Sponsored By

Your Ad Here

Friday, December 26, 2008


From UMDBulldogs.com

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The traditional University of Minnesota Duluth holiday break won't last long for four Bulldog women hockey players.

Canada's National Women's U-22 Team has tapped junior forward Emmanuelle Blais, sophomore forwards Haley Irwin and Laura Fridfinnson, and sophonore defenseman Jocelyne Larocque to suit up for the MLP Nations Cup in Ravensburg, Germany. The tournament -- which will be held from Jan. 2-Jan. 6 -- was formally called the European Air Canada Cup, somewhat fitting since Canada is the six-time defending champion at the MLP Cup, having won every year since the tournament’s inception in 2003 and having lost just once in those 20 games.

Blais, Larocque, Irwin and Fridfinnson are part of a Canada roster that includes 21 of the 22 players who dressed for Canada in a three-game series against the United States’ Women’s Under-22 Select Team in Pierrefonds, QC in August. All four Bulldogs' were also part of 11 current U-22 players who won gold at the 2008 Air Canada Cup. Larocque is also won of six players that won a silver medal with Canada's National Team at the 2008 Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid, NY in early November.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wisconsin Series Schedule Change!

Just a note for those who are not season ticket holders, or those who are coming up to Duluth for the UMD women's series with Wisconsin... The series originally scheduled to be a Friday/Saturday night series, is now a Saturday night/Sunday afternoon series (7 pm/3 pm) as stated in a letter to season ticket holder that UMD sent out this past week.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Princeton Defeats UMD 4-3

I'm not sure what happened to UMD today.. to come out and score in 14 seconds.. then give up right back on a terrible defensive play in front of Martin.. it was sloppier than the NoDak loss.. and is telling.. UMD can be out played physically and will be beaten. Princeton was much more physical, and UMD forgot how to make passes.

The first line was the only one that really did anything good, whether on the powerplay or even-strength, and the [B]entire[/B] defense was just bad today. I wouldn't be surprised to see the 2nd and 3rd lines split up to try and change something come January and the Wisconsin series at the DECC. Just my opinion but, it's time to put Fridfinnson on the third line and move Blais back up to the second line where she belongs...

UMD didnt' really look like they wanted the game until the last couple minutes, which was all first line again. They've gotta find a way to turn it around Sunday and go on Christmas break on a better note.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Dogs Sweep Bemidji State, Winning Saturday 4-1

Tonight's game had a much better flow.. UMD started Johanna Ellison tonight..stopping 20 of 21 shots .. the shot that beat her was a 1 on 0 breakaway(shorthanded for BSU even). Something I mentioned last season.. it seems that almost every time she plays, she end up facing at least one breakaway. Tonight she probably could have challenged the puck b4 the BSU's Erin Cody could get to it, but either way, that was BSU's only goal tonight.

Libby Guzzo scored her first career goal tonight, the game winning goal, after a nice forecheck by freshman Kacy Ambroz caused a BSU turnover with the puck ending up in front of a wide open net for Guzzo to bury.

Tori Shelafoe even dressed and skated a few shifts tonight in only her second game of the season. She's a speedy little player from Forest Lake High School, who will probably play a bigger role next season with the speed she brings.

I don't think Kim Martin is quite right from her concussion following the NoDak Friday night game yet, even though she swept Dartmouth last weekend. You could almost tell for the time she played last night that she wasn't completely there. I wouldn't be surprised if she sat next weekend just to be cautious, with the series against Princeton the final one until January. This said, it's just my observation rather than any fact given by UMD or anyone connected to the team.

Friday, December 05, 2008

UMD Downs BSU 5-2

OK, no offense to Bemidji State.. but what a BORING game. If UMD had kept up the pressure the whole game it may have resembled the 15 goals UMD put up against SCSU back in the Jenny Potter era. Probably half of UMD's shots would amount to actual scoring chances, while a decent number were from farther than the faceoff dots.

Zuzana Tomcikova is almost an exact copy of Riitta Schaublin's freshman season.. rarely going down to the butterfly.. but able to cover a lot of area with her great size. There doesn't seem to be any drop-off from Brookshaw graduating.. just another goaltender stopping a ton of shots every game while the team searches for offense.

One negative for UMD, at the end of the game Emmanuelle Blais blocked a slot that may have missed her pad and hit her skate .. she hobbled to the bench and the ground and was still there after the handshake and was surrounded by staff as everyone headed out. Just judging from how it looked, I think it'd doubtful she'll be on the ice tomorrow but we'll see.

Add: Unfortunatley.. Johanna Ellison gave up a goal with about 4 minutes left.. her defense didn't kill the puck.. BUT because Kim Martin gave up a goal in the first period, Ellison picked up her first win of the season because it was 2-1 when Martin finished the first period.

Jocelyne Larocque WCHA Defensive Player of the Week

This was posted later than normal on WCHA.COM...

WCHA Defensive Player of the Week
Jocelyne Larocque • So., D, University of Minnesota Duluth

Jocelyne Larocque, a sophomore defenseman from Winnipeg, Manitoba, scored two goals in the University of Minnesota Duluth's 4-1 victory over No. 3-ranked Dartmouth last Saturday (Nov. 29) at the DECC in Duluth, Minn. The Bulldogs also won 2-1 over Dartmouth in the series opener last Friday (Nov. 28).

Larocque scored Minnesota Duluth's second goal of the game in the 4-1 decision - and what turned out to be the game-winning goal - just :15 seconds into the second period on a blast from the left point. Larocque then launched an empty-net goal with one second remaining for her second goal of the contest and of the season. In addition to her two goals, Larocque helped UMD kill 10 of Dartmouth's 11 power-play attempts, earned a +2 plus/minus rating and put eight shots on goal in the two games.

Larocque, who is the sixth ranked defensive scorer in the NCAA and the third in the WCHA, has 12 points (2g,10a) in 14 games.

Also nominated were: Alyssa Grogan, G, UM; Kathleen Rosso, D, MSU; and Alycia Matthews, D, UW.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

UMD Wins 4-1, Completes Sweep of 'Big Green' Dartmouth

UMD dominated easily today... breaking the 40 shot mark in the second period. Kim Martin looked like herself the whole game.... I really like UMD's new forecheck and hope it wasn't JUST for this weekend.. they sent 4 into the zone most of the weekend.. and a forward was in position EVERY time to cover the pressing defenseman. While that can cost you occasional breakaways it worked well for them.

Jenni Asserholt has improved vastly from just the first weekend against Minnesota, she doesn't look out of place on the ice anymore after not playing in the North Dakota series, whether it was for injury or to to watch and learn from watching a series maybe... either way she looked comfortable on the ice this weekend.

Hailey Irwin had 11 shots on net and two more goals, and Jocelyne Larocque scored her first two goals (the 2nd was just a clear down ice into an open net with less than 1 second left on the clock) of the season.

Elin Holmlov and Pernilla Winberg each got 3 assists, on the important goals.

Next up, Bemidji State December 4th and 5th, 7:07 starts both nights at the DECC.

Friday, November 28, 2008

UMD Defeats Dartmouth 2-1

UMD 2 Dartmouth 1.... For the most part the puck was in Dartmouth's end the majority of the game.. but UMD still had trouble finding the net, missing *4* different opportunities from 10 feet or less shooting well wide....Kim Martin looked a little shaky but now that I know she had a concussion from last Friday's game where a Sioux were ran her... it makes sense why her game was off last Saturday. After the first period, she looked like the Kim Martin we're used to seeing.

You have to give kudos to BOTH teams tonight.. the 'Lick Brothers' were the referees and this game could have gotten out of hand physically very fast.

After last week's Sioux series, it's also nice to play against a team that DOESN'T slash the goaltender every time the puck is at the net.. Dartmouth did a good job of pulling up after the save.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

North Dakota Stuns UMD 4-0

Stephanie Ney stopped all 45 shots UMD put on her, and North Dakota scored 3 goals on Kim Martin in the first 30 minutes.. and went on to shut out UMD 4-0 at the DECC.

UMD had plenty of chances but North Dakota's defense was great in front of their goaltender, not allowing 2nd and 3rd opportunities to get through to the net. North Dakota made UMD's defense look slow today, breaking out the puck at will, a big difference from Saturday's first game.

Dartmouth is up next, Friday night/Saturday afternoon(3:37) series, because the UMD Men play St. Cloud State Saturday night.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

UMD Beats North Dakota 6-2

'Hat Trick' Holmlov scores 4 as UMD dominated North Dakota at times.. winning 6-2. A "Natural" hat-trick, plus 1 for 4 goals in a row even! Kirkham played decent but got little help, the Sioux defense never attacked the puck.. rather they turned and skated backwards, and seemed to be afraid of UMD's overall speed.

Lana Steck saw her first NCAA action, playing the last 10:31 of the game.. giving up a goal from the blueline. She's going to be a work in progress.. needing to learn the side to side movement with her pads rather than her skates, which makes her slow going from one side of the net to the other. One good thing is on the three shots she did save (of 4) she controlled the rebounds.

Click the blog title to view the game box score!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pernills Winberg WCHA Player of the Week, North Dakota Series Preview

First, Click the blog title to view the UMDBULLDOGS.COM Series Preview for this weekend's North Dakota series.. and...

Pernilla Winberg is the WCHA player of the week coming off of the Ohio State Series! Somehow I missed this during the week.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

UMD Scores 8, Sweeps OSU!

UMD put 50 shots on goal, scored 3 times on the powerplay, and defeated Ohio State 8-3, to earn the sweep in Columbus, Ohio. 6 UMD goals were scored in the second period after a scoreless first period.

Haley Irwin had a HAT TRICK, to give her four goals on the weeekend! Elin Holmlov scored two more goals, giving her eight on the season.

Jamie Rasmussen and Laura Frifinnson also got goals, while Holmlov (2), Pernilla Winberg(3), Sara O'Toole(2), and Saara Tuominen(2) all had multiple assists.

Friday, November 14, 2008

UMD Shuts Out Ohio State, 3-0

Kim Martin stopped all 26 shots she faced, and UMD got goals from Jaime Rasmussen (powerplay), Haley Irwin (FINALLY her first of the season!) and Laura Fridfinnson to win 3-0 in Columbus.

