the Minneapolis Novas played their first
ever hockey game defeating Hopkins 11-1 at the Minnetonka Ice Arena.
The Star Tribune reporter covering the game, Roman Augustoviz, estimated the crowd to be between 250 and 300 people. The first puck was dropped by Lisa Lissimore, an associate director of the Minnesota State High School League. The Novas were one of 22 new teams that season--girls hockey began as a varsity sport the year before.
It took the Novas 42 seconds to score as Barton eighth grader Hannah Coleman found the back of the net with a shot from about 10 feet out on the right side. "It all happened really fast," Coleman told Augustoviz, "We played well, and I really was excited. I probably won't be able to sleep tonight."
South freshman co-captain Gretchen Anderson led the team with 4 goals and an assist. The assist came on a goal by eighth grader Vanessa Miller at 2:26 of the first period. Anderon told the Star Tribune "It really helped to score early. It got everybody going. We were looking forward to this for a long time."
Anderson and Coleman, along with four other teammates, played on a peewee team that just missed qualifying for the state tournament last season.
It was a good thing the Novas scored 6 goals in the first period as there was concern about how their newly converted goalie, South sophomore Christine Bahnemann, would do one day after putting goalie pads on for the first time. Bahnemann, a soccer goalie, volunteered to play after the regular goalie quit the team. After facing no shots in the first period she made two saves in the second, one of them on a breakaway. Hopkins finally scored with 4:30 left in the game. After the game Bahnemann told Augustoviz "It[the first period] was boring.
Then it got more exciting. I was kind of happy they got [a goal].
Their fans wanted one so much."
Augustoviz wrote that the crowd applauded late in the second period when Novas defender Joanna Smith collided with Hopkins forward Katie Carlson and knocked her down. The Novas also were penalized twice for having "too many girls on the ice."
"We wanted to hear how they would announce it," Novas head coach Mary Brown jokingly told the Star Tribune. "This is such a milestone thing . . . We've coached so long and hard, and then there was getting uniforms and a team name. And this is just the start."