Patti Marshall and Alex Woken first met each other playing for the Minnesota Wildcats, a youth hockey team made up of players from North Dakota and northern Minnesota.
Marshall, of Thief River Falls, and Woken, of Fargo, later went to Shattuck-St. Mary's Prep School together. They were teammates there for three years.
They committed to the University of Minnesota together -- on the same phone call, in fact. They called head coach Brad Frost, put it on speakerphone, and told him they were coming.
They spent the last four years together playing for the Gophers.
So, was there any other way for the NWHL Draft to play out Tuesday night?
The Minnesota Whitecaps selected Woken with their first-round pick, No. 5 overall, and Marshall with their second-round pick, No. 11 overall.
Woken's pick was announced by former Gopher basketball player Rachel Banham, now of the Minnesota Lynx. Marshall's pick was announced by USA Hockey's Director of Women's National Team Programs, Katie Million, the former Western Collegiate Hockey Association commissioner.
"It was awesome going with a teammate," said Marshall, who played prep hockey at Thief River Falls as a seventh- and eighth-grader from 2010-12. "I texted her right away.
"Minnesota is an awesome team. They have a lot of great Minnesota players who played at the 'U' before me. I have some former teammates there. It's really cool to have those connections in there."
Now, the area players will have to decide where to play next season. It could be with the Whitecaps in the six-team NWHL or it could be in another league.
"I'm looking at all my options," Marshall said. "They have some great leagues overseas. Now, there's the Whitecaps. I'm going to keep my options open and see where I best fit in."
The Whitecaps won the Isobel Cup as NWHL champions in 2018-19 and were set to play in the final against Boston when the season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Woken, a forward, is coming off of her best season. The former Fargo South-Davies star tallied 16 goals and 32 points as a senior for the Gophers, ranking fourth on her team in goals and fifth in points. For her career, Woken had 75 points in 128 games.
"Alex is a warrior," Minnesota coach Brad Frost told the WNHL. "When it comes to competing, there is no one better. She puts a tremendous amount of energy on the puck through her speed and aggressiveness. Alex is a great teammate and leader as well."
Marshall, a defenseman, had 10 points in 34 games and registered a plus-16 rating. For her career, Marshall had 61 points in 150 games from the blue line. She missed just two games in four years.
"Patti is the model of consistency," Frost said. "She plays both ends of the rink extremely well and has had great experience at every level. Patti is an excellent leader and can be relied on in every situation."
During their college tenures, Minnesota went 109-31-12 and reached two NCAA Frozen Fours. The Gophers played for the national championship last season and were set to play in the NCAA quarterfinals when the season was called off because of the coronavirus outbreak.
"I couldn't have asked for anything better," Marshall said of her college career. "The school, the culture, the teammates. . . the hockey was the cherry on top, being one of the best programs in the entire country."
The first two rounds of the draft were held Tuesday night. The final three rounds will be held Wednesday.
NWHL Draft Round 1
1. Boston - Sammy Davis, F, Boston University
2. Connecticut - Kayla Friesen, F, Clarkson
3. Buffalo - Carly Jackson, G, Maine
4. Metropolitan - Saroya Tinker, D, Yale
5. Minnesota - Alex Woken, F, Minnesota (Fargo)
6. Toronto - Jaycee Gebhard, F, Robert Morris
NWHL Draft Round 2
7. Connecticut - Victoria Howran, D, New Hampshire
8. Toronto - Amy Curlew, F, Cornell
9. Buffalo - Codie Cross, D, Northeastern
10. Metropolitan - Delaney Belinskas, F, Boston College
11. Minnesota - Patti Marshall, D, Minnesota (Thief River Falls)
12. Boston - Tereza Vanisova, F, Maine