“A couple times this year we said, ‘Viv, turn it on,’ and she does. She can go end to end untouched like she was a forward.” — Edina coach Sami Reber
Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune
Vivian Jungels (No. 22). Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine
Birth order in the Jungels family meant Vivian, the fourth child, followed her siblings into hockey. Determined to stand on her own, however, she focused on becoming a goaltender.
She begged brothers Chase and Jett to shoot on her in the basement or on the sport court outside their Edina home. Alone, she dressed in full gear and practiced making saves in front of the mirror. As an 8-year-old, she felt ready for her youth hockey debut between the pipes.
She got shelled.
“I did terrible and my siblings made fun of me, so I stopped,” Jungels said.
No one is laughing now. Jungels first moved to center and later found her true home as a defender. Now a senior, she is already a two-time state champion and holds the Hornets’ program record for career points as a defender with 175 and counting.
Jungels is the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year.
“She continues to elevate her game every single year,” Edina coach Sami Reber said.
Discussing Jungels typically starts with her offensive acumen. This season, which continues Thursday at the Class 2A state tournament, Jungels leads defending champion Edina with 30 assists and ranks second with 16 goals. She scored three goals in two Section 6 playoff games, including a successful penalty shot against Blake.
Reber considers Jungels “impeccable” with the puck, a gifted player with the hands, speed and patience to thrive. Reber implored Jungels to unleash all of her gifts this season.
“A couple times this year we said, ‘Viv, turn it on,’ and she does,” Reber said. “She can go end to end untouched like she was a forward.”
Jungels appreciates the freedom.
“Some coaches don’t want their defenders to skate the puck, but Sami has told me sometimes that I have to skate it more,” said Jungels, who is tied with Reber for Edina’s career record of 122 assists.
Edina played 10 games during the regular season against teams that reached the section finals or state tournament. Jungels tallied seven points and 13 assists in those games.
“If it’s a big game and we need something,” said Jungels, a two-time captain, “I start getting after it more.
“In the past we had talent where if we didn’t show up, we could maybe get by and win a game. This year, it’s been really important to show up, because if we don’t, we’re not going to win.”
She hasn’t forgotten her first hockey love. Jungels left the goalie position, but the mentality hasn’t left Jungels.
“I get more mad if I get scored on than if I don’t get a point,” Jungels said. “I take pride in my D-zone.”
Reber marvels about Jungels the eraser as much as Jungels the scorer.
“She can shut down any player coming at her one-on-one,” Reber said.
Edina goaltender Uma Corniea, one of the state’s best for five seasons, appreciates the effort Jungels displays without the puck.
“Whenever she’s one-on-one or even two-on-one, she always finds a way to either prevent the shot or leave me with an easy shot to save,” Corniea said. “It’s reassuring when she’s on the ice.”
Facing Blake in the semifinals, Jungels read a pass though the slot and hustled toward the Bears player to disrupt a potential shot.
“Girls’ hockey is a lot more mental, and she is so smart,” said Corniea, who earned 10 of her team’s 12 shutouts this season.
Jungels is content to leave the goaltending duties in Corniea’s capable hands.
“I really wanted to be a goalie,” Jungels said. “But I’m glad I’m not a goalie now.”
2022: Vivian Jungels, Edina
2021: Emma Conner, Edina
2020: Olivia Mobley, Breck
2019: Madeline Wethington, Blake
2018: Gabbie Hughes, Centennial
2017: Grace Zumwinkle, Breck
2016: Presley Norby, Minnetonka
2015: Taylor Williamson, Edina
2014: Sydney Baldwin, Minnetonka
2013: Dani Cameranesi, Blake
2012: Hannah Brandt, Hill-Murray
2011: Meghan Lorence, Irondale
2010: Bethany Brausen, Roseville
2009: Becky Kortum, Hopkins
2008: Lauren Smith, Holy Angels
2007: Katharine Chute, Blake
2006: Chelsey Jones, Stillwater
2005: Maggie Fisher, South St. Paul
2004: Erica McKenzie, Hastings
2003: Erica McKenzie, Hastings
2002: Ashley Albrecht, South St. Paul
2001: Renee Curtin, Roseville; Jody Horak, Blaine
2000: Krissy Wendell, Park Center
1999: Krissy Wendell, Park Center
1998: Natalie Darwitz, Eagan
1997: Ronda Curtin, Roseville
1996: Winny Brodt, Roseville
1995: Jamie DeGriselles, Apple Valley