When you think of the hotbeds of hockey, what’s the first place that comes to mind?
Canada? Minnesota? Colorado? How about Alpharetta, Georgia?
Yes, Alpharetta, Georgia, the hometown of sophomore standout Jen Munhofen, which is a long, long way from snow, and more importantly, the ice of Ithaca, N.Y.
Although Munhofen’s trip was a long one, nothing was going to stand between her and the No. 7 Cornell sweater she now wears.
Munhofen’s trek north began by “playing with the boys,” as she put it.
As a teenager, Munhofen played on an all-boys squad, which inevitably led to an invitation to a youth developmental camp. At the camp, scouts saw the promise the young Munhofen had on the ice, and from there she was asked to play for a female travel team, the Washington Pride, which brought Munhofen into the Northeast to compete against some of the nation’s top players.
Because of her fantastic play with the Pride, Munhofen was invited to the Olympic Developmental Camp in Lake Placid for four straight years, where the top 80 female skaters are asked to attend every year. Munhofen was only one of three girls asked to the camp to represent the southeast region of the U.S.
“You could tell that she came into Cornell with very much talent, very, very much,” said junior assistant captain Jamie Ramenofsky.
As a freshman, Munhofen led the team in goals and total points, and was second on the team in assists with seven. Her 0.44 points per game was a team best as well.
Going into this year, though, Munhofen noted, “I felt pressure on myself. I was a sophomore and now had to move up in the ranks, and so I felt I really needed to step it up for my team.”
This is what could have led to Munhofen’s slow start to this season, as she didn’t tally a point until the fifth game of the year against Sacred Heart.
Yet, Munhofen has since silenced the critics, and more importantly, squashed the pressure she was putting on herself. She hasn’t missed a beat ever since. Munhofen again leads the Red in assists, points, points per game, and is tied for second with five goals. She has already surpassed her career highs in all of those categories, except goals, which she has matched.
Munhofen has had two four-point performances, both in victories over Sacred Heart, and four multi-point games this season. She has contributed a point in all but one Red victory this season, and tallied what proved to be the game-winning goal in two of those contests.
Yet, Munhofen, who epitomizes the mantra of a team player, is more concerned with the squad hanging on to the eighth and final playoff spot and making a push for the ECAC crown.
“I definitely think we can make a run,’ said Munhofen “We’ve showed the top teams that we can play with them all season.”
Munhofen and the Red will be back in action this weekend as they travel to face ECAC and Ivy rivals, Princeton and Yale. The team will then return to play a pair of games at Lynah Rink in two weekends, as it faces Findlay on Friday at 7 p. m. and again on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Archived article by Chris Mascaro