UMD was 1 of 5 on the powerplay and held OSU scoreless on 7 attempts of their own.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

UMD/Wisconsin Tie 2-2...Wisconsin Wins Shootout

UMD and Wisconsin end in a 2-2 tie, but Wisconsin got the extra WCHA poitn by winning the shootout 1-0. UMD had a 2-0 lead but everyone knows a 2-0 lead is dangerous cause the opponent's first goal can give them the confidence to either tie or even win. UMD didn't look all that good in the shootout, but I'm not sure a shootout really makes sense to do. If only is used in conference standings and not by the NCAA and seems to be pointless really.

UMD's next opponent is Ohio State, in Columbus Ohio the weekend after the upcoming 4 Nations Cup Tournament.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Dogs Lose 2-1 at Wisconsin

Badger goaltender Jesse Vetter improved to 9-0-1 on the season, while Kim Martin is now 4-4-1, after UMD dropped today's game in Madison 2-1 to the Badgers. Saara Tuominen scored her 5th goal of the season for UMD, but Wisconsin's Brooke Ammerman scored her 11th of the season for the game winner in the second period.

Both teams took four penalties each, which is a VERY small number between these two teams. Ammerman's goal was scored on the powerplay, while UMD didn't score on their powerplay opportunities.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dogs SWEEP Mankato!

Elin Holmlov scored a Hat Trick, and Pernilla Winberg assisted on all three of Holmlov's goals to lead UMD to a second straight 5-1 victory over Minnesota-State Mankato. UMD even scored TWO powerplay goals, going 2-6 on the man-advantage.

Mankato came out better tonight, putting 25 shots on Kim Martin, only scoring on a powerplay in the third period.

Next up is Wisconsin, in Madison, Halloween afternoon (2 pm) and Saturday morning (11 am.)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dogs Dominate, Beat Mankato 5-1

UMD held Mankato to 15 shots total (4 in 1st 9 in 2nd 2 in 3rd) despite being shorthanded 6 times, while getting 48 shots themselves (19-16-13) and defeated Mankato 5-1 at the Decc.

UMD finally came out and played THEIR complete game, which in the past few years hasn't included much powerplay efficiency (0-7 again tonight.) THIS game looked like the UMD team we're accustomed to seeing; they cycled the puck in both zones and completed passes.

The only Mankato goal (by Nina Tikkinen) came on a powerplay five seconds after faceoff that UMD lost in front of Kim Martin.

Jenni Asserholt scored her first career UMD goal, while Elin Holmlov scored her first of the season. Having her (Holmlov) healthy and on the ice is a big deal for this team.

Saara Tuominen and Tawni Mattila each scored their fourth goals of the season and Laura Fridfinnson scored her third of the season. Heidi Pelttari skated as a forward tonight skating mostly with Mattila and Pernilla Winberg, and picked up two assists. Sara O'Toole also picked up two assists.

Click the blog title to see the complete box score.

News Tribune Mankato Series Preview

Click the blog title to go view the complete article...

The Minnesota Duluth women’s hockey team isn’t hitting the panic button.

After dropping three of their past four games, the Bulldogs — 2-3-1 overall and 0-3-1 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association — are below .500 for just the second time in school history and the first time since starting the 2003-04 season with a pair of losses to Minnesota State-Mankato.

UMD, coming off a 1-1 tie (2-1 shootout loss) and 3-2 loss at St. Cloud State, hosts the Mavericks in a WCHA series at 7:07 p.m. today and Saturday at the DECC. The Bulldogs also were swept at home by Minnesota on Oct. 10-11.

But UMD coach Shannon Miller is confident the Bulldogs can return to form.

“We’ve got 10 new people in the mix, with staff and players, so there’s a big learning curve,” Miller said. “I think that everyone, including the experienced people, is learning some lessons.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

UMD Gives Up Late Goal, Drops to 0-3-1 in WCHA Play

UMD got down 2-0, tied the game at 2 in the third period, but gave up a powerplay goal with 7 seconds left to give St. Cloud State a win and a tie(shootout win) on the weekend. UMD is now 0-3-1 in WCHA play. Click the blog title to see the box score from the game.

Next weekend UMD hosts Minnesota-State Mankato at the DECC, both games at 7:07.

Friday, October 17, 2008

UMD & St. Cloud State Tie 1-1, SCSU WIns A Shootout 2-1

Click the title to go view the box score from today's game at the National Hockey Center.

Emmanuelle Blais scored shorthanded for UMD and Brita Schroeder tied the game 4+1/2 minutes later (both in the third period) and the game stayed tied 1 for the remainder. As has been the trend the last few years, UMD's powerplay was shut out in 10 attempts, BUT their penalty kill was great, killing off 12 of 13 powerplays.

I didn't attend the game and can't imagine how sloppy this game with 23 powerplays between the two teams was.

News Tribune SCSU Series Preview

Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State begin a two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association women’s series today, each in search of its first league victory this season.

Click the blog title to go read the entire article, which is free for one week of it's publishing, and free to register to read.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Gopher Dominate, Sweep UMD 2-0

UMD came out slow again and was never able to really gain any momentum, dropping the second game of the series 2-0 to Minnesota. UMD was 0-10 on the power play which will not work against the best teams in the league. UMD's team speed didn't seem to be there at all tonight.

Jocelyne Lamoureux and her sister Monique pretty much dominated UMD all weekend, and the duo each scored a goal tonight and assisted on the others' goal. In 4 Gopher games this season they have 11 points (3 goals 8 assists) between them. The pre-season voters may want to re-think their pre-season rookie of the year pick.

Elin Holmlov didn't play tonight, most likely due to her recurring back problems.

I wanted to come up with something good out of the weekend's series, but right now I'm not sure what the Dogs might have done right.

Next up, St. Cloud State, who just were swept by North Dakota, at the National Hockey Center 2 PM Friday and 5 pm Saturday.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Gopher Salvage Overtime Victory With 25 Seconds Left

Minnesota out-skated and dominated UMD for most of the first 40 minutes of play, and UMD woke up to carry the third period to tie the game at 3-3. UMD has a bunch of chances on a final powerplay to end the third and start overtime, but didn't finish. Minnesota did finish on their opportunity on the powerplay in overtime, scoring with 25 seconds left on the clock for the 4-3 win.

News Tribune Gopher Series Story

Another banner season for No.1-ranked UMD women's hockey?

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association season opener between rivals Minnesota and Minnesota Duluth will have added excitement.

The host Bulldogs (2-0) will raise their fourth NCAA Division I championship banner before tonight’s game and will start league play against the Gophers (1-1) for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

Click the blog title to go read the entire story!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

This Year's New Faces

With the first home series only 2 days away, UMD has 5 Freshman on this year's roster.

Courtesy of umdbulldogs.com roster, the Freshman biographies:

#11 Kacy Ambrosz
BEFORE UMD: Wrapped up a stellar career at New Prague High School by netting 47 goals and adding 34 assists for 81 points as a senior during the 2007-08 season...a four-time All-State honorable mention selection, Amboz was also selected twice to the All-Metro Third Team, and four times garned All-Conference honors...14 times struck for two or more goals an outing, and notched at least a tally in 22 of 24 games a season ago as a Trojan...ran up a tab of 379 career points at New Prague...was a five year starter on the Trojans softball team as a pitcher and catcher...older brother Matt plays hockey for the University of Nebraska Omaha.

#20 Torri Shelafoe
BEFORE UMD: Led Forest Lake Senior High School with 16 goals and 15 assists during her senior season in 2007-2008...captained the Rangers and was a Metro All-Conference selection her final season, while picking up the Ranger Award...a three-year starter at Forest Lake, she was named an All-Conference honorable mention during her junior season...brother Ryan plays hockey at Hamline University.

#29 Justine Fisher

BEFORE UMD: A 2008 graduate of Dakota Ridge High School, Fisher played three seasons for the Colorado Select organization...helped captain the team to a third place finish at the national tournament during 2007-2008 winter...was selected to the USA Hockey National Development Camp for four straight years (2007, 2006, 2005, 2004)

#31 Lana Steck
BEFORE UMD: Backstopped the St. Vital Victorias AA, a team she played on from 2003 to present, prior to suiting up for the Maroon and Gold...helped Team Manitoba's U-17 squad to a silver medal in the Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse, Yukon in 2007...nominated for the Calm Air Junior Team of the Year Award...graduated in 2007 from College Jeanne-Sauve...participated in Afrique 2007 and was selected to receive the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award...also an outstanding soccer player, playing on an elite team that placed fourth and fifth in back to back national titles.

#51 Pernilla Winberg
BEFORE UMD: Perhaps best known in the United States as the player who scored the winning goal in the shootout against Team USA during the 2006 Olympics semi-final game...was Team Sweden’s youngest national team player during the last Winter Olympics and has been a pillar on her national squad since the 2002-2003 season...tallied a goal and three assists in five outings while in Turin in 2006, and has helped Team Sweden win two bronze medals in the IHIF World Championships (2005 and 2007), including leading Sweden with five goals and three assists in 2007...has picked up four gold medals in European Womens Championship Cup play (2008, 2007, 2006, 2005)...was named the best forward by the European Womens Championship Cup in 2008 after notching seven goals and three assists...led Team Sweden with six goals and two assists in three games in the 2005 European Womens Championship Cup.

#84 Jenni Asserholt
BEFORE UMD: A Team Sweden assistant captain, she has been on the Swedish blueline since 2003...earned an Olympic Silver Medal in 2006 with Sweden in Turin, Italy, and picked up two World Championship bronzes in 2007 and 2005...has suited up in 81 games for Team Sweden in her career, and picked up 50 minutes worth of penalties during 2007-2008 for Sweden in 16 national team skates...played for Linkopings HC last season, registering four goals and four assists in 14 regular season contests...dished three assists in four play-off games for the club last winter.

Click on the blog title to go view the roster with complete profiles as well as the players' media guide photos!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Dogs Sweet Niagara University With 6-1 Win

Tawni Mattila scored twice(giving her 3 in 2 days), and Kim Martin allowed just one goal in finishing the sweep of Niagara University! Heidi Pelttari had 2 assists, and Tuominen, Blais, and Fridfinnson all scored their second goal in as many days.

Check out the Box Score from Collegehockeystats.net

Bring on the Goofs ;)

Friday, October 03, 2008

UMD Wins Season Debut 6-2

Click on the blog title to read the collegehockeystats.net box score from the first game of the season!

Pernilla Winberg scored her first NCAA goal (and added an assist)...and UMD came back from 2 early Niagara goals to win 6-2.

Laura Fridfinnson also had a goal and an assist, and Jocelyne Larocque had two assists.

