Natalie Darwitz, Krissy Wendell-Pohl selected to Hockey Hall of Fame

Natalie Darwitz and Krissy Wendell-Pohl were selected to the 2024 class of the Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday. (University of Minnesota Athletics)

Two of the greatest women to ever play hockey in Minnesota can now call themselves hall of famers.

The Hockey Hall of Fame announced seven new inductees for the Class of 2024. Two of them are Natalie Darwitz, and Krissy Wendell-Pohl.

Darwitz, a St. Paul native, starred at Eagan High School before joining the Gophers in 2002. She led Minnesota to back-to-back national titles in 2004 and 2005, scoring the game-winning goal against Harvard in 2005. She was a three-time Olympian, winning two silver medals and a bronze, in 2002, 2006 and 2010. Darwitz also played for Team USA in eight world championships, winning three gold medals.

In the 2005 season, Darwitz tallied 42 goals and 72 assists for 114 points, breaking the NCAA record for points in a single season and earning the Women's Player of the Year. In just 99 career games, the three-time All-American is the all-time program leader in points per game (2.48) and assists per game (1.45).

Most recently, Darwitz helped put together the Minnesota team that won a PWHL championship after the team just barely made the playoffs. Shortly after the season ended, Darwitz and the team parted ways.

Wendell is a Brooklyn Park native who first got on the map helping lead Brooklyn Center to the Little League World Series. She’s one of the best high school hockey players to come out of Minnesota, leading Park Center to a state championship in 2000. Wendell went onto play for the Gophers and was the first Minnesota player to win the Patty Kazmaier Award in 2005. She also helped lead Minnesota to consecutive national titles. Wendell ranks second in program history with 2.35 points per game, 1.05 goals per game and 1.30 assists per game. The three-time All-American and two-time WCHA Player of the Year was named The NCAA Women’s Player of the Year in 2001.

She played 147 games internationally from 1999-2007 and scored 106 goals, won six IIHF World Championships and was the MVP for USA’s first gold medal win. She went to two Winter Olympics, winning silver in 2002 and being a captain on the 2006 team that won bronze.

Darwitz and Wendell will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Toronto on Nov. 11.