Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has a pretty impressive resume, highlighted by three Stanley Cup Championships.
University of Minnesota captain Sydney Baldwin has five championships, including three straight state titles with Minnetonka High School (2011, 2012, 2013) and two back-to-back national banners as a Gopher (2015, 2016).
The senior defenseman, and former Ms. Hockey winner, talks hockey success, her passion for travel and the importance of a solid musical playlist for both.
MHJ // You’re in your senior season at the U, has it been everything you’d imagined and more?
Sydney Baldwin // Yeah it has been. It’s a little bittersweet knowing this is my final year but I’m excited for the rest of the season. It’s been great so far with the team on and off the ice. We continue to make strides on the ice which is great. I’m just continuing to enjoy every practice and every moment before it’s over at the end of the season.
MHJ // What do you remember about putting that Minnesota jersey on for the first time?
Baldwin // It’s crazy, I can remember it so vividly. It was an accumulation of all the hard work on the ice and in the weight room. It’s like all the work you put in had finally paid off, not to say all the work is done once you get to college, but you’re finally there. You’re in the Gopher jersey and finally playing for this team. It’s awesome, I couldn’t think anywhere else I’d want to spend my four years at both on the university side and the athletic side.
MHJ // Was wearing the maroon and gold always the plan and dream?
Baldwin // Oh yeah, I always came to some games here and there when I was younger. I love having the community of Minnesota rally and support us, especially family, having them close to come to games. It’s pretty cool because a lot of girls on this team are also familiar faces from playing with them in the summer season and playing against them in the high school, so that’s really cool. It’s always been a dream of mine to go here and I never really realized I was good enough or would even have the opportunity to play here until my junior year [of high school] so it was really amazing to have that and a dream come true.
MHJ // Talk about what it’s been like to win back-to-back national championships. Does the excitement ever wear off from one to the next?
Baldwin // I had some experience winning in high school and I think winning really fuels the fire because you know what it’s like to have that success and you know what it takes to get there. You want to get back there, you know what it takes and you want to have that success. You know how to win and you don’t want to accept anything less than that. It acts as motivation to want to get back there and have that outcome. It’s all a part of the process and that’s what you want to focus on each practice, each game, each series but at the end just wanting to have that outcome. You want to win that last game of the season.
Total Points (2014-2017): 46 (eight goals, 38 assists)
What social media channel could you not live without?
I still am a big Facebook fan. I love all those animal videos, the dog videos and those funny videos so I ritually look at Facebook every day.
Would you rather live a week in the past or in the future?
I’d say a week in the future because I think it’s important to always to keep moving forward. Obviously it’s important to look at that past but keep moving forward in that positive direction.
Cake, sugar or waffle cone and what’s inside of it?
Waffle cone with some mint chocolate
Biggest cooking gaff you’ve ever made in the kitchen?
I do really enjoy cooking and experimenting with different foods but I remember vividly one time when I was younger, for some reason I was making ramen noodles and I didn’t realize you needed to put water in with the noodles. So I put it in the microwave and it just kind of sparking and possibly started on fire, I don’t quite remember, that was definitely a mistake that I remember and never let happen again.
MHJ // How does the Minnesota State High School championship compare to a national championship?
Baldwin // Obviously both are really special. I was at Minnetonka High School for all four of my years so that was special to achieve together. You look at the individuals on each of those teams and they were full of amazing leaders. They were on different stages, so I would say the feeling of a national championship is a little bit different because you put more work into those in a way. But both are amazing.
MHJ // You’ve always succeeded at being a student-athlete, earning honors in high school and college, how do you balance that and what tips do you have for others to help balance it?
Baldwin // There are so many resources to use to achieve success in the classroom that really help in that regard. For me, I’ve always been and wanted to be a high achiever in the classroom. I’ve always been a learner and I like to learn, and I’ve always held myself to a higher standard. I think having that mindset with athletics also translated to the classroom, too.
MHJ // What’s your best off-ice hockey moment?
Baldwin // I love to travel, outside the United States primarily. I’ve done a couple recent trips but I went backpacking with my sister, [Paige], for about three weeks after my freshman year and really found my love for traveling and exploring new areas and that was a moment in my life where I really felt fulfilled and satisfied, so I would say that’s a top moment in my life not involved in hockey.
MHJ // So what’s one place that you’re dying to go?
Baldwin // I have a long bucket list but I’ve always been enthralled with the idea of going to Bali or Thailand but I would love to go there.
MHJ // What’s one thing you want people to know about Sydney Baldwin
Baldwin // I really try and have a during hockey season I try and do other things not focusing on the same thing with my energy so I like other sports. I play tennis every once in awhile, go up to the cabin in the summer and I try to do a lot of traveling and really strive to live a balanced life, I think that’s really important.
MHJ// So how important is a solid playlist for trips and locker room pump up?
Baldwin // Very important. I like a lot of variety, so I’ll have some country, some contemporary, I’ll always have some Adele and Beyonce. Very important to have a jamming playlist.