Sunday, March 15, 2015

Reader Submission - 2014-15 University of Minnesota Golden Gophers Amanda Kessel Jersey

Our 26th reader submission comes from Kyle Krasa, and it shows what happens when you put forth the effort to make something happen.

Here is Kyle's story about his beautiful jersey and how he played a small but important role in getting it produced.

I absolutely love your blog!  It is a wealth of information and it is so much fun to read about the history of so many wonderful hockey jerseys.  Attached are pictures of my submission.

This is a replica of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers Women's alternate jersey.  The Lady Gophers began wearing these sweaters in the 2013-2014 season.  They are absolutely stunning with their bright gold contrasted against the maroon numbering and lettering.  This jersey features a lace-up neck which is always a plus for a hockey jersey, the fantastic old time mascot logo of the gopher playing hockey, and the classic "M" logo on the shoulders.  

Although I am from California and have no connection to the University of Minnesota, it was love at first sight when I first saw these jerseys in pictures featured on social media.  Earlier this year, I searched endlessly to try to find a replica of this great sweater to purchase but I had no such luck.  I Tweeted the Gophers Women's team and inquired about where I could find a replica for purchase.  I was stunned to learn that replicas were not for sale, especially since many people on Facebook and Twitter commented on the beauty of these uniforms.    

I emailed the athletic department and urged them to license these replica sweaters.  I also found Vintage Minnesota Hockey, a site that specializes in making replicas of classic Minnesota hockey jerseys.  I contacted the company and inquired about the possibility of producing replicas of this great sweater for sale.  The company representative said that they had received great interest in the sweater but that the University wouldn't license the reproduction.  

Figuring my only hope was to find a game used hockey sweater, I contacted several Minnesota sports memorabilia shops to see if anybody could find something for me.  Unfortunately, nobody knew where to find one.

I thought to myself, "If I were an eccentric millionaire, I could offer to donate a building to the university on the condition that the school provide me my own jersey."  Of course, that would be an expensive jersey but those sweaters are so beautiful, It just might be worth it! 

Just when all hope was lost, a representative from Vintage Minnesota Hockey contacted me to give me the good news that the company and the school worked out a deal to produce replicas of this beautiful sweater!  

While my order was being processed, I visited Minnesota for an annual pond hockey tournament and I took in a Women's Gophers game for the first time.  I noticed a fan wearing the jersey and it made me smile to think that a Californian played a small role in making the jersey available for sale to the public!  Upon my return home, the sweater featured in the attached pictures arrived at my house.

This sweater features the name and number of legendary Gopher Amanda Kessel.  Although Kessel has yet to wear this sweater (she missed the 2013-2014 year due to the Olympics and missed the 2014-2015 year due to a concussion), I firmly believe that when it comes to a legendary player for an organization, any sweater of any era is appropriate in that legend's name and number.  Amanda Kessel is definitely a legend, winning two National Titles (including an undefeated season) and winning the prestigious Patty Kazmaier Award as the best female college hockey player in 2013. 

It's a pleasure to share this sweater and my story with Third String Goalie!  
University of Minnesota Golden Gophers photo Gophers Womens Alternate . Front.jpg
University of Minnesota Golden Gophers photo Gopher Womens Alternate . Back.jpg

Thanks to Kyle for taking the time to photograph his jersey and share the story of of his unique Gopher women's hockey jersey. We really appreciate the work involved when our readers take the time and effort to share their jerseys through their writing and photos.

The fact there was enough demand for the University of Minnesota to license this jersey and Vintage Minnesota Hockey to make an accurate version of it really speaks to the popularity of the Gopher Women's program. We doubt there is another hockey program in the United States where you can buy the women's version of their school's jersey, rather than settling for the men's version or a generic fashion jersey.

If you would like to purchase your own University of Minnesota Golden Gophers women's alternate jersey with the retro 1970's "skating Goldy" on the front, please visit our friends at VintageMinnesotaHockey.com.

If you have a jersey in your collection that you'd like to share with us and your fellow readers, please submit your pictures and a story to go with it, no matter how brief or detailed, to spyboy1@gmail.com and we look forward to seeing your favorites!

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