Jori Jones’ talent led her to Gustavus where she served as a backup goalie on the 2023 National Championship team. Jones died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident on August 20, 2023. PHOTO COURTESY OF GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS COLLEGE

Jones was a semifinalist for the award in 2022

Sauk Centre, MN – Let’s Play Hockey has announced that the Senior Goalie of the Year Award will be named in honor of Jori Jones.

Jones was a goaltender at Roseville High School where she excelled and became a semifinalist for the award in 2022. Her talent awarded her the opportunity to further her playing career at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN where she served as a backup on the team that won the 2023 National Championship.

On Aug. 20, 2023, she was in a car with teammates returning from a team bonding event when they were involved in a two-vehicle accident. Jones later died at the hospital. She was 19.

“We are proud to honor Jori’s legacy, not just as a goaltender, but as someone who approached and played the game the right way and for the right reasons,” said Let’s Play Hockey publisher Bryan Zollman. “She epitomizes what a student athlete should strive to be.”

In 1999, Let’s Play Hockey established the Senior Goalie of the Year Award, presented to the top senior girls’ high school hockey goaltender in the state. The award is based on on-ice performance, but also takes into consideration academics, community/extra-curricular activities, citizenship, and coachability.

Let’s Play Hockey worked in conjunction with the Minnesota Girls Hockey Coaches Association in the naming of the award.

“The Minnesota Girls Hockey Coaches Association is proud to partner with Let’s Play Hockey in naming this award in Jori Jones’ honor,” said MGCHA Executive Director Tim Morris. “It is always tragic when the Minnesota hockey family loses someone, especially someone as young and vibrant as Jori. Attaching her name to the Senior Goalie Award only strengthens and enhances the prestige of that honor and will keep her spirit alive for future classes of female goaltenders in the state of Minnesota. We are looking forward to presenting the award to one of this year’s worthy nominees. Gracious thanks to the Jones family and Roseville hockey for allowing us to forever connect Jori’s name to this award.”

Jori was one of 10 semifinalists for the award during her senior season. She played in 60 games in her high school career and had a record of 32-23-5, 2.85 goals against average, .912 save percentage and eight shutouts. In her senior season she played in 20 games and went 12-6-2 with a 1.94 goals against average and .924 save percentage.

But she was more than a goalie. She was also a consummate teammate, fierce competitor and spirited leader.

Roseville Hockey held a Jori Jones Night earlier this season in honor of their former teammate who passed away Aug. 20, 2023.

“On behalf of Roseville hockey I want to express our deepest gratitude to the people involved in naming the senior goalie of the year award in remembrance and honor of Jori Jones,” said Craig Rosenthal, Jori’s high school coach at Roseville. “She truly embodied everything you want in a student athlete. Jori was a top ten finalist her senior year always giving her best effort for her team. She excelled in the classroom with a near 4.0 GPA and also devoted her time to our youth hockey program and many more community service projects.”

The Minnesota Wild are co-sponsors of the award and Ms. Hockey Banquet.

“The Minnesota Wild are grateful for the opportunity to help memorialize Jori Jones,” said Wayne Petersen, Senior Director of Community Relations and Hockey Partnerships for the Minnesota Wild. “Both on and off the ice, Jori set a perfect example that student athletes within the State of Hockey will strive to emulate for years to come.”

The Jones Family released a statement in response to the annual award being named in honor of their beloved daughter and sister.

“Jori’s dedication to being a goalie started at a young age and her dedication to learning carried her from the classroom to the rink each day.  Jori navigated life with an enormous heart and was always there to share her beautiful smile when you needed it the most.  One of Jori’s greatest accomplishments was being named amongst the other goalies her senior season. We are touched and honored that Jori and the senior goalie of the year award will forever be linked together.”

The Jori Jones Award will be presented Sunday Feb. 25 during the Ms. Hockey Banquet at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. The Banquet is sponsored by the Minnesota Wild, the Minnesota Girls Hockey Coaches Association and Tradition Companies. 

The 10 Semifinalists for the 2024 Jori Jones Award award will be announced Saturday, Feb. 10. The five finalists will be announced Wednesday, Feb. 14.