Monday, December 3, 2012

Vetter Becomes First 2014 Commit

Christi Vetter (21) celebrates after scoring the opening goal of last season's Minnesota state quarterfinal at the Xcel Energy Center, a 5-0 win by her Lakeville North team over Roseau.

Lakeville North (MN) High School forward Christi Vetter announced on Twitter last Thursday night that she has committed to Penn State for 2014-2015.

Christi Vetter

Lakeville North (MN) HS/MN Jr. Whitecaps 19U
5'11" // Lakeville, MN
DOB 9/7/1995 Lakeville North page

Season   Team                   Lge    GP    G    A  Pts  PIM

2009-10  Lakeville North HS     MN-HS  13    7    4   11   14  
2010-11  Lakeville North HS     MN-HS  27   23   19   42   16
2011-12  Lakeville North HS     MN-HS  31   24   26   50   46
2012-13  Lakeville North HS     MN-HS   6    2    4    6   12

Vetter's freshman season will be a very important one in the program's growth as the first batch of team leaders, including assistant captain Lindsay Reihl (after this season), assistant captain Jenna Welch, captain Taylor Gross and star goaltender Nicole Paniccia (after next season) will all have graduated. In a sense, the program will have to stand on its own two legs for the first time, without the guidance of players with previous NCAA Division I experience. As a result, some of the current freshmen and sophomores will have to fill the leadership void, and they'll need to be complemented by highly-talented newcomers. That's where Vetter comes in.

Much like recent signees Laura Bowman and Amy Petersen (Minnetonka) and Sarah Nielsen (Edina) as well as freshman defender Paige Jahnke (Roseville), Vetter plays for one of the lead contenders in Minnesota high school hockey. Last season, Lakeville North won Section 1AA and went on to place fourth in the state. The Panthers were victimized by Petersen's overtime goal in the state semifinals, then lost 1-0 to Edina in the consolation game.

Vetter was at her best in the sectional tournament, registering nine points in three games, including a pair of goals in the final, a 5-2 win over archrival Lakeville South.
The sophomore forward scored twice for the Panthers (22-5-1), including the game-winner while falling to her backside with 89 seconds to play in the second period to break a 2-2 tie.

"Not how I planned it but hey, it worked," Vetter said. "I was like, 'Go in. Please go in.' Just begging for it. When it did, I just wanted to cry. I don't think we were ever really comfortable."

But by the time Vetter's second goal of the game went in with 3:49 to play -- her fifth of the playoffs -- a celebratory sigh of relief from the Panthers' bench was evident. Especially after getting outshot by the Cougars (21-6-1) 32-19 in the game, including a two-shot effort during an early five-minute power play.
With Vetter and most other key pieces, including offensive running mate Alexis Joyce, back this season, Lakeville North rightfully has every intention of taking things two steps further in the state tournament this year.

Vetter also plays club hockey for the Minnesota Jr. Whitecaps U19 team and helped lead them to the finals of the prestigious NAHA Labor Day Tournament this year with a 6-1-0 record, losing only to perennial girls hockey juggernaut Assabet (and only then by a 1-0 score).

Vetter poses in front of the Palmer Museum of Art on a visit to campus

One of the more reliable ways to identify a top women's recruit is through USA Hockey team and National Development Camp selections, and Vetter definitely has her share of those. The right-handed shot was at Select 17s in July, recording a goal and an assist in four games to tie for her team's scoring lead and eighth overall at the camp, helping her to earn an all-star nod. She was a Select 16 invite in 2011, collecting an assist in three games (also at the latter camp, incidentally: Celine Whitlinger).

In August, Vetter was named to USA Hockey's national U18 team for a three-game series against Canada, narrowly won by the notherners after a game three shootout.

Vetter is a three-sport athlete, as she also runs cross country and is on the golf team. Also, and stop me if you've heard this before with respect to the women's team, she's a great student - a National Honor Society member, in fact. Her non-sports school activities include marching band and student council.

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