Welcoming 5 newcomers, experienced UMD women’s hockey ready for top-ranked WCHA returners

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In ten days the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) women’s hockey season will begin. Then in three weeks from this Friday the Bulldogs will face their first opponent in arguably the toughest conference in Division I women’s college hockey: the WCHA.

On Wednesday the WCHA hosted a media day where the Bulldogs shared why their team is a force to be reckoned with.

“A lot of experience, a lot of familiarity, and a lot of maturity I would say with our team which is really fun,” head coach Maura Crowell said.

One of their top returning competitors is Patty Kazmaier Award finalist, graduate student, Gabbie Hughes.

“We’re a family up here,” the forward shared. “When things get tough we like to hold each other a little bit tighter. I think just using how much we’ve learned and benefitted from doing that in the past and continue to grow that.”

Along with Hughes, the 2021 NCAA champion runners-up are also seeing the return of 2022 Canadian gold medalist, fifth year defenseman Ashton Bell.

As for newcomers UMD welcomes just four freshman and one transfer student-athlete.

UMD opens their regular season September 24 visiting Long Island University. Their WCHA opener is October 7 hosting Minnesota State University-Mankato.