Brianne Jenner Emerging as Finest Canadian-Born Player in NCAA

Mark StaffieriContributor IIFebruary 6, 2013

Image courtesy of Hockey Canada, obtained from
Image courtesy of Hockey Canada, obtained from

In a season where the Minnesota Golden Gophers have grabbed all the headlines, Brianne Jenner has quietly assembled a remarkable campaign. With 50 points in 21 games, Jenner is one of the elite forwards in the NCAA. The native of Oakville, Ontario is looking to make Cornell’s Frozen Four title dreams come true.

Among the Canadian born NCAA stars, Jenner is emerging as the finest of the group. With a group that boasts such remarkable Canadian talent like Erin Ambrose, Christine Bestland, Laura Fortino, Marie-Philip Poulin, Jamie Lee Rattray and Jillian Saulnier, Jenner led these remarkable Canadians to the gold medal at the 2013 Meco Cup.

Named ECAC Player of the Month for January 2013, Jenner continues to solidify her legacy as one of the program’s greatest players. Only twice this season has Jenner been held scoreless (November 24 at Harvard, and November 30 at Clarkson). Currently, she holds an 11 game point scoring streak.

In only eight games (January 12-29, 2013), Jenner’s January was one to remember. She accumulated 12 goals and 11 assists for an astounding 23 points. Her stellar play led Cornell to a 7-1-0 mark in the month as they climbed to second in the ECAC standings.

In only one game (a January 13 road contest versus Boston College) she was held to less than two points. Statistically, her highest output was a five point night (three goals, two assists) versus the Syracuse Orange on January 15.

Her greatest performance may have come on January 29, when she scored twice in a historic win for Cornell. With a 4-0 blanking of Mercyhurst, Cornell coach Doug Derraugh broke the program record for career wins.

Jenner followed it up with an eye opening six point performance on February 1. For many hockey fans, this was more than another superlative contest for Jenner. Her five goals and one assist against the Union Dutchwomen was an inspiring performance.

In a game that recognized the Do It for Daron Foundation (honoring the late Daron Richardson, sister of Big Red teammate Morgan Richardson), her performance gave a message of encouragement.

Her spirit for the game is unquestioned. This season, she has already surpassed her NCAA career high for goals with 26 (in only 21 games). In addition, she has already tied her career high for game winning goals with five. Her 2.38 points per game is third overall in the NCAA, respectively.

She will be the key for Cornell’s aspirations in reaching a fourth consecutive Frozen Four. Should Cornell and Minnesota meet in the 2013 Frozen Four, Jenner (along with teammates Jillian Saulnier and Laura Fortino) may prove to be the Golden Gophers’ biggest test.

As Minnesota players Hannah Brandt, Amanda Kessel and Noora Raty are all emerging as front runners for the Patty Kazmaier Award, Jenner’s career year may lead to her being overlooked for the award. An opportunity to upset the Gophers in the postseason may be more valuable than any award for the remarkable Jenner.

Once her Big Red career reaches its end, she is poised to become one of next generation of superstars in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

Eligible for the 2014 CWHL Draft (although her eligibility may be pushed back one year if she plays at Sochi 2014), Jenner may be the final piece for a franchise looking to claim the Clarkson Cup.

Before the CWHL can come calling, Jenner is also a member of the Canadian national women’s team.

Gearing for an opportunity to compete at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, she is the embodiment of the dedication and perseverance of the great Canadian players that came before her. As the future of Hockey Canada, the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Championships (being held in Ottawa) may be Jenner’s coming out party.