DULUTH,MN – We are less than 24 hours from the unofficial start to hockey season. UMD Women’s Hockey hosted its media day Friday afternoon. The Bulldogs welcomed in a ton of new talent especially on defense.
Looking at the USCHO preseason polls, UMD comes in 9th in the nation. With Olympic gold medalist and redshirt junior Maddie Rooney returning to the ice, the team says they welcome her experience.
“I think it’s been great, Maddie’s a pretty low key person, you know she’s not going to demand a lot of attention, but when you watch her, you know she’s back there and it makes you feel pretty good, so I think the rest of the group feels confident, and as a result, gets to play confidently. Maybe more aggressive, taking some chances offensively where we’d like to, getting our defenseman up into the play offensively so it has been positive.” said head coach Maura Crowell.
“We definitely have a talented freshman class, and I think they are already starting to prove themselves in practice, so I’m excited to see what they’re going to bring into the games, and they’re intensity level and things, but that’s one of the big things I’m trying to teach them is to play confident back there, no matter what. It’s hockey so you’re going to have ups and downs, but just be confident and stay positive.” said Rooney.
UMD will have their first taste of action tomorrow when they meet NWHL’s Minnesota Whitecaps in an exhibition game. Many of the Whitecaps are former Bulldogs.
“I think it’s a huge benefit for us, because they’re just as good if not better than all the college teams we’re going to play I think, so it’s really going to help us because it’s not like a cakewalk for the first game, but it’s a tough game and we’re going to have to play good hockey, and I think it’ll get the freshman ready for our BC series.” said junior forward Sydney Brodt.
“No game film, but we happen to be pretty familiar with a lot of those players, you know Maddie played with Hannah Brandt and Lee Stecklein last year, they’ll be playing tomorrow, so two olympians out there, and we know they’re going to be talented, we’re going to be fast, experienced and they’re going to put a lot of pressure on us, which is great, that’s what we want.” said Crowell.
Saturday’s exhibition with the Minnesota Whitecaps starts at 4 p.m. at Amsoil Arena. Be sure to stay to tuned to KBJR for highlights.