UMD Women’s Hockey Returns to Thanksgiving Tournament Tradition
The Bulldogs will face nonconference opponents for the first time this season, taking on Penn State on Friday and then St. Lawrence on Saturday.
DULUTH, Minn. – The holiday season brings traditions for many people and this season, the UMD women’s hockey team gets to bring back one of their own Thanksgiving traditions.
The Bulldogs are currently in Washington, D.C. preparing for the DI in D.C. Tournament. UMD normally plays in a tournament or series Thanksgiving weekend, including trips to Connecticut, New York and Vermont recently. On Thanksgiving, they’ll practice, explore the city a bit and then have a big dinner.
Due to the pandemic, the Bulldogs didn’t have a trip last season so they’re happy to get this tradition back.
“It will be fun, I’m excited to spend it with the girls. Coach mentioned we have some time off so I think we’re just going to explore DC a little bit,” sophomore forward Clara Van Wieren said.
“It’s just a lot of bonding between everyone as a whole. We like to think Bulldog family includes our parents and siblings as well so I think it’s super cool that we’re all able to all hang out together,” senior forward Naomi Rogge added.
“We haven’t had a lot of time to do that outside of AMSOIL Arena so nice to get that time together,” head coach Maura Crowell said.
But as Crowell added, it’s a business trip and UMD will face nonconference opponents for the first time this season. The Bulldogs say it’s good experience to get now and they enter the tournament with a ton of confidence, scoring 27 goals in the last five games.
“To get into a rink we haven’t been to and a team we haven’t seen in a while, it’s super important to have that confidence,” Rogge said.
“Anytime we can play different teams, I think it’s good for us. They do some things a little bit different that teams in our league and I think that just makes us better hockey players. We’ll adjust our game slightly but not too much because I feel like we have a lