BEMIDJI, Minn. – Winning a gold medal. A goal that many athletes strive to accomplish, but very few ever achieve. Bemidji State University women’s hockey player Stephanie Anderson achieved that rare goal Saturday when United State National Team defeated Canada 7-5 to capture the 2015 IIHF World Championship in Malmo, Sweden. Anderson, who led BSU with 14 goals last season, became the first player in program history to win a medal in an international competition.
“It is still surreal,” said Anderson on winning the gold medal. “It feels great. I was on a great team and the moment we threw our gloves up in the air was amazing.”
Thirteen WCHA players joined Anderson on Team USA and in total 40 different players from WCHA institutions represented their countries at the World Championships. With that many talented players on the ice at once, Anderson said the difference was very noticeable.
“It was definitely different,” remarked Anderson. “Everyone was so skilled and talented that the practices were very fast-paced. Practices were also very fun just because we were scoring amazing goals, so it was good.”
Anderson believes that playing with all those great players has helped her develop into a better player. The junior forward also believes that those things will translate into success next season for the Beavers.
“I definitely think the quickness of my game has increased a little bit,” said Anderson. “Thinking quicker and shooting quicker. I sat down with Coach [Ken] Klee and watched my shifts and he offered me some teaching points so the coaching helped me as well.”
When asked about her future with Team USA, Anderson said she did not know for sure but this is what she did know.
“As far as I know I will continue to be on the roster,” remarked Anderson. “We have a couple more camps in August and then when the winter camp rolls around I have to make the team again.”
International playing time aside, Anderson will no doubt be a vital cog for BSU next season as the Beavers look to build upon a record-breaking campaign in 2015-16. BSU will not only bring back Anderson, but will return 20 additional players from last season’s team, including CCM/AHCA All-American goaltender Brittni Mowat.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).