12 newcomers, talented captains lead No. 5 UMD men’s hockey into season opener Saturday

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It’s game week for the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) men’s hockey team.

The fifth ranked Bulldogs are just three days away from dropping the puck on the 2022-2023 season at AMSOIL Arena with a large pack of new faces.

They welcome 10 freshmen and two transfers, fifth year defenseman Derek Daschke out of Miami University and senior goalie Matthew Thiessen from the University of Maine.

“Obviously we’re excited about Matthew and Zach (Sandy) too, the other Zach. If you’re looking at an incumbent it’s probably Zach Stejskal,” UMD head coach Scott Sandelin said during a press conference on Wednesday. “Whether it’s goaltending, D, or forwards I think there’s great competitions there. I don’t think we’ve had maybe as much of that at all three positions in a while.”

The new guys, including first round NHL draft pick and freshman forward Isaac Howard, have two NCAA championship ring bearers in captain Tanner Laderoute and Jesse Jacques to look to.

“Everyone is super excited, everyone is super hungry,” Laderoute shared. “These guys, they don’t need that push as much as maybe some other people have. They have been ready and willing to want to be there, but just showing that it starts in September. You have to do every little thing every single day if you want to play April 6-8,” Laderoute said, referring to the Frozen Four.

Alternate captains, senior forwards, Luke Loheit and Quinn Olson also highight the leadership pool.

The Bulldogs host Arizona State University for the first time Saturday at 6 p.m, then again Sunday at 4 p.m.