Growing up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Hannah Brandt learned to skate with her sister Marissa. The Brandt sisters’ parents, Greg and Robin, adopted Marissa who had been born in South Korea, and brought her home when she was just four and a half months old. During the adoption process, the Brandts found out Robin was pregnant, something the couple had been hoping for after years of trying.
Doing as any Minnesotan parents would do, the two girls were introduced to the ice at a very young age, first in figure skates. When she was five years old, Hannah switched to hockey skates. Marissa soon followed, wanting to be just like her sister.
After playing together in high school, the hockey playing Brandt sisters split up, with Hannah going off to play for the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Marissa landing on the roster for Gustavus Adolphus College.
Between 2012 and 2016, Brandt would help Minnesota win three NCAA championship titles. By the end of four seasons, Brandt had scored 115 goals – the second highest goal total in school history. Her name now appears at the top of the career stats lists at Minnesota in points (286), assists (170) and plus/minus (+236).
As a freshman and junior Brandt was named as a top three finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, given annually to the top NCAA Division I women's hockey player. In her sophomore and senior years, her name made its way into the top 10 finalist lists.
After graduation, Brandt was drafted second overall in the inaugural draft of the NWHL in 2015 by the Connecticut Whale, behind her U.S. teammate Alex Carpenter. Brandt would decide to forego professional women’s hockey. Instead she chose to stay close to home and pick up games with an elite women’s independent hockey club known as the Minnesota Whitecaps.
Brandt has appeared with the U.S. women’s national team at three world championships, winning one silver in 2012 and two golds in 2015 and 2017.
PyeongChang would be Brandt's first trip to an Olympic Games, where she could find herself face-to-face with her sister Marissa, who has been playing for the South Korean national team in preparation for the 2018 Olympic Games.