Dodge County's Huber back on USA Hockey radar, invited to National Development Camp

May 25—Ida Huber was sitting at a lunch table at Byron High School on Wednesday when she checked her email on her phone.

"I screamed, I was so excited," Huber said.

Her dad, Ty, had beaten her to the news she'd been waiting for: For a second consecutive year, Huber has been selected to participate in a USA Hockey National Development Camp. The standout goalie for Dodge County's powerful girls high school hockey team was part of the USA Hockey 15s camp last summer in St. Cloud.

This summer — almost exactly a month from today — she'll hit the road to Ohio.

The BioSteel/USA Hockey Girls 16/17 Development Camp

is set for June 24-30 in Oxford, Ohio.

The national camp not only offers players a chance to learn from high-level coaches and play against the other best players in the country at their age group, but this particular camp serves as an evaluation camp to determine which players will be selected to advance to the USA Hockey U18 Girls Select Camp.

"I've made a lot of great friends from playing hockey with them" all over the country, Huber said. "It was fun when we all found out we are going (to Ohio). There were a lot of calls and texts congratulating each other."

Huber is one of 16 goalies selected for the camp. She's also one of five from Minnesota, joining Nora Hannan (Edina), Mallory Hartl (Moose Lake Area), Ashlyn Hazlett (Minnetonka) and Zoe Rimstad (Richfied/Academy of Holy Angels).

Albert Lea's Mika Cichosz, a standout defender who had 43 points in 28 games for the Tigers in 2022-23, was also selected to the 16/17 National Camp. Like Huber, Cichosz is just finishing her sophomore year of high school.

"I'm looking forward to traveling for this one and see my friends from out east," Huber said. "I really just want to compete as well as I can and have a shot to go to the 18s camp."

Though she is still just a sophomore, Huber has three full seasons of varsity hockey under her belt.

She started as an eighth-grader at Rochester Lourdes in 2020-21, backstopping the Eagles to a Section 1A championship and a spot in the Class A state tournament. In her two seasons with Dodge County, Huber has a 28-21-2 record, with a 2.18 goals-against average, a .908 save percentage and 12 shutouts. Her numbers took a big jump in the 2022-23 season, when she played every minute in goal, was 16-9-2 with a 1.75 GAA, a .920 save percentage and six shutouts.

"Once the season ended, I tried to take a two-week break (from hockey) to recover and focus on school," Huber, the younger sister of former Rochester Century and current Augustana University football standout Isaiah Huber, said, "but I couldn't not play for two weeks. A few days later I was back on the ice, started skating again."

Huber's college recruitment window opens on June 15. She's hoping her phone will ring a few times, but she said, she might be too busy to spend much time worrying about how many calls or texts she gets.

Between summer practices with Dodge County, other goalie camps she's planned to attend, and now the National Development Camp in Ohio, it looks like Huber will spend more time around ice than the sun over the next three months. ("I'm really bored without hockey," she said.)

It's all with an eye to her future, but more importantly, with an eye to her team's future. Huber and her Dodge County teammates are using a 3-2 overtime loss to Albert Lea in the Section 1A title game as fuel for their offseason workouts.

"I was extremely upset with how the season ended," she said. "A lot of my motivation this summer comes from that game. We want to get back to that game and win it this time and get to state. It gave us all a lot of motivation."