With a year of eligibility remaining, Compher will cap NCAA career at Wisconsin

Northbrook's Jesse Compher will conclude her collegiate hockey career in the 2022-23 season with the Wisconsin Badgers.

The Wisconsin women's hockey program made that announcement on April 12.

A forward on the United States Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team that earned a silver medal in Beijing in February, Compher will use an extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA to winter sports athletes from the 2020-21 academic year.

Compher had played four seasons for Boston University. She earned her bachelor's degree in hospitality in 2021, and will pursue a master's degree in sports leadership at Wisconsin, she said.

"I wanted to play closer to home and wanted to be a part of the program - and I wanted to win a national championship, and that's something I'd love to do in my final year," she said.

Wisconsin always is in the running for a title.

Badgers coach Mark Johnson, a member of the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" U.S. Men's Olympic Ice Hockey Team and a former 10-year National Hockey League veteran, has led Wisconsin to six NCAA titles. Johnson has won more games, 565, than any women's hockey coach in NCAA history, Wisconsin stated.

Last season the fifth-ranked Badgers (26-8-4) lost in an NCAA regional final to No. 3 Northeastern (Massachusetts). In 2021 Wisconsin beat Northeastern to win a second straight women's national championship.

"(Johnson's) accolades say it all, but I'm excited to play for him and his coaching staff," Compher said. "It's always fun to play for new coaches, so I'm excited to see what I can learn from them."

In her first Olympics, the 5-foot-8 Compher, a 2017 Glenbrook North graduate, scored 3 goals with 1 assist in 7 games.

A five-time Hockey East player of the week while at Boston University, she was a second-team All-America selection in 2018-19 and a top-10 finalist for the 2019 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the top collegiate women's hockey player.

In her final season with Boston University Compher collected team highs of 11 points on 7 goals and 4 assists in 9 games. In four seasons with the Terriers she scored 46 goals with 81 assists for 127 points.

Her older brother is J.T. Compher, a forward with the NHL's Colorado Avalanche, which recently clinched the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs. J.T. Compher, with 16 goals and 11 assists in 64 games entering Tuesday, has risen to play on the second line for the Avalanche, Jesse said.

Jesse Compher currently is training at Chicago's Fifth Third Arena in preparation for the 2022 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championships in Denmark in August.

At Wisconsin she'll rejoin former Chicago Mission teammate Nicole LaMantia, of Montini Catholic in Lombard.

"It'll be fun to play with her, it's been awesome to follow her success throughout her college career, so I'm excited to be on her team," Compher said.

"I'm excited to get a chance to play for this program and to play with new teammates, and hopefully I can make an impact on this team."

Jesse Compher
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