The Minnesota Whitecaps have brought back an eighth member of their 2018-19 Isobel Cup-winning squad, and appear primed to make a legitimate stab at retaining their title. Word was released on the morning of Aug. 20, 2019 that veteran Whitecaps defender Chelsey Brodt Rosenthal had re-upped with the team.
“My number-one fans are my family – especially my kids!” said Brodt Rosenthal in the press release for her signing. “They love cheering on the Whitecaps. I play the game because I love it and I can be a role model to other girls and boys.”
The 35-year-old blueliner will turn 36 in December while the season is taking place. Brodt Rosenthal is the 13th player that the Whitecaps have signed this summer as the team prepares for the upcoming season. She is well-regarded for playing sound defensive hockey, and is not one to shy away from the more physical aspects of the game.
An Ability to Play Rugged Hockey
Prior to her professional career getting underway, Brodt Rosenthal played four seasons of NCAA hockey for the University of Minnesota. She would help the Golden Gophers win the National Championship during her sophomore season of 2003-04.
In 151 NCAA games, Brodt Rosenthal tallied seven goals and 36 assists for 43 career points. Decent scoring numbers for any defender. Her finest season offensively came in 2004-05 when she set career highs for goals (4), assists (13) and points (17) while playing 40 games.
Brodt Rosenthal’s best contributions were not on the score sheet though. She is tough, and averaged nearly a penalty minute per game in her career – 146 PIMs total within those same 151 games.
Not only is Brodt Rosenthal able to play rugged hockey, but she is defensively responsible in the process. She never went below a plus-15 for plus/minus in her four collegiate seasons, and set a career high of plus-32 in 2004-05. Her final plus/minus total on her NCAA career was an admirable plus-94.
An Isobel Repeat?
Brodt Rosenthal played in 14 of the Whitecaps 16 games during the 2018-19 NWHL season. She compiled four assists during that time, including a pair during a 6-2 victory over the Metropolitan Riveters on Oct. 21, 2018. Both helpers came on goals by teammate Allie Thunstrom, who has also since re-signed with Minnesota for the season ahead.
Additionally, Brodt Rosenthal blocked six shots during the regular season, fired seven shots of her own, and finished as a plus-3. Those six blocks tied her with her sister Winny Brodt Brown, Amy Schlagel and with Thunstrom for third-most on the Whitecaps. Brodt Rosenthal’s staunch defense helped Minnesota to a first place finish, with a record of 12-4-0. The team allowed the second least amount of goals – just 34 in 16 games.
Where Brodt Rosenthal may have made the biggest difference for her team was in last season’s NWHL playoffs. As the Whitecaps dispelled the Riveters 5-1 in the semi-final, and then eventually the Buffalo Beauts in a 2-1 overtime decision to win the Cup, Brodt Rosenthal played in both contests. She took one shot on goal in defeating the Riveters, and finished the game as a plus-1.
The Whitecaps have only signed three defenders thus far, including Brodt Rosenthal herself. While their forward troops look very stacked with talent and their goaltending is indeed solid, it will be interesting to see who else gets signed to the back end. Eight different defenders played for the team in 2018-19, so likely one or two more are bound to return as well. The others – probably at least two more – will be new faces for the franchise.
Here is a look at how the Whitecap’s roster is currently shaping out as of Aug. 20:
Goaltender: Amanda Leveille, Allie Morse.
Defense: Amanda Boulier, Lisa Martinson, Chelsey Brodt Rosenthal.
Forward: Allie Thunstrom, Jonna Curtis, Nicole Schammel, Brooke White-Lancette, Haylea Schmid, Meghan Lorence, Audra Richards, Stephanie Anderson.
Beginning May 15, NWHL teams can re-sign players from their 2018-19 roster and their draft picks. Additionally, for those players who have completed their college eligibility and want to continue their hockey careers, NWHL Free Agency provides the best opportunity to continue playing at the highest level of professional women’s hockey. The fifth season of the NWHL will begin in October as the Minnesota Whitecaps look to defend their Isobel Cup championship.
My colleague Dan Rice will keep THW readers up-to-date on Metropolitan and Connecticut’s signings throughout the summer, while I post updates on Buffalo and Boston. Together we will be keeping readers informed of all of Minnesota’s signings.