Bulldogs debut at No. 5 in 2022-23 USCHO preseason women's hockey poll
Minnesota Duluth is coming off back-to-back NCAA Frozen Fours and an appearance in the 2022 national championship game. Ohio State, which defeated the Bulldogs last year in University Park, Pennsylvania, is the No. 1-ranked team to start the 2022-23 season.
DULUTH — Coming off back-to-back NCAA Frozen Fours and an appearance in the national championship game last season, Minnesota Duluth will start the 2022-23 season ranked No. 5 in the country by USCHO, which released its 2022 preseason women's hockey poll on Monday. The poll expanded this season from 10 to 15 teams.
Four WCHA teams nabbed the top five spots, with defending NCAA champion Ohio State being ranked No. 1 to start the season. The Buckeyes earned 17 of 20 first-place votes while No. 2 Minnesota picked up two and No. 3 Wisconsin got the other.
The Bulldogs finished the 2021-22 season at No. 2 in the final 2021-22 USCHO poll after falling to the Buckeyes in the NCAA title game in University Park, Pennsylvania. UMD graduated two of its top two scorers in fifth-year senior wings Anna Klein and Elizabeth Giguere, however, they return 17 players from that team. Among those returnees are Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award top-three finalist Gabbie Hughes and Swedish Olympic goaltender Emma Soderberg. They are two of nine fifth-year seniors on the Bulldogs' veteran roster in 2022-23, along with returning defenseman and Canadian Olympic gold medalist Ashton Bell.
The WCHA preseason poll and awards is scheduled to be released early this week, with a virtual WCHA Media Day scheduled for Wednesday.
The Bulldogs open the 2022-23 season with four nonconference games in seven days in the state New York. UMD starts with a two-game series at Long Island on Sept. 24-25 and then games against St. Lawrence on Sept. 29 and Penn State on Sept. 30 in Canton, N.Y.