News Tribune Kim Martin Article

Kim Martin will stay in Sweden NEXT season, to focus on the 2010 Olympics.. the News Tribune article reports, Click the blog title to go read the article. If you haven't, register for FREE to view any article within 7 days of it's printing on the News Tribune's website

Niagara Series on B2TV.COM

There is a small ($6.99?? per game, but Im not positive) charge, OR you can buy the Minnesota Duluth season pass for $75 and watch all the UMD men's AND women's hockey games that are broadcast over the net. There are nearly 50 games between the two teams so that's a good deal if you can't be there.

Click the blog title to check it out.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

UMDBulldogs.com Niagara and Season Preview

Click on the title to go read the complete article from UMDBulldogs.com

"We are very proud to be the defending national champions as we start a new season with some new people, new goals and new energy," said Miller this week. "The returners have done a great job building this team to the point we are at, but also realize the hardest road is still ahead. We are all very proud to represent UMD and the city of Duluth and will take great pride in doing everything we can to defend our title."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Niagara Series Radio

According to Niagara University's sports website, PurpleEagles.com you can hear their home women's hockey games on their website, so hopefully this information is correct and those who want to try and listen to this weekend's season opening games can do so!

They also mention that you can hear games through yahoo sports college broadcast, but that is a pay service, but you can always go there if you want to pay a little bit.

I'll be trying out the purpleeagles.com version Saturday if it's available, and won't be home Friday to give information if there is indeed a radio broadcast.

Of course, if for some odd reason Tom Hansen travels to Niagara Falls to cover the game for DULUTH radio (I doubt it since they didn't do the much more important St. Lawrence series last season) you can go to warpradio.com to see if it's being covered by our local station instead. The link is to the 710 AM WDSM and good for games that we KNOW they're broadcasting.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

WCHA.com League Preview, UMD Preseason Favorite

CLICK the blog title to go to WCHA.COM!

League Coaches Pick Minnesota Duluth to Repeat as WCHA Women's Champion in 2008-09 as Conference Marks 10th Anniversary Season

Minnesota, Wisconsin are coaches' choice to finish second; Minnesota's Gigi Marvin is pre-season WCHA MVP; UMD's Pernilla Winberg is coaches' choice as pre-season WCHA Rookie of Year; Regular season commences weekend of Sept. 27-29 as Wisconsin hosts Quinnipiac while seven teams host exhibitions

Sept. 23, 2008

Complete Release in PDF Format

MADISON, Wis. - The University of Minnesota Duluth, which swept the national championship, the regular season championship and the WCHA FINAL FACE-OFF title in a memorable streak last season, is the pre-season choice to repeat as Western Collegiate Hockey Association champions in 2008-09, according to league coaches.

This the tenth season of WCHA women's play and league teams have won the national championship every season, including the inaugural campaign of 1999-2000. The Bulldogs kept the WCHA's national title streak alive in 2007-08 when they won their fourth national title by defeating two-time defending champion Wisconsin, 4-0, on their home ice in Duluth in the NCAA title game. The victory capped a memorable season for UMD, which went 33-4-1 and also scored an overtime victory over Wisconsin to win the title of the newly-renamed WCHA FINAL FACE-OFF, the league playoff championships.

The Bulldogs received five first-place votes and a total of 47 points in the pre-season poll (the eight league coaches couldn't vote for their own team). They edged Minnesota, which grabbed two first-place votes, and Wisconsin, which had one first place vote, and had a total of 41 points. UMD, Wisconsin and Minnesota were ranked first through third in the national USA Today/US Hockey Magazine preseason college hockey poll as well.

Ohio State rounds out the top four followed by St. Cloud State, Minnesota State, North Dakota and Bemidji State.

For the second straight season, league-member coaches have picked Minnesota senior forward Gigi Marvin as the pre-season most valuable player. Four other players - Wisconsin forwards Meghan Duggan and Erika Lawler plus Minnesota Duluth goaltender Kim Martin, a Patty Kazmaier finalist last year, and teammate Haley Irwin, the forward who led the league in scoring with 60 points last season - also received votes for preseason MVP.

Minnesota Duluth's Pernilla Winberg, a forward from Sweden who was Martin's teammate on the silver medalist Swedish Olympic team in 2006, was voted the league's pre-season rookie of the year. She received half the votes from the eight coaches. Minnesota forward Jocelyne Lamoureux, Ohio State forward Natalie Spooner, and Wisconsin forward Carolyne Prevost also each received a vote.

The opening weekend of the 2008-09 campaign will occur Friday and Saturday, Sept. 26-27, when Wisconsin hosts Quinnipiac for a pair of regular season games at the Kohl Center in Madison and four other WCHA-member teams play exhibition games. On Friday, Bemidji State hosts University of Manitoba, Ohio State hosts Wilfrid Laurier University, Minnesota entertains the University of Saskatchewan, and Minnesota State hosts the Minnesota Whitecaps. On Saturday, exhibition games have Univ. of Saskatchewan at St. Cloud State, North Dakota hosting University of Manitoba, and the U.S. Women's Select Team at Bemidji State. Then on Sunday, Sept. 29, the U.S. Women's Select Team will play at Minnesota.

The battle for the 2008-09 WCHA regular season championship will again consist of a 28-game schedule for each of the league's eight clubs, with each team playing the other seven four times - twice at home and twice on the road. The opening weekend of league competition - October 10-11 - will have defending national champion and WCHA champion Minnesota Duluth hosting Minnesota, the league runner-up last year, St. Cloud State at North Dakota, and Wisconsin at Ohio State. Minnesota State opens WCHA play at North Dakota on Oct. 17-18 and that same weekend Bemidji State opens league play at home against Wisconsin on Oct. 17. The series concludes on Oct. 18 when the Badgers and Beavers will play in the first ever U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame women's game in Eveleth, Minn.

The 2008-09 regular season will conclude the weekend of Feb. 20-22.

The conference's post-season championship tournament will open the weekend of February 27-March 1 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) with a first round, best-of-three series format at campus sites. The No. 1 seeded team will host the No. 8 seed, the No. 2 seed will host the No. 7 seed, the No. 3 seed will host the No. 6 seed, and the No. 4 seed will host the No. 5 seed. The four first-round winners will then advance to the 2009 WCHA FINAL FACE-OFF at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minn., on Saturday and Sunday, March 7-8. On Saturday, there will be two semi-final match-ups at 1:07 pm CT and 4:07 pm CT, with the championship game set for Sunday at 1:07 pm CT.

Following two weeks of WCHA playoffs, the NCAA Women's Division 1 championship tournament will commence the weekend of March 13-15 at regional sites (TBA), followed by the 2008 NCAA Women's Frozen Four, to be held March 20-22 at Boston, Mass.

Commissioner Sara Martin said the WCHA is the first women's conference to officially re-introduce the shootout to college hockey, after the option was installed recently by the rules committee. The Central Collegiate Hockey Association also recently announcd plans to use the shootout in it's men's game and Hockey East previously had installed a shootout in the mid-90s, and is among the conferences considering re-instituting it. The men's WCHA has no plans to use the shootout.

An NHL-style three-player shootout will be used to determine a winner for all WCHA games tied after regulation and five-minute overtime.

The NCAA rules and ice hockey committees have allowed conferences the ability to implement this tie-breaker protocol so that every regular-season league game will have a winner while preserving the integrity of the national rankings. Games decided by a shootout will still be considered ties for NCAA purposes so there will be no effect on NCAA records for the purposes of the Pairwise and determining the NCAA tournament field. Bonus points awarded will impact the conference standings only.

The WCHA has also approved the following point system for regular-season play; two (2) points for a win in regulation or overtime, one (1) point for each school if the game is tied at the conclusion of the five-minute overtime period and one (1) point is awarded to the team who wins the shootout. Overtime will continue to be played similar to regulation time with five skaters for each team (penalties excepted).

Team Photos, etc

In updating and re-formatting the layout of this blog, I now have room and the ability to post pictures below the blog entry. Scroll down to the bottom of the page below an entry and one in a while I'll add a new picture there. Right now the small picture is the team receiving their National Championship t-shirts and hats after the game, and the large picture below is obviously, the team saluting the DECC crowd after their Championship win.

Those who've been to this blog multiple times will recognize it as a full version of the cropped photo I previously had in the blog's title bar. THIS full photo is a much better representation of the team. If you have a photo you'd like to submit, use the link above to send it.

Layout Changes

I'm making a few layout changes to this blog to hopefully improve some of the look of it. There won't be any down time and the only thing people may notice is maybe a color change here or there, and three columns instead of two as before.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Season Preview from Umdbulldogs.com

Click the blog title to go view the page!

The University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team and 2008 NCAA champions will take to the ice for the Bulldogs first practice of the 2008-2009 season this Monday, September 22 on the UMD campus. UMD, which earned its fourth NCAA title in program history this past March, will no doubt draw the eyes of the rest of the league when they get set to begin their title defense on October 3 in Niagara Falls, New York.


-- The Bulldogs graduated just one player (forward Karine Demeule 16g, 5a) from their 2007-2008 NCAA championship squad, returning 18 players who now own championship rings.

-- Junior goaltender and All-American Kim Martin, who was a top-three Kazmaier finalist as a sophomore, set a single-season UMD records for most wins (31), saves (843) and a save percentage of (.943). Martin is just 11 wins shy of overtaking the Bulldog career goaltender wins record, which is currently held by Riitta Schaublin, who picked up 52 over her four-year career.

-- Sophomore forwards Haley Irwin (the reigning WCHA Scoring Champion in her debut season), and Laura Fridfinnson ended the 2007-08 season on a 16-game scoring streak that started on Jan. 19, 2008. The Bulldogs were 15-1 over that span.

-- Head coach Shannon Miller is the fourth winningest coach all-time in the NCAA after having amassed a 234-61-25 record in nine seasons. Miller has won more NCAA titles (four), holds more NCAA Frozen Four wins (nine), has made more NCAA tournament appearances (seven) and has won more NCAA tournament games (11) than any other head coach in women’s hockey history.

-- Senior blueliner Myriam Trepanier, who was ranked sixth in the NCAA in scoring a season ago and recorded the highest output of a defenseman (31 points) in five years for the Bulldogs, is currently sitting in sixth place all-time among UMD defenseman with 52 career points. She is just 10 points back of cracking the top-five, and 25 from breaking into the top three.

-- Sophomore Haley Irwin, who exploded to opponents nets as a rookie by racking up 60 points in 37 games played, is only 30 points out of a top-ten slot on the ladder of UMD’s career leaders for points.

