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Gophers' stars Logan Cooley, Taylor Heise honored with national awards for February

In leading the Gophers to the top of their respective conferences, the men's top rookie and the women's top veteran were recognized by the Hockey Commissioners Association this week.

University of Minnesota forward Logan Cooley (92) celebrates his overtime game-winning goal after a nonconference men's hockey game against St. Cloud State on Jan. 8, 2023, at 3M Arena at Mariucci in Minneapolis.
Jim Rosvold / The Rink Live

MINNEAPOLIS – When the Hockey Commissioners Association handed out their awards honoring exemplary play during the month of February, they designated a pair of Minnesota Gophers on the opposite ends of their college adventures.

Gophers men’s hockey forward Logan Cooley – a freshman – and Gopher women’s hockey forward Taylor Heise – a fifth-year player – were honored by the national college hockey association.

With two Merrimack Warriors giving chase, Minnesota Gophers forward Taylor Heise looked for a shot in the opening period of a game at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis on Friday, January 6, 2023.
Kelly Hagenson / Gopher Sports

Cooley was named February’s top rookie on the men’s side, while Heise was named the co-player of the month on the women’s side.

Cooley led the top-ranked Gophers to a 5-1-0 record in the month and averaged two points per game. Recording a point in all six games, he gave the Golden Gophers three goals and nine assists for 12 total points and tallied three multi-point performances. He closed February as the nation's assist leader with 32.

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Heise tallied nine goals and 15 points in eight February games. She led Minnesota in both goals and points, lighting the lamp in six of those February outings, with three multi-goal games.


The Gopher captain capped off the month with a four-goal weekend in the first round of the WCHA Tournament. Heise became the first Gopher to record back-to-back 60 point seasons since Hannah Brandt and Dani Cameranesi did so a decade ago.

On Feb. 25, Heise skated in her 169th career game – setting a new record for the most games-played in program history. It is the second time this season she has been named national player of the month.

Cooley became the first and only player in the Big Ten this year with a five-point effort, as he recorded a goal and four assists during the second period at Penn State Feb. 17. Cooley went on to score the game-winning goal Feb. 25 against Ohio State and is currently riding a season-long, 11-game point streak with 21 points in that stretch.

Making just their second-ever NCAA playoff appearance, the Canisius Golden Griffins face top-ranked Minnesota with an attitude and a game designed to give their well-rested opponent fits.
Sights and sounds from Wednesday's practice day at Scheels Arena, where Minnesota State Mankato, St. Cloud State, Minnesota and Canisius all seek two wins and a trip to Florida for the Frozen Four.
Canisius, Minnesota, Minnesota State and St. Cloud State are set to take the ice Thursday for the opening round of the NCAA tournament
As she moves to the next stage of her hockey career, the former Ms. Hockey winner and Minnesota Gophers star took one last look back at her final game in maroon and gold.
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Top seeded in the 16-team NCAA tournament, the Minnesota Gophers will face Canisius in their opener, needing two wins to get back to the Frozen Four, and four wins to claim a sixth national title.
Brown debuted with Team Sonnet this season, culminating in last weekend's PWHPA championship.
Minnesota took a third period lead on a highlight reel goal, but could not hang on, and Michigan rallied to win the conference tournament for the second consecutive year.
The best player in college hockey last season, and the best player in the world last summer, Minnesota Gophers star Taylor Heise suffered through a gut-wrenching end to her time in maroon and gold.
Both rosters are filled with future NHLers and many are former teammates as Minnesota tries to hang its second banner of the season with a win in the Big Ten tournament title game versus Michigan.
Grace and Emily Zumwinkle are taking the ice at the 2023 Frozen Four in Duluth, competing for the program’s eighth national title.

Jess Myers covers college hockey, as well as outdoors, general sports and travel, for The Rink Live and the Forum Communications family of publications. He came to FCC in 2018 after three decades of covering sports as a freelancer for a variety of publications, while working full time in politics and media relations. A native of Warroad, Minn. (the real Hockeytown USA), Myers has a degree in journalism/communications from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He lives in the Twin Cities. Contact Jess via email at jrmyers@forumcomm.com, or find him on Twitter via @JessRMyers. English speaker.
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