I know you have all been waiting for this profile. I really wanted to attach an interview with Shannon Miller with this profile, but I have not heard back from the Bulldogs about making that happen. Hopefully I do hear back and I can still get that interview to you guys.
What can you say about the five time national champions? It’s getting to be as common as Brett Favre’s waffling. The Bulldogs have won half of the NCAA titles and are to hockey what Alabama is to football. Last year was supposed to be a rebuilding year. The Bulldogs had lost a few star players to the Olympics and had quite the young team. Those freshman poured in the contributions and ultimately won them the title. Jessica Wong, a freshman, tipped in the winning goal while Jennifer Harss(another freshman), led them throughout the season and playoffs with stout goaltending. Katie Wilson was on the WCHA All- Rookie team and was third on the team in scoring and was also a freshman. I think it’s safe to say that coach Miller got everything out of those freshman.
Not only are the Bulldogs developing young talent, but they are developing foreign talent. UMD has girls from five different countries(Sweden, Finland, USA, Canada, and Germany) on the team as we speak. In fact, out of the 20 on the current roster, only four are from the United States. Shannon Miller has definitely created a pipeline to other countries.
The offense will take a big hit this year as the Bulldogs had to graduate Patty Kazmaier top ten finalist Emmanuelle Blais. Blais was a scoring machine last year, tallying 65 points (32-33-65). They also lost seniors Jamie Rasmussen (8-22-30), Saara Tuominen (9-14-23), Sarah Murray (2-4-6), and Kristi Hakala (0-2-2). The Bulldogs should have no issues in scoring goals still. Laura Fridfinnson and Katie Wilson should take over and Jessica Wong and Audrey Cournoyer will complement them nicely.
The defense will be young this year. This could be the achilles heel of the Bulldogs. The good news is that they will have Jocelyne Larocque back full time this season. She missed over half the season playing with Team Canada in the 2010 Olympics. She had 37 points in her last full season with the Bulldogs.
The goaltending will be some of the best in the country. They have two starting goaltenders. Share the wealth, would ya? Jennifer Harss came from Team Germany to explode onto the college hockey scene. The freshman started all but two games last year and posted a 1.99 goal against average and a .934 save percentage. She won’t start this season either. Kim Martin, who missed all of last year for the Olympics, will be back and ready. The Bulldogs are loaded between the pipes.
Halloween should be an interesting time in women’s hockey. The Bulldogs and Gophers will clash on the 29th and 30th for the first time in the season. As Terrell Owens says, “get your popcorn ready”.
I fully expect the Bulldogs to compete for the WCHA title and for another national title. Coach Miller works wonders and there was no better example than last years championship team. The question for this team is, ‘when will they ever be weak’?
Check out the Bulldog website here.
Thanks for reading and come back for the profile of Ohio State tomorrow!
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