-- The Bulldogs finished the season by winning 25 of their last 26 games, and will enter the 2008-2009 season on a 10-game winning streak.

-- UMD will showcase five players who played in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, including three (Kim Martin, Pernilla Winberg and Jenni Asserholt) that earned silver medals with Team Sweden.

-- The Bulldogs will host the University of Minnesota at the DECC for their opening home series of the current season. While UMD will unveil its fourth championship banner Oct. 10th in front of the Gophers, it was Minnesota that handed the Bulldogs three of their four losses last year, all by two goals or more.

-- After finishing the year as the NCAA’s highest scoring team last season, averaging an impressive 4.26 tallies a contest, the Bulldogs will return 130 of their 166 goals from 2007-2008. The output of 166 goals was the fourth best recorded by a UMD team in program history.

-- UMD was an assertive 20-2-1 (.910) last season in the comfortable confines of the DECC, and loved Saturday nights, posting a 19-1-1 record (.950).

-- The Bulldogs have won their last four contests that have gone into overtime dating back to March 9, 2007, including both outings during the 2007-2008 season.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Roster Posted on UMDBulldogs.com

As with last season's roster, I condensed the umdbulldogs.com one to fit into the blogger space. Click the blog title to read more..

1 Ellison, Johanna G 5-8 Sr Cloquet, MN
3 Larocque, Jocelyne D 5-6 So Ste Anne, Manitoba
9 Mattila, Tawni F 5-6 Sr Duluth, MN
11 Ambroz, Kacy F 5'7 Fr New Prague, MN
12 Irwin, Haley F 5-7 So Thunder Bay, ONT
13 Gray, Tara D 5-10 So Toronto, ONT
14 Guzzo, Libby F 5-7 So Silver Bay, MN
15 Olson, Erin F 5-9 Sr Elk River, MN
19 Fridfinnson, Laura F 5-8 So Arborg, Manitoba
20 Shelafoe, Torri F 5'3 Fr Forest Lake, MN
21 O'Toole, Sara F 5-5 Sr Burton, NB
22 Murray, Sarah D 5-3 Jr Faribault, MN
23 Tuominen, Saara F 5-6 Jr Ylojarvi, FINLAND
24 Meyer, Amie G 5-8 Sr Deerwood, MN
26 Pelttari, Heidi D 5-5 Jr Tampere, FINLAND
29 Fisher, Justine F 5'4 Fr Littleton, CO
30 Martin, Kim G 5-5 Jr Stockholm, SWEDEN
31 Steck, Lana G 5'6 Fr Winnipeg, Manitoba
47 Blais, Emmanuelle F 5-4 Jr Lasalle, QUE
51 Winberg, Pernilla F 5'5 Fr Malmo, Sweden
72 Holmlov, Elin F 5-9 Jr Knivsta, SWEDEN
81 Trepanier, Myriam D 5-8 Sr St-Michel-de-Bellechasse, QUE
84 Asserholt, Jenni D 5'8 Fr Orebro, Sweden
88 Rasmussen, Jaime D 5-8 Jr Garden Grove, CA

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bulldogs Lead Canada U-22 Selections


TORONTO – Hockey Canada announced on Sunday Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team roster that will take part in a three-game series vs. USA’s Women’s Under-22 Select Team from August 20-23 in Pierrefonds, QC, just outside Montreal. The players were selected by head coach Sarah Howald (Regina, SK/University of Regina, CIS) and assistant coaches Pierre Alain (Mirabel, QC/St-Jérôme, Collégial AA) and Jim Fetter (Waterloo, ON/Wayne State University, CHA), along with National Women’s Team head coach Melody Davidson and Hockey Canada’s regional scouts.

The coaching staff also announced that 2006 Olympic gold medalist Meghan Agosta (Ruthven, ON/Mercyhurst College, CHA) will be Canada’s captain. Emmanuelle Blais (Montreal, QC/University of Minnesota-Duluth, WCHA) and Jocelyne Larocque (Ste-Anne, MB/University of Minnesota-Duluth, WCHA) will serve as alternate captains.

Canada’s roster of 22 players was selected following a seven-day camp from August 10-17 in Toronto, ON, attended by 40 of the top under-22 female hockey players in Canada – four goaltenders, 12 defensemen and 24 forwards. The camp included games between two Canadian teams and a team of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) all-stars.

“The coaching staff is very excited about the team that we have selected that will represent Canada during this series against the United States in Pierrefonds,” says Howald. “It was a very competitive selection camp and a testimony to the growth of women’s hockey in Canada. The players named today should be very proud of their accomplishment.”

Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team includes:
11 players who played with the under-22 program in 2007-08, a team which finished with a 7-0 record – the first perfect season in the history of the under-22 program (Agosta, Birchard, Blais, Fridfinnson, Irwin, Johnston, Larocque, Smith, Thibault, Wakefield, Ward)

5 players who won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team at the 2008 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship in January 2008 in Calgary, AB (Bram, Haverstock, Karpenko, Rougeau, Spooner)

22 players who have taken part in either the National Women’s Under-18 Championship or the Canada Winter Games, the regional and provincial components of Canada’s female hockey Program of Excellence

5 players who will be representing Canada for the first time (Bendus, Bettez, Kessler, Knox, Maschmeyer)

The 22 members of Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team are all products of the Hockey Canada development system, which is operated by Hockey Canada’s member branches. Six branches will be represented this August with Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team:

Thursday, August 07, 2008

08-09 Schedule

Date Opponent Location Time/Result Details (Legend)
10/3/2008 Niagara University Niagara Falls, NY 7:00 p.m.
10/4/2008 Niagara University Niagara Falls, NC 7:00 p.m.
10/10/2008 University of Minnesota Duluth, MN 7:07 p.m.
10/11/2008 University of Minnesota Duluth, MN 7:07 p.m.
10/17/2008 St. Cloud State University St. Cloud , MN 7:07 p.m.
10/18/2008 St. Cloud State University St. Cloud, MN 7:07 p.m.
10/24/2008 Minnesota State University, Mankato Duluth, MN 7:07
10/25/2008 Minnesota State University, Mankato Duluth, MN 7:07
10/31/2008 University of Wisconsin Madison, WI 7:07 p.m.
11/1/2008 University of Wisconsin Madison, WI 7:07 p.m.
11/14/2008 Ohio State University Columbus, OH 7:07 p.m.
11/15/2008 Ohio State University Columbus, OH 7:07 p.m.
11/22/2008 University of North Dakota Duluth, MN 3:07 p.m.
11/23/2008 University of North Dakota Duluth, MN 3:07 p.m.
11/28/2008 Dartmouth College Duluth, MN 7:07 p.m.
11/29/2008 Dartmouth College Duluth, MN 3:37 p.m.
12/5/2008 Bemidji State University Duluth, MN 7:07 p.m.
12/6/2008 Bemidji State University Duluth, MN 7:07 p.m.
12/13/2008 Princeton University Duluth, MN 3:07 p.m.
12/14/2008 Princeton University Duluth, MN 3:07 p.m.
1/9/2009 University of Wisconsin Duluth, MN 7:07 p.m.
1/10/2009 University of Wisconsin Duluth, MN 7:07 p.m.
1/16/2009 Minnesota State University, Mankato Mankato, MN 7:07
1/17/2009 Minnesota State University, Mankato Mankato, MN 7:07
1/20/2009 Team USA Duluth, MN TBD
1/23/2009 University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 7:07 p.m.
1/24/2009 University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 7:07 p.m.
1/30/2009 St. Cloud State University Duluth, MN 7:07 p.m.
1/31/2009 St. Cloud State University Duluth, MN 7:07 p.m.
2/6/2009 Bemidji State University Bemidji, MN 7:07 p.m.
2/7/2009 Bemidji State University Bemidji, MN 7:07 p.m.
2/13/2009 Ohio State University Duluth, MN 7:07 p.m.
2/14/2009 Ohio State University Duluth, MN 7:07 p.m.
2/20/2009 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND 7:07
2/21/2009 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND 7:07
2/27/2009 WCHA First Round TBD, TBD
2/28/2009 WCHA First Round TBD, TBD
3/1/2009 WCHA First Round TBD, TBD
3/7/2009 WCHA Final Face-Off Tournament Minneapolis, MN TBD
3/8/2009 WCHA Final Face-Off Tournament Minneapolis, MN TBD
3/14/2009 NCAA Regional TBD, 3:07 p.m.
3/22/2009 NCAA Frozen Four Boston, MA TBD
3/22/2009 NCAA Frozen Four Boston, MA TBD

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

UMD Visits White House

News Tribune Article:

Bulldogs attend champions ceremony at White House
Andy Greder Duluth News Tribune
Published Wednesday, June 25, 2008
University of Minnesota Duluth women’s hockey players didn’t wait until they arrived at the White House in Washington, D.C., to become excited about meeting President Bush.

The Bulldogs peppered head coach Shannon Miller with questions before their7 a.m. flight Tuesday from Duluth.

The players remained elated during a ceremony for NCAA champions on a sunny afternoon on the South Lawn, as President Bush commended UMD on its fourth trip to the White House since 2001.

“[UMD] earned their fourth championship in the past eight years,” Bush said in his speech. “It’s good to see you again.

“One of the things I tell people is, is that if you work hard and become a repeat champion, I look forward to welcoming you back to the White House. However, this time it’s not going to work. My eligibility has run out.”

Former Bulldogs met Bush, now in his last year as president, during previous trips to the nation’s capital in 2003, 2002 and 2001. UMD beat Wisconsin 4-0 to win the NCAA women’s hockey title March 22 in the Women’s Frozen Four at the DECC.

Before Tuesday’s ceremony, the Bulldogs shook hands with the 43rd president, posed for pictures and senior captain Karine Demeule presented Bush with a No. 43 jersey that included the Bulldog logo.

“It was fun,” said Demeule of Montreal. “We were lucky to be there.”

Demeule was one of 20 captains from other NCAA Division I champions to be on stage behind the president during his speech.

“It’s a huge honor to be asked to go to the White House by the president,” Miller, who has a 234-61-25 record in nine seasons at UMD, said by phone. “Every time you win, it is a different team and a different year. It makes you hungry for more.”

During the festivities, Miller met University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt, who led the Volunteers to their eighth national title in March.

UMD Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin told Summitt that she and Miller have similar coaching styles that emphasize discipline, toughness and excellence from their student-athletes.

“It was very exciting to have the chance to chat with her,” Miller said.

