UMD women's hockey: Bell, Hanley, Hughes named captains for 2022-23

Bell and Hanley have wore the 'C' for the Bulldogs before, while Hughes gets a 'C' for the first time after wearing an 'A' last season.

Minnesota Duluth women’s hockey team faces Ohio State for national championship
Minnesota Duluth forward Kylie Hanley (12) skates with the puck against Ohio State during the Women’s Frozen Four National Championship on Sunday, March 20, 2022, at Pegula Ice Arena in University Park, Pennsylvania.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH — An Olympic gold medalist from Canada, a finalist for the Hockey Humanitarian and Patty Kazmaier Memorial awards, and a center who unselfishly last season moved back to defenseman will captain Minnesota Duluth in 2022-23 as the program attempts to reach a third consecutive NCAA Frozen Four.

UMD announced fifth-year seniors Ashton Bell, Gabbie Hughes and Kylie Hanley as captains for next season, when the Bulldogs host the 2023 Frozen Four at Amsoil Arena in Duluth.

Hughes — with an A — and Hanley — sporting a C — both wore letters a year ago for the Bulldogs when they reached the 2022 Frozen Four at Penn State University. UMD lost to Ohio State in the national championship game.

Ice Hockey - Women's Prelim. Round - Group A - United States v Canada
Ashton Bell of Canada in action with Dani Cameranesi of the United States during the 2022 Olympics at Wukesong Sports Centre in Beijing, China on February 8, 2022.

Bell — who took a sabbatical from college life in 2021-22 to win gold with Canada at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing — was the Bulldogs’ captain in 2020-21 when UMD reached the 2021 Frozen Four in Erie, Pennsylvania. UMD got there thanks to Bell’s overtime goal against Colgate in the NCAA quarterfinals. Northeastern then bested UMD in OT in the Frozen Four semifinals.

A year later, it was the Bulldogs beating the Huskies in double overtime in the Frozen Four semis, before a 3-2 loss to the Buckeyes in University Park, Pennsylvania.


UMD came within a win of the program’s sixth national championship thanks to six goals and four assists from Hanley, who also finished plus-14. Unlike Bell, who moved from forward to defenseman and stayed on the blue line, Hanley will return to center in 2022-23 after her season as a defenseman.

Hughes had a memorable season on and off the ice. Her work with Sophie’s Squad, bringing awareness to mental health issues facing student-athletes, landed her as one of six finalists for the Hockey Humanitarian Award. Her 22 goals and 37 assists made her a first-team All-American and top-three finalist for the Patty Kazmaier.

Bell, Hanley and Hughes are three of eight fifth-year seniors returning for the Bulldogs in 2022-23 along with Taylor Anderson, Maggie Flaherty, Anneke Linser, Naomi Rogge and Emma Soderberg.

Minnesota Duluth plays Minnesota in NCAA Division I Regional Final for a trip to Frozen Four
Minnesota Duluth forward Gabbie Hughes (17) pops her jersey while celebrating after scoring a third period goal against Minnesota on Saturday, March 12, 2022, at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis during the NCAA Women’s Hockey regional final.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
Jennifer Flowers helped navigate the WCHA through the COVID-19 pandemic, expansion and the end of the men's WCHA. She also continued the league's winning tradition with back-to-back national championships, and worked to elevate the profiles of the league's student-athletes.

Co-host of the Bulldog Insider Podcast and college hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune and The Rink Live covering the Minnesota Duluth men's and women's hockey programs.
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