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WOMEN'S HOCKEY: Moorhead captain Olivia Dronen commits to Bemidji State

Moorhead senior captain Olivia Dronen has announced her commitment to play women’s hockey for the Beavers after an impressive junior campaign with the Spuds.

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Moorhead's Olivia Dronen puts a shot on Brainerd-Little Falls goalie Brteya Sawyer while being defended by Riah Stroot at the Moorhead Sports Center on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022.
David Samson / The Forum
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MOORHEAD – Moorhead senior captain Olivia Dronen has announced her commitment to play women’s hockey for Bemidji State after an impressive junior campaign with the Spuds.

Dronen found success in her versatility out on the ice in her past three varsity seasons at Moorhead. She played as a forward her freshman year, then switched over to playing defense as a sophomore and split her junior year as both a forward and a defenseman.

Although she has impressed in both positions, Dronen plays defense the most and will stay at that position for her final year of high school and into college.

"I'm a strong, lockdown defenseman when needed to be, but I'm versatile," said Dronen. "I like to rush the puck and jump into plays and score goals."

Moorhead girls hockey head coach Ryan Kraft adds that Dronen is an unbelievably gifted player and can score goals while defending against the other teams' top players.

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"She can change the game in a single play, and she will be relied upon heavily to play important minutes in all aspects of every game," Kraft said.

Hockey seems to be in her blood, as the Spuds defender's two older brothers also played the sport. Parker, the oldest, played in high school, while middle sibling Max graduated in 2021 and currently plays in the NAHL with the Oklahoma Warriors.

Like Max did, Olivia also wears the "C" for Moorhead.

"I talk a lot in between periods and in the locker room. I also try to do a lot of leading by example," said Dronen, a two-year captain.

"Her leadership skills, both on and off the ice, have helped shape the current culture of Spud girls hockey," Kraft said.

After posting 38 points in 29 games her junior season, Dronen took a visit to Bemidji State and eventually announced her verbal commitment on Oct. 16.

"The campus was so beautiful, I thought the facilities were unbelievable, and the coaches were definitely a big factor in my decision. After getting to know them, I knew it would be the perfect fit for me," Dronen said of BSU.

Bemidji State was always a college that was on Dronen's radar, as one of her coaches at Moorhead, Kara Werth, also played for the Beavers from 2017-21.

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Dronen is also quite familiar with future Bemidji State teammates Talya Hendrickson and Kate Johnson of Warroad, as the three have played on various northern Minnesota teams together. Dronen has also skated with BSU commit Riley Reeves of Gentry Academy at summer camps in the past.

Dronen is a three-sport athlete for Moorhead, also participating in soccer and golf.

The Spuds girls hockey team has unfinished business this season in 2022-23, as the group lost in a very close section championship matchup last year to Brainerd/Little Falls. Dronen said that the team wants to make it to state this year and they want to be competitive at the state tournament.

The 5-foot-6 defender will hit the ice for Bemidji State for the 2023-24 season.

Sydney Wolf is a reporter for The Rink Live, primarily covering youth hockey. She joined the team in November of 2021 and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a B.S. in Mass Communications and a minor in Writing and Rhetoric Studies and was a part of the University Honors Program.
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