Assistant coaches Julie Chu, Caroline Ouellette and Robb Stauber and 21 of the 22 players from last year’s team made the trip. The only absent player was freshman Iya Gavrilova, who is at home in Russia while the NCAA investigates her eligibility status.

Before the ceremony, the Bulldogs toured the White House and went on a brief sightseeing tour of Washington, D.C., monuments.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., also attended the ceremony.

Last season the Bulldogs established a school record 34 wins, and also won Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season and playoff titles.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Michelle McAteer A Bulldog Once Again


If the new University of Minnesota Duluth women’s hockey assistant coach appears to be familiar, that’s because she should be.

The Bulldogs have announced that former three-time NCAA Champion Michelle McAteer will join UMD as an assistant coach, replacing the coaching void left by McAteer’s former teammate, Caroline Ouellette.

“I think it's absolutely awesome that Michelle is coming back here to coach after being a player here for four years and a graduate assistant for two years,” said a head coach Shannon Miller. “After having gone off to coach the last three years in other programs, she will bring a mix of familiarity along with outside experience and views to our program. She’s a great person and will be a fantastic addition to our staff.”

A native of Toronto, McAteer spent the last season as an assistant coach with the Vaughan Flames of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. Prior to her stay with the Flames, she was an assistant coach for the Harvard women’s hockey team.

The 2003 UMD graduate with a BA in communications earned her masters degree in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin-Superior while assisting the Bulldogs as a graduate assistant during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons.

McAteer was a two-time assistant captain for UMD and finished her career with 67 points (35-32=67) in four years with the Maroon and Gold. Her leadership helped the Bulldogs capture the 2001, 2002, and 2003 NCAA titles, as well as the 2000 and 2003 WCHA regular season title. UMD also earned the WCHA playoff titles in 2000, 2001 and 2003 during McAteer’s tenure. She was a three-time WCHA All-Academic team and AWCHA All-American Scholar selection, as well as having earned the WCHA postgraduate scholarship in 2003 and was named UMD’s Most Valuable Player in 2002.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

08-09 Means New Assistant Coaches

Since I last posted, Julie Chu and Caroline Ouellette have both moved on from their UMD Assistant Coaching jobs, and NOT for any bad reasons. Both have moved on to prepare for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. With the chance that it could be the last Olympics for both players it makes sense that they would concentrate on the preparation for Vancouver.

Chu's replacement is now former Northeastern University Women's Hockey coach Laura Schuler, who Shannon Miller coached for Team Canada in the 1998 Olympics Ouellette's position was just announced Monday the 19th and posted on NCAA.ORG.

Obviously this won't be the last Chu and Oullette are heard of as hockey coaches, and maybe after the Olympic season one or both will find their way behind a hockey bench somewhere.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Rumors are Over, Shannon Miller Staying at UMD!

I'm sure this will be in Monday's News Tribune (click the title to go tot he paper's story,) but I happen to be awake and just found this...all the Internet rumors can die down.

Miller says she’ll return for another season at UMD
Andy Greder Duluth News Tribune
Published Sunday, March 23, 2008
Minnesota Duluth coach Shannon Miller had a personal announcement at a team meeting Wednesday night: She will return for a 10th season behind the Bulldog bench.

Miller informally entertained the coaching position at Syracuse (N.Y.) University, which will begin a women’s hockey program in the 2008-09 season, but decided her present situation is better than starting a new program.

“There are a lot of reasons [to stay]; one is that we have such a great program and such a great tradition here,” Miller said Saturday at the DECC after her team won its fourth national championship in eight years. “It’s interesting. I’m writing notes about how great our program is to share with our team to give us confidence and I think, ‘You know, I have it so good here.’ ”

The Bulldogs greeted Miller’s decision with cheers.

“It was pretty exciting because she is a great coach,” freshman forward Laura Fridfinnson said. “We’ve won everything we could win, and it’s great to know she is back and hopefully we can repeat this season.”

Miller, who has compiled a234-61-25 record in nine seasons at UMD, said she thought about the benefits of taking the Syracuse job because it likely would entail better financial and recruiting resources at the school with Division I teams in 18 sports. UMD, meanwhile is Division II in every other sport besides men’s and women’s hockey. Miller also thought about the challenge of building another program from scratch, but said she never officially applied for or was offered the job.

“This is where I belong,” said Miller, a finalist for the American Hockey Coaches Association women’s coach of the year award. “I love these players. I love thisprogram.”

Freshman forward Haley Irwin selected UMD because of Miller and her assistant coaches Julie Chu and Caroline Ouellette.

“I picked this program because of the coaching staff,” Irwin said. “Every day when they step on the ice, they want to teach us. They are willing to sacrifice themselves to make us better hockey players. You couldn’t ask for a better coaching staff than that.”

Saturday, March 22, 2008

UMD #1 Wins National Championship

Just a few pictures from after the National Championship game that UMD won 4-0 over Wisconsin. I'll be throwing them on my photo-blog also, hence the blog address across the bottom of the pictures. CLICK on a photo to see it full (edited from original 3 megapixel size when taken to around 150-300kb depending on the picture.)

The first two are of the player mob after the final horn, notice the NCAA reps trying to hand out hats and t-shirts to the players. And, someone handed them the trophy a bit early, before the awards ceremony.

Next up, the Badgers receive their second place trophy

UMD's captains mobbed with the 1st place trophy!

The Team Salutes one side of the arena:

And then the other side of the arena:

Kim Martin for obvious reasons was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, which wasn't all that hard to decide who to give that to.

Rather than do a bunch of post about the game I just wanted to put a few pictures up and I'll post the News Tribune story Sunday.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sarah Vaillaincourt Wins Kazmaier Award

Kim Martin didn't win the Patty Kazmaier Award but she's still got two more seasons in which to win the award.

Maroon/Gold Alumi Game This Afternoon

Just a couple quick pictures from the Alumni game this afternoon, not a huge turnout or anything but fun to watch.. I think more people showed up at the end to skate seeing how the time for that was after work time.

How about some 15 on 15 hockey, every player on the ice for the final minute.

Maroon team wins 7-5, but who cares about the result of this game anyway :)

Stick Salute

Just a quick shot as I was leaving, of the 'Skate with the Champions.'

News Tribune Semi-Final Article

Frozen Four: UMD wins, advances to championship final
Andy Greder Duluth News Tribune
Published Friday, March 21, 2008
New Hampshire coach Brian McCloskey said this year’s Frozen Four would be ultra-competitive.

The coach, in his sixth season, was proven right Thursday night in the college women’s hockey semifinal between Minnesota Duluth and New Hampshire.

Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award finalist Kim Martin made 41 saves and teammate Laura Fridfinnson scored two goals as second-seeded UMD beat third-seeded New Hampshire 3-2 before 3,161 at the DECC.

“I would say Kim Martin for Patty Kaz,” UMD coach Shannon Miller said, perhaps coining a campaign slogan to pitch the sophomore goalie from Stockholm, Sweden, for the award given to the best Division I player, which will be announced today.

UMD (33-4-1) will play Wisconsin (29-8-3) for the national championship at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The Badgers beat UMD 4-1 for the 2007 title.

“Clearly, there are four teams here that are as talented as any four teams I’ve seen in my six years [of coaching] on the women’s side,” McCloskey said in Wednesday’s news conference. “You know for a fact that you are going through the iron. No one is going to back into this championship.”

The Wildcats held a 43-15 shots edge, but the Bulldogs persevered without two of their first-line players.

Center Saara Tuominen, who sprained her medial collateral ligament in the NCAA quarterfinals against Mercyhurst, didn’t suit up, and winger Iya Gavrilova remains out of the lineup while the NCAA investigates her eligibility.

Tuominen was ruled out after testing her knee at the team’s pregame skate.

“There is no question that we believe, work hard and good things happen,” Miller said.

The Bulldogs went more than 30 minutes without a shot on goal until Myriam Trepanier’s shot at 10:21 in the third. Off the next faceoff, UMD got the game-winner when Fridfinnson tipped in a Haley Irwin shot from the point.

With a narrow 3-2 lead, UMD killed 53 seconds of a 5-on-3 late in a penalty-marred third period.

Jenn Wakefield gave New Hampshire (33-4-1) a 1-0 lead at four minutes in the first period. After the goal, UMD center Haley Irwin gave Martin a no-big-deal shoulder shrug. Irwin showed good foresight.

Irwin told Martin, “Don’t worry, we’ll get that one back for you.”

Fridfinnson and Sara O’Toole then each scored a first-period goal as the Bulldogs (32-4-1) took a 2-1 lead after the first period.

Miller said the first goal was set up by O’Toole, who Miller pulled aside and told her she needed to be a scorer with their short-handed situation

“She created that goal,” Miller said of O’Toole’s effort.

New Hampshire forward Leah Craig scored a rebound goal in the second period for a 2-2 tie after 40 minutes.

Although the Wildcats and Bulldogs haven’t played since the 2000-2001 season, some of their Canadian players are familiar with each other. Six players were on the Canadian under-22 team — Fridfinnson, Irwin, Joss Larocque and Emmanuelle Blais from UMD and Jennifer Wakefield and Courtney Birchard from New Hampshire.

Kayley Herman made 12 saves for the Wildcats.

“We dominated every facet of the game,” McCloskey said. “For 60 minutes we pressed the pedal and we were clearly the better team.”

Thursday, March 20, 2008

DOGS to Championship Game!

Kim Martin stopped 41 of 43 shots and UMD scored three goals, led by Laura Fridfinnson's two goals. Great crowd even though it was only recorded at 3161 people.

UMD and Wisconsin play for the championship, for the second year in a row, and for the 6th time facing each other this season.

The WCHA will win the 9th (and every) NCAA Championship.

Kim Martin was named a First Team All-American and she proved the choice correct tonight!

I'll grab the News Tribune's story tomorrow and put it here..

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

NCAA Alumni Game Friday

Friday afternoon, on the Patty Kaz Award Day, there is a NCAA Alumni Game followed by a Skate With The Champions Event at the DECC. This all starts at 3:00 or 3:30 as it's been posted as both times so far. This should be a good chance to see many former Bulldogs on the ice again.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


From UMDBulldogs.com

University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey coach Shannon Miller has been named one of seven coaches selected as a finalist for the American Hockey Coaches Association Division I Women's Ice Hockey Coach of the Year. Miller is among three other finalists who were previous winners, pocketing the honor in 2003.

Miller led the Bulldogs to a 32-4-1 overall record and regular season and WCHA Final Face-Off titles for the first time since 2003. UMD is currently preparing for its fifth NCAA Frozen Four berth, and second in the friendly confines of the DECC.

