Laura Halldorson was a coach for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. She played for the Princeton Tigers women's ice hockey program with Patty Kazmaier. In addition, she played with Cindy Curley and Lauren Apollo on the earliest U.S. National teams. [1]

Coaching career[edit | edit source]

After working on her thesis at Princeton, Halldorson was coaching girls volleyball, basketball and softball through the Wayzata school district in Minnesota. In 1987, she received a call from Princeton coach Bob Ewell. She was asked to become an assistant coach.[2]

Halldorson became a head coach at Colby College. As head coach of the White Mules, the team was one of only two non-Division I schools in the 12-team Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference. In 1995-96, Halldorson led the White Mules to a 12-9-1 overall record.

On November 2, 1997, Halldorson coached her first game with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The team played in front of a women’s intercollegiate hockey record crowd of 6,854. Halldorson was successful in leading the Gophers to winning its inaugural game. The result was an 8-0 triumph over Augsburg College. In the postseason, the Gophers had finished fourth in the first-ever women’s ice hockey national championship. Halldorson was named American Hockey Coaches Association Women’s Coach of the Year.

On November 2, 2002, Halldorson won her 200th career game. Her last season with the Minnesota Golden Gophers was in 2006-07. Halldorson led the Golden Gophers to a third-place finish in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular season. In the postseason, her team defeated Bemidji State in the first round. In the semi-finals, the Gophers defeated Minnesota Duluth, 3-2 in overtime to advance to their fifth-straight WCHA Championship game. The WCHA championship would be Halldorson’s last game as Gophers coach. It was a 3-1 loss to Wisconsin in the title game. Halldorson’s record was 23-12-1 overall and 17-10-1 in conference office. Despite losing the WCHA championship, the Gophers were ranked ninth overall nationally. Five of the players she coached at Minnesota would later become Olympians, including 2006 U.S. captain Krissy Wendell. [3]

Coaching record[edit | edit source]

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties

Year Wins Losses Ties Postseason
2006-07 23 12 1 Second, WCHA Tournament
2005-06 29 11 1 NCAA Frozen Four
2004-05 36 2 2 NCAA Champions
2003-04 30 4 2 NCAA Champions
2002-03 27 8 1 NCAA Frozen Four
2001-02 28 4 6 WCHA Champions, NCAA Frozen Four
2000-01 23 9 2 WCHA Champions
1999-00 32 6 1 First*
1998-99 29 4 3 Third*
1997-98 21 7 3 Fourth*


  • AWCHA Tournament from 1999-2000; NCAA took over the national tournament in 2001. From 2001 through 2004, the tournament consisted of a Final Four. The tournament expanded to eight teams in 2005.[5]

Awards and honors[edit | edit source]

  • 1996 ECAC Co-Coach of the Year honors
  • New England Hockey Writers’ 1996 Coach of the Year.
  • 1998 American Hockey Coaches Association Women’s Coach of the Year.
  • 2002 and 2004 AHCA Coach of the Year[6]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Pat Borzi. It's time U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inducts its first woman. Retrieved on 23 June 2010.
  2. James MacDonald (January 7, 2010). State of Hockey Ambassadors: Laura Halldorson. Minnesota Wild. Retrieved on 23 June 2010.
  3. Krissy Wendell. Retrieved on 23 June 2010.
  4. Laura Halldorson Year by Year record. Retrieved on 23 June 2010.

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