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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.