The Bulldogs face the University of New Hampshire in the semifinals of the 2008 NCAA Frozen Four on Thursday at 8 p.m. in the DECC.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

News Tribune Story, UMD over Mercyhurst

College women's hockey: UMD advances to Frozen Four
Andy Greder Duluth News Tribune
Published Sunday, March 16, 2008
A third period played in overdrive left Minnesota Duluth exhausted in the postgame locker room after Saturday’s NCAA quarterfinal with Mercyhurst.

It was the price of a hard day’s work.

The second-seeded Bulldogs rallied to score three straight goals in the third period to top Mercyhurst 5-4 before 925 spectators at the DECC and advance to the Frozen Four.

“The good news is when I walked in they were exhausted and they were slumped back in their stalls and they weren’t saying too much,” UMD coach Shannon Miller said. “That is the way that it should look in a locker room after a really big game.

“All I did was walk in and say, ‘Ladies, we are going to the Frozen Four!’ And there was five seconds of energy and screaming, and then they went right back to just collapsing and going to get ice bags to put on their bruises. That is what a championship team looks like.”

UMD (32-4-1) will make its fifth NCAA Frozen Four appearance against No. 3 New Hampshire (33-3-1) at 8 p.m. Thursday at the DECC. New Hampshire beat St. Lawrence 3-2 in overtime Saturday.

In other Saturday quarterfinals, No. 1 Harvard (32-1) beat Dartmouth 5-1, and Wisconsin (28-8-3) beat No. 4 Minnesota (27-7-4) 3-2 in overtime. The Crimson and the Badgers will play at 5 p.m. Thursday, with the national championship game at 12:30 p.m. March 22 at the DECC.

On Saturday, Emmanuelle Blais scored two goals, including the game-winner, added an assist and earned the team’s hard-hat award for hard work.

“Everyone is pretty tired,” said Blais, a sophomore winger from Lesalle, Quebec. “We are going to have bruises, but that is how you win. … I think everyone could have had [the yellow hat].”

The Bulldogs trailed 3-2 at 3:08 in the third period until freshman center Haley Irwin dished out three assists in the comeback.

“I don’t think [UMD needs] any extra opportunities to be successful and, being young, I think we did that a few times and made it a lot tougher for us,” Mercyhurst coach Michael Sisti said.

Mercyhurst took a 2-1 lead after one period, but UMD forward Karine Demeule single-handedly tied the game at 2 through two periods. The senior from Montreal took the puck three-fourths of the way up the ice, had her first shot blocked by Mercyhurst forward Meghan Agosta, but fought for the rebound and beat goalie Laura Hosier with a wraparound goal at 15:44.

“There were probably six key turning points in the game, but that was one of them,” Sisti said. “We could have made it 3-1 and I think we missed three or four bouncing pucks at the doorstep [of the net], but we threw it away and they capitalized on the rush.”

The Lakers lost their fourth straight NCAA quarterfinal, including second straight to UMD, who topped Mercyhurst 3-2 in overtime last year.

A hectic first minute kicked off Saturday’s contest.

Agosta, a Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award finalist for the best Division I women’s hockey player, scored 22 seconds into the game on her second shot at fellow Kazmaier finalist, UMD goalie Kim Martin.

The Bulldogs answered at 48 seconds when Laura Fridfinnson netted the puck.

“We knew what we needed to do [Saturday] and we started the game off well,” said Agosta, a sophomore winger. “We outworked them and they outworked us at times, but it just wasn’t enough.”

Mercyhurst (26-8-3) has scored first in each of the teams’ four matchups, but are 0-3-1 overall against UMD.

Two of UMD’s three third-period goals were on the power play, and the Bulldogs finished 2-for-5 with the player advantage, while Mercyhurst was 1-for-5.

The Bulldogs lost first-line center and team captain Saara Tuominen to a sprained medial collateral ligament midway through the game. UMD’s second-leading scorer sprained the knee and tried to keep playing as a winger, but couldn’t continue.

The loss of Tuominen put the Bulldogs without two first-line players. UMD has played 11 games without Iya Gavrilova, who remains out of the lineup while the NCAA investigates her eligibility.

“It’s tough because we are obviously playing without Iya, and then to play without your first-line center-man and captain was tough, but we did it,” Miller said. “They did it.”

UMD lost the 2007 national championship game to Wisconsin, but added six freshmen, with four in crucial roles.

“You can tell that our team is young, if you watched them play [Saturday], because they played pretty tight, but we got it done,” Miller said. “It’s a huge game and the team is young, and that is probably the most pressure a lot of these kids have ever faced in their life playing a game. So, they did well.”

UMD won three-straight national championships from 2001-03 and will host the Frozen Four for the first time since 2003.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

UMD 5 Mercyhurst 4

Enough said, but .... more later

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kim Martin Patty Kazmaier Award Finalist

There's only three players left who can win this award, and UMD goaltender Kim Martin is one of the three.

Meghan Agosta (Soph) of Mercyhurst, and Sarah Vaillancourt (Junior) of Harvard are the other two finalists. It's interesting that not one senior was named to the final 3.

Monday, March 10, 2008

News Tribune UMD Wins WCHA Championship Story

Minnesota Duluth checked off the second of its three season objectives Sunday.

Freshman forward Haley Irwin scored the game-winning overtime goal to lift the top-seeded Bulldogs past Wisconsin 5-4 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association women’s final face-off at the DECC.

UMD (31-4-1) won the WCHA regular-season title, now has the playoff crown and hopes to finish the season with a NCAA championship at the DECC on March 22.

The last time the Bulldogs won both WCHA titles was five years ago, when they finished the season with the 2003 national title. In another similarity to the 2002-03 season, Sunday’s victory was the team’s 31st — tying the program record.

The Bulldogs received the second seed in the NCAA tournament and will host Mercyhurst (26-7-3) in the quarterfinals at2 p.m. Saturday.

“To win the regular season and to win the playoffs, you got to be feeling good about yourself,” Irwin said of the team’s confidence.

On Sunday, UMD raced to a 3-0 first-period lead behind goals from Laura Fridfinnson, Myriam Trepanier and Elin Holmlov.

“It certainly didn’t look like it was going to be much of a game after 10 or 12 minutes, but we scored a goal late in the first period to give us a little bit of life,” Wisconsin coach Mark Johnson said. “And then we responded in the last eight to 10 minutes of the second period to give ourselves an opportunity at 4-3. I credit our players for never giving up.”

The Badgers (27-8-3) scored three unanswered goals, including the game-tying tally from Mallory Deluce at 17:11 in the third period, and started overtime with a great scoring chance that required UMD skaters to make saves.

“We were diving all over the place,” UMD coach Shannon Miller said. “Haley blocked a shot, then Heidi Pelttari, our defenseman, blocked another shot right in front of the net when there was a scramble, and then moments later, of course, we went down and scored that goal. That is what it is going to be when two good teams play, especially in overtime.”

UMD’s first two goals came on its first three shots and the Bulldogs outshot the Badgers in three of the four frames, but Miller didn’t rule Wisconsin out.

“Wisconsin was very resilient, of course, and I knew that was going to happen,” Miller said. “I wouldn’t have predicted a 4-4 tie [at the end of regulation], but … I knew it was far from over [after 3-0, 4-1 leads].”

The Bulldogs scored three power-play goals for the second straight game and rank third nationally in goals with a player advantage. UMD finished 3-for-6 on the power play, while Wisconsin was2-for-7.

UMD and Mercyhurst have had a competitive three-game history. In last year’s NCAA quarterfinals, the Bulldogs beat the Lakers of Erie, Pa., 3-2 in overtime. This season, the Lakers gave the Bulldogs their only tie Oct. 20, before a 3-1 UMD victory Oct. 21.

In the rest of the NCAA bracket, Harvard got the top seed and will host Dartmouth, while No. 3 New Hampshire hosts St. Lawrence and No. 4 Minnesota hosts Wisconsin.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

UMD Wins WCHA Playoff Championship in OT, Plays Mercyhurst Saturday

UMD beat Wisconsin in overtime, albeit scoring on a missed icing call by the AR's, to win the WCHA playoff championship on top of their regular season title.

UMD (as second seed) plays Mercyhurst Saturday afternoon in the NCAA quarterfinals, the time to be announced still.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

UMD Wins WCHA Semi-Final 9-0

UMD won easy over SCSU, winning 9-0.

Congrats to Erin Olson.. **FINALLY** getting her first goal of the season and 2nd of her career (both against SCSU.) It took 90 games between her first and second goals but she's worked hard and has come close all season and could have 5-10 goals if she could get a break.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008



Last Updated: Wednesday, March 5, 2008 3:08 PM

Haley Irwin is now in some pretty elite company.

The freshman forward from Thunder Bay, Ontario was named the Western Collegiate Hockey Association's Rookie of the Year Wednesday, a feat only one other University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey player has accomplished. Irwin joins Maria Rooth, the only Bulldog player ever to have had her jersey retired, as the program's other rookie to garner the honor. Rooth earned her first-year recognition during the 1999-2000 UMD season after scoring 68 points.

Irwin, who was also the WCHA's scoring champion with 43 points in league play, was joined on the All-WCHA First Team with sophomore goaltender Kim Martin.

The Stockholm, Sweden, native was an All-WCHA Second Team selection as a freshman, and holds the league's best save percentage (.946) and also posted a 1.48 goals against average. The Patty Kazmaier top-ten finalist picked up 21 wins in 25 WCHA outings, and helped UMD clinch its third conference title in school history.

Sophomore forward Saara Tuominen and freshman defenseman Jocelyne Larocque each earned spots on the All-WCHA Third Team. Tuominen, a resident of Ylojarvi, Finland, and a 2006-07 All-WCHA Rookie Team member, tallied 37 points (12g, 25a) in just 24 outings because of injury.

Larocque, a product of Winnipeg, Manitoba, ranks second on the Bulldog squad with a plus-minus rating of +34. The blueliner has recorded four goals and 18 assists for 22 points in her first year of collegiate action.

Both Irwin and Larocque were named to the All-WCHA Rookie Team in addition to their other honors.

The Bulldogs will gladly set all individual honors aside in their pursuit of their fourth WCHA playoff title this weekend. UMD will face St. Cloud State on Saturday at the DECC in the semifinal of the WCHA Final Face-Off. The game will get underway at 1:07 p.m.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

News Tribune Saturday BSU Sweep Story

’dogs lead and refuse to let go
By andy GrederNews Tribune staff writer, Duluth News Tribune
Published Sunday, March 02, 2008
Minnesota Duluth’s second line isn’t playing like an inferior group.

