The Minnesota Duluth hockey groups are each again at Amsoil Area this weekend with the sixth-ranked ladies internet hosting No. 3 Minnesota in a WCHA recreation at 3 pm on Friday and Saturday whereas the lads host No. 1-ranked St. Cloud State at 7 pm. each nights in NCHC play.
Listed below are 4 takeaways from Wednesday’s media availability at Bulldogs beat reporter Matt Wellens’ Amsoil Area:
Sandelin “OK” successful video games 2-1
UMD males’s coach Scott Sandelin mentioned it was good to beat Bemidji State again on Jan. 7 at Amsoil Area by a 5-2 margin, nevertheless, that is not his group’s identification. If the Bulldogs are going to win video games, it is like they did Saturday at North Dakota by a 2-1 rating.
The Bulldogs rank seventh within the eight-team NCHC in objectives per recreation at 2.29 an evening. To compound issues, UMD’s energy play is 0-for-8 within the final 4 video games after going 2-for-2 towards the Beavers on Jan. 7.
“We’re simply not a high-scoring group. That is simply the best way it’s,” mentioned Sandelin. “Are we producing possibilities? Sure. May we win extra? Sure. However it’s simply how the video games go. The ability play has dried up a bit right here the previous couple of video games, in order that hasn’t helped. I win 2-1 effectively. I’m completely superb.”
Veterans ought to begin scoring
Sandelin likes the best way his freshman class has stepped up within the second half, saying his rookie line of Isaac Howard, Cole Spicer and Luke Johnson has in all probability been the group’s greatest line the final three video games. In the meantime, freshman wing Kyle Bettens leads the group in objectives scored in 2023 with three during the last six video games.
However Sandelin needs extra from his upperclassmen.
“I like our freshman group. Some guys have progressed. I believe they’re all getting higher,” Sandelin mentioned. “We had been actually pleased with the route all of them went. It is a good factor. We’re getting slightly extra assist from different guys, however they’re doing effectively.”
Freshmen scored three of the Bulldogs’ 4 objectives final weekend in North Dakota, with senior wing Luke Loheit placing down the game-winner off his skate on Saturday. The weekend earlier than that in Omaha, it was Howard – who has objectives on back-to-back weekends – and a pair of sophomores – Dominic James and Owen Gallatin – scoring.
Freshman wing Ben Steeves continues to steer UMD in scoring this season with a team-high 12 objectives and 16 factors. He snapped a six-game scoring drought within the closing minutes on Saturday when he assisted Loheit on the game-winner at North Dakota.
“These youngsters aren’t going to hold us,” Sandelin mentioned of the freshmen. “We want it by committee. We want different guys right here and there.”
The suitable tune got here on Saturday at St. Thomas
It took two video evaluations late in Saturday’s recreation at St. Thomas to substantiate the second objective of the night for UMD ladies’s fifth-year senior wing Anneke Linser, giving UMD a 3-0 lead. The primary assessment was initiated by the officers for a doable main penalty. The second was the Tommies coach’s problem for goalie interference.
It was in the course of the second problem that the Bulldogs had been caught on B1G+ dancing on the ice to the “Cupid Shuffle” to cross the time. Coach Maura Crowell mentioned she has an skilled group that is aware of when to have enjoyable and when to be severe. The suitable tune, got here on on the proper second, triggering the correct time to have enjoyable, she mentioned.
“You’ll be able to see my face. I did not wish to smile an excessive amount of, however how will you not?” Crowell mentioned.
“That is who we’re. I like our gamers to have enjoyable. We’ve got enjoyable after we work exhausting. They earn these moments. They’ve them at observe after we’re between drills or one thing. They’re dancing on the market. They hit the Griddy, and I like that. Should you’re having enjoyable along with your teammates and also you’re having enjoyable enjoying hockey, you are enjoying a few of your greatest hockey.”
Hughes enjoys the limelight, however not for her
It was per week of milestones for fifth-year UMD ladies’s senior middle Gabbie Hughes. Saturday at St. Thomas, she grew to become the seventh Bulldog and twenty third participant in WCHA historical past to report a minimum of 200 factors in her faculty profession. Days earlier, she was named one in every of 15 nominees for the Hockey Humanitarian Award for the second consecutive season.
A top-five finalist for the award final season, Hughes mentioned it is “unbelievable” to be up for the all-gender, all-division faculty hockey award once more as a result of it is one other alternative for her to additional promote the Sophie’s Squad message.
“To have the ability to have it on this platform is unbelievable and hopefully can convey much more consciousness to our group and to psychological well being,” Hughes mentioned. “That is what’s so particular about it for me, is having the ability to get the mission of Sophie Squad on the market to everybody. Having it on stage on the Hockey Humanitarian Award is large for our group and getting psychological well being consciousness on the market. So simply having the ability to put it on the market on that stage is a very powerful to me.”
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