With two players from the first line missing a combined 18 games in 2008, Haley Irwin, Emmanuelle Blais and Laura Fridfinnson have remained intact and are UMD’s consistent scorers.

“They are probably one of the hottest lines in the country right now,” UMD coach Shannon Miller said Friday. “I would be surprised if they are not.”

Fridfinnson scored two goals and Irwin notched two assists in the Bulldogs’ 5-1 win over Bemidji State in Game 2 of a Western Collegiate Hockey Association first-round women’s playoff series at the DECC.

The top-seeded Bulldogs (29-4-1) swept the series and will face St. Cloud State or Ohio State in the WCHA semifinals at 1:07 p.m. March 8 at the DECC, while Minnesota will play Wisconsin in the other semifinal at 4:07 p.m. The championship game will be at 1:07 p.m. March 9.

Fifth-seeded Ohio State beat fourth-seeded St. Cloud State 3-0 Saturday to force Game 3 today.

In eight series in 2008, the all-Canada second line has scored 47 percent of the Bulldogs’ 65 goals during a 13-1 run.

Miller said the top six Division I teams also have second lines that could be their first.

“The one thing that [second] line has always had is speed,” Miller said. “But now they have some poise with the puck, and they are scoring some pretty nice goals.”

The line scored half of UMD’s goals in a 6-0 win Friday over Bemidji State.

On Saturday, Fridfinnson, a freshman from Arborg, Manitoba, was denied on two breakaways by Bemidji State goalie Emily Brookshaw.

With two freshmen on the line, Blais, a sophomore from Lasalle, Quebec, doesn’t believe she needs to be a mentor.

“I don’t think so because they are two talented players,” Blais said Friday. “We just get along really well. We just try to help each other when someone is not having the best game.”

First line mates Saara Touminen, who missed 10 games with a torn knee ligament, and Iya Gavrilova, who has been out for the last eight while the NCAA investigates her eligibility, were the top scorers at 30 points each entering the winter break Dec. 15.

Now Irwin, a freshman from Thunder Bay, Ontario, leads the team with 49 points, with Fridfinnson and Blais in fifth and sixth place, respectively.

The Bulldogs took it to Bemidji State (4-29-3) from the start Saturday. UMD racked up 17 shots before the Beavers got one on UMD goalie Kim Martin after more than 12 minutes in the first period.

UMD held a 1-0 lead after one period behind a rebound goal from junior winger Sara O’Toole at 1:20.

Joss Larocque and Fridfinnson added second-period goals for a 3-0 margin.

Blais and Fridfinnson’s second goals came in the third period.

* UMD defender Tara Gray was carried off the ice by her teammates after suffering a hit late in the third period.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

News Tribune 3/1 UMD Blanks BSU

College women's hockey: Bulldogs blank Bemidji State in playoff opener
Andy Greder Duluth News Tribune
Published Saturday, March 01, 2008
The first period between Minnesota Duluth and Bemidji State on Friday was the exception to the rule.

The difference was its even play.

Bemidji State goalie Emily Brookshaw kept UMD out of the net in a scoreless period, but the top-seeded Bulldogs broke through with three goals in each of the final two periods to beat the Beavers 6-0 in Game 1 of a Western Collegiate Hockey Association first-round women’s playoff series at the DECC.

“We were happy after the first period,” Bemidji State coach Steve Sertich said. “It was playoff hockey. I think we were close and that is where we wanted to be. After that, it was not playoff hockey.”

The Bulldogs (28-4-1) held a 40-7 shot edge over the No. 8-seeded Beavers (4-28-3) in the second and third periods.

Game 2 is 7:07 p.m. today, with the winner of the best-of-three series advancing to the WCHA semifinals March 8 at the DECC.

The UMD-Bemidji State winner will face St. Cloud State or Ohio State at 1:07 p.m., while the North Dakota-Minnesota and Mankato-Wisconsin winners play at 4:07 p.m. The championship game will be 1:07 p.m. on March 9.

Fourth-seeded St. Cloud State beat fifth-seeded Ohio State 4-2 Friday to take a1-0 series lead.

At the DECC on Friday, Brookshaw finished with47 saves, 34 in the final two periods.

“She took a lot of rubber [Friday],” Sertich said. “She has seen not only quantity, but quality.”

UMD coach Shannon Miller credited the late scoring outburst to more screening in front of the net, getting tips and changing the point of attack.

“But I would say for probably 30 out of 60 minutes [Brookshaw] made some remarkable saves for them,” Miller said.

UMD, the WCHA’s highest scoring team, got second-period goals from Laura Fridfinnson, Saara Tuominen and Myriam Trepanier.

Fridfinnson’s tally at 55 seconds was short-handed, and Trepanier’s goal at 14:53 was on the power play.

Emmanuelle Blais scored two third-period goals, and Karine Demeule netted another for UMD, who have won 20 of 21 games.

During the third period, Blais congratulated Brookshaw after stopping a Fridfinnson attempt.

“I told her it was a nice save,” said Blais, a speedy sophomore winger. “I think she is pretty good. She doesn’t have the best team in front of her, even though they work really hard.”

The all-time series between Bemidji State and UMD has been far from even as the Bulldogs have run up a 38-0-1 mark.

The Bulldogs have outscored the Beavers 22-2 in five wins this season, but Friday’s first period was reminiscent of Brookshaw’s stellar outing on Oct. 14.

Brookshaw, a senior from Webster, Wis., turned in a 34-save showing that resulted in a 1-0 defeat to UMD. The loss was a rare bright spot for the Beavers during the regular season.

UMD freshman forward Iya Gavrilova remained out of action because of an NCAA investigation into her eligibility.

Click the title to go to to news tribune.

Friday, February 29, 2008

UMDBulldogs.com Bemidji State WCHA Playoff Preview

THE SERIES: The Bulldogs (27-4-1) are 37-0-1 all-time against the Beavers, including 4-0 in outings this season. Bemidji State remains the only WCHA opponent UMD has never conceded a setback to.

The Maroon and Gold outscored the Beavers this season 16-2, while outshooting BSU 177 to 62 in four skates. UMD held Bemidji State to just seven shots in its last encounter in Bemidji, Minn. on Jan. 19, which resulted in a 6-1 Bulldog win.

BSU posted its most impressive effort against UMD on Oct. 14 at the the DECC, falling only 1-0 to the usually high-octane offensive of the Bulldogs. Beaver netminder Emily Brookshaw, a 2005-06 U-22 U.S. National Women’s Festival Team member, faced 35 shots in the contest, keeping 34 of them out of the net.

The two squads have met only one other time in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs. The Bulldogs hosted BSU at the DECC back on March 3, 2006, and upended the Beavers 7-2. UMD returned the following night to hand BSU a 3-0 setback on March 4, 2006.

Click on the blog title to view the entire preview, in .PDF format!

My prediction is a relatively easy sweep, though I'm glad to be able to see BSU goaltender Emily Brookshaw play this weekend.

Monday, February 25, 2008

News Tribune UMD Sweeps SCSU/Postseason Preview

Next stop is postseason for UMD women's hockey team
Andy Greder Duluth News Tribune
Published Monday, February 25, 2008

The wait is over for Minnesota Duluth. The playoffs are next.

UMD dispatched St. Cloud State with a workmanlike 3-2 victory Sunday at the DECC, and the Bulldogs are primed for a postseason run after a stellar 32-game regular season.

After clinching the Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season championship Saturday with a 5-1 win over the Huskies, the second-ranked Bulldogs weren’t caught looking ahead to the playoffs.

“The season is far from over,” senior captain Karine Demeule said. “The best part is coming.”

The Bulldogs will play Bemidji State in a best-of-three, first-round WCHA playoff series at 7:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the DECC. If necessary, a third game will take place at 7:07 p.m. next Sunday.

If the Bulldogs beat the Beavers, UMD will host the WCHA Final Face-Off on March 8-9.

The Bulldogs (27-4-1, 24-4 WCHA) went undefeated against five of the seven league teams. The Bulldogs were 20-0 against St. Cloud State, Ohio State, Minnesota State-Mankato, North Dakota and Bemidji State. Against second-place Minnesota and third-place Wisconsin, UMD was 4-4.

To close the season, the Bulldogs won 19 of their past 20, a span that included a16-game winning streak.

UMD went 11-1 in 2008 with two members of its first line out for extended periods of time. Sophomore captain Saara Tuominen missed the first 10 games of 2008 with a torn knee ligament. Freshman winger Iya Gavrilova has missed the past six and is under an NCAA eligibility investigation.

In their extended absences, the second line of Emmanuelle Blais, Haley Irwin and Laura Fridfinnson has stepped up.

Irwin, a freshman center, leads the team with 45 points. Wingers Blais and Fridfinnson have contributed a combined 50 points.

On Sunday, Elin Holmlov, the first line’s mainstay, scored two first-period goals, both assisted by Tuominen.

At 1:21, Tuominen passed to an open Holmlov on the left side for a short-handed goal. At 10:14, Tuominen found Holmlov for a power-play score.

“We just have a connection, kind of,” said Tuominen, who returned to full practice one week ago. “We have been, like, on the same line for almost two years, so it wasn’t too hard to come back. We are supporting each other all the time.”

The short-handed goal was the fourth that St. Cloud State has given up in its past three games. The Huskies made up for the miscue with a goal on the same power play at 1:55.

Irwin put UMD up 3-1 with a goal in the last minute of the first period.

There was no scoring in the second period and first half of the third period until Felicia Nelson’s slap shot from the top of the right circle at 11:31 brought St. Cloud State to within a goal.

After the game, WCHA commissioner Sara Martin presented UMD with the WCHA regular-season trophy and the school honored its senior, Demeule, and Samantha Hough, whose career was cut short because of an injury.

“It is exciting because I’m a senior and it’s the first time I’ve won the WCHA [regular-] season [title],” Demeule said. “So it’s really exciting for me. It’s great that we are hosting the WCHA tournament two weeks from now. It makes everything even more exciting because we really want to do well here.”

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dogs defeat St. Cloud, Win WCHA Regular Season Title

College women's hockey: UMD defeats St. Cloud State
Kevin Pates Duluth News Tribune
Published Saturday, February 23, 2008

Center Haley Irwin had two goals and linemate Laura Fridfinnson added a goal and an assist Saturday afternoon as Minnesota Duluth defeated St. Cloud State 5-1 in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association women's game at the DECC.

The No. 2-ranked Bulldogs (26-5-1 overall, 23-4 WCHA) clinched the league's regular-season championship. No. 13 St. Cloud State (16-12-5, 11-12-4) is fourth in the league.

Irwin and defender Myriam Trepanier scored goals 11 seconds apart early in the second period for a 4-1 lead. Fridfinnson had the only goal of the third period at 2:57.

The Bulldogs were up 2-0 after one period as Irwin scored a short-handed goal 2:13 into the game and Elin Holmlov added a goal with 8:46 left in the first period.

Irwin finished off a flurry in front of the St. Cloud State net at 3:23 of the second period for her 18th goal of the season and Trepanier followed at 3:34. The UMD women's record for fastest two goals is six seconds.

St. Cloud State winger Felicia Nelson broke goalie Kim Martin's shutout bid with 2:39 left in the second period.

The Bulldogs are 17-1 against No. 13 St. Cloud State at the DECC and 19-2 in Duluth overall versus the Huskies.

Each team had six shots in the first period. Martin was in goal for UMD and Kendall Newell for St. Cloud State. UMD led in shots 17-11 after two periods and 27-15 for the game.

Yes, I know there's an investigation ongoing but until otherwise informed, UMD is WCHA Regular Season CHAMPION!

Friday, February 22, 2008

SCSU Series Preview

THE SERIES: UMD holds a 30-6-1 all-time lead over the Huskies, including a 16-1 tab at the DECC (and 18-2 overall in Duluth). The Huskies one and only win at the DECC, (they beat the Bulldogs at Mars Lakeview Arena last year on Feb. 24, 2006 3-1 in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs) was Feb. 24, 2002, when St. Cloud State handed UMD a 3-0 defeat on its home ice.

The Bulldogs and Huskies (16-11-5) opened the 2007-08 season in St. Cloud to the Maroon and Gold's favor, posting two shutouts to sweep its first WCHA team of the season. UMD picked up a 3-0 victory on Oct. 5th, and then blanked St. Cloud State on Oct. 6th by a tally of 8-0. Nine Bulldogs registered a point in the series, with sophomore Saara Tuominen notching two goals and three assists. Goaltender Kim Martin, who was named the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week following her stellar performance in St. Cloud, made 61 saves in 119:27 minutes of action.

LAST WEEKEND: UMD (25-4-1, 22-4-0) was idle over the weekend.

THE COACHES: Shannon Miller, who currently is the only coach in the WCHA to have racked-up 225 wins and has never won fewer than 20 games in a season, is in her ninth season behind the Bulldog bench.

As the only head coach UMD has ever employed, Miller has amassed an impressive overall record of 225-61-25 and has led the Bulldogs to six NCAA playoff appearances and three straight NCAA Championship titles (2001, 2002 and 2003). She has led UMD into four NCAA Frozen Four berths, including the 2007 NCAA Championship game. No other hockey program in the country has won three consecutive NCAA titles.

For her efforts, Miller was named the 2000 and 2003 Western Collegiate Hockey Association Coach of the Year and the 2003 American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) Women’s Division I Coach of the Year. Along with the incredible NCAA runs, her Bulldogs have captured two WCHA regular season titles (2000 and 2003) and three WCHA playoff titles (2000, 2001 and 2003).

During Miller’s time at the Bulldog helm, UMD has produced eight first-team All-Americans, 11 Patty Kazmaier Award Finalists, two WCHA Players of the Year, three WCHA Student-Athletes of the year and one CoSIDA Academic All-American.

St. Cloud State is led by second-year head coach Jeff Giesen. Giesen has tallied a 28-27-12 mark in two seasons behind the Husky bench, and is 1-9-0 in ten outings against the Bulldogs.

A MATTER OF RECORDS: The Bulldogs are on the verge of erasing a few of their past program records. UMD already rewrote the books earlier in the season when they rolled through the opening four games of the year without allowing a goal for the first time in program history. The Maroon and Gold then tallied a school-best 16-game winning streak from Nov. 24rd through Feb. 2nd, and tied a 1999-00 mark for most WCHA series swept in regular season play with 10.

One Bulldog victory this weekend would set a new UMD record for most WCHA wins in a year. The current record of 22 was set during the 2004-05 season. A Bulldog sweep would tie a school all-time high of 27 regular triumphs in a year, as well as set the new program benchmark for most WCHA series swept in a season (11).

THE CAPTAIN RETURNS: Sophomore captain forward Saara Tuominen, who last suited up for the Bulldogs on Dec. 15, will return to the ice this weekend in a UMD jersey. Tuominen, who was leading the Bulldogs in scoring when she was injured in the European Air Canada Cup the first week in January, had scored 30 points (11g, 19a) in just 20 games this season.

WHO WILL BE CROWNED THE CHAMPS? The Bulldogs hold an advantage heading into the last weekend of regular season WCHA play. With a one point lead over Minnesota, a UMD series sweep would assure the title champions would be crowned in Duluth Sunday, no matter what the result of the Badger-Gopher showdown in Minneapolis. A UMD split would complicate matters, through, and would force the Bulldogs to rely on a Wisconsin-Minnesota series split. A UMD split and a Gopher sweep would result in a Minnesota regular season WCHA title.

The Bulldogs have twice been hailed the WCHA Regular Season Champions (2003 and 2001) in their nine-year history, but have never raised the trophy in Duluth.

SNIPERS AND STREAKERS: Three Bulldogs are in individual races for the 2007-08 WCHA Scoring and Goaltending Championships. The two awards are based on conference games only, and players must have competed in a minimum of 33% of their team's minutes.

Freshman forward Haley Irwin is currently on top of the league scoring race with 39 points (15g, 24a). Right behind Irwin is Minnesota's Gigi Marvin, who is sitting at 37 points, with Bulldog freshman forward Iya Gavrilova in third with 34.

Gavrilova still has a 14-game scoring streak intact, while Irwin is joined by fellow freshman forward Laura Fridfinnson in the midst of seven-game scoring tabs in their own right.

Between the WCHA pipes, netminder Kim Martin trails only Wisconsin's Jessie Vetter (1.38, 1439:26) in the goaltending race. Martin owns a 1.46 goals against average in 1187:48 minutes of action.

Martin, who now has 33 wins in 47 appearances for her career, is ranked No. 2 in the NCAA with a .952 save percentage, allowing just 33 goals in 655 shots against her.

NATIONALLY SPEAKING: Freshman forward Iya Gavrilova just edges out Haley Irwin in the national statistics as the sixth ranked scorer in the country with 1.58 points per game (Irwin is ranked 7th with 1.46). Gavrilova and Irwin are the No. 1 and 2 rookie scorers in the nation with 41 points each.

The Bulldogs as a whole own the No. 3 scoring offense in the NCAA and the leading scoring attack in the WCHA, averaging 4.03 goals a contest. UMD is also the second ranked penalty kill in the nation, having deflated 138-of-149 of opponents power-play attempts for a 92.6 success rate.

CLICK and go read the entire preview

Thursday, February 21, 2008

IYA Gavrilova Situation

I've received a few emails and a blog comment asking why there hasn't been any Iya Gavrilova blog entries concerning the investigation into her eligibility. Well, I decided that to really be fair, the best thing to do is wait until either Iya, Coach Miller, UMD, or the NCAA gives us some FACTS, so there's some real information to comment about.

The one thing I will say is that the NCAA needs to expedite any decision and soon, because the WCHA playoffs are coming, and if UMD's wins are voided it would completely change the WCHA and NCAA playoff pictures.

So, when there is concrete information from any of the sides, and a decision on what's going to happen, I'll give my opinions about it :)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

News Tribune Wisconsin Win Over UMD Story

College women's hockey: UMD’s win streak snapped
Andy Greder Duluth News Tribune
Published Saturday, February 09, 2008
Being sick is never fun.

But being sick when you’re supposed to be playing your best hockey just makes the illness worse.

With eight Minnesota Duluth players battling the flu, the third-ranked Bulldogs saw their school-record 16-game winning streak snapped in a 3-2 defeat to fifth-ranked Wisconsin in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association women’s game Friday at the DECC.

After taking a 1-0 lead, the Badgers (21-6-2 overall, 17-4-2 WCHA) answered both UMD goals with another score.

The Bulldogs (24-4-1, 21-4) tied it at 1 in the second period when freshman Laura Fridfinnson lifted a shot past Wisconsin goalie Jessie Vetter. UMD knotted it again at 2 when sophomore Emmanuelle Blais scored at 4:52 in the third period.

“They had three or four shifts when they really came at us,” Wisconsin coach Mark Johnson said. “We just found a way to win.”

Wisconsin increased its winning streak to 11 with Kayla Hagen’s game-winning goal at 10:26 in the third.

UMD outshot the Badgers 29-24, including 14-6 in the third period, but the Bulldogs converted only 1-of-8 power plays.

“I thought we had a lot of good chances, though,” UMD coach Shannon Miller said of the power plays. “That’s the difference right there.”

The Bulldogs got seven of their eight sick players back Friday, with the exception of freshman Iya Gavrilova. Friday’s pregame skate was the first time everyone skated together this week.

“We didn’t have the energy,” Miller said. “They really [were] giving what they have. The energy is low. It’s not because they aren’t excited to play Wisconsin; it’s with that many people getting over the flu or that shouldn’t even be playing.”

The sick ward included Elin Holmlov, Kim Martin, Karine Demeule, Haley Irwin, Heidi Pelttari, Emmanuelle Blais and Libby Guzzo.

“Some of the kids that played tonight probably wish they had a couple more days [of rest],” Miller said.

Demeule, a senior captain, saw positives in the loss.

“After winning 16 games, it boosted our confidence,” Demeule said. “This game against a great team showed we can play hard when we aren’t our best.”

The Bulldogs were stuffed by Vetter and the Badgers, who rank second in the nation with 1.21 goals-against per game.

“Didn’t you see that sheet of Plexiglas we had behind the net?” joked Johnson. “The best penalty killer is the goalie. They had some flurries, but she was up to the task.”

Vetter finished with 27 saves, while Martin had 21 stops for UMD.

The Bulldogs were able to sweep Vetter and the Badgers on Nov. 30-Dec. 1 behind late-game heroics from Gavrilova, who scored two goals in two minutes for the overtime win Dec. 1. Wisconsin beat UMD 4-1 for the 2007 national championship on March 18.

The two teams will play at 7:07 p.m. today to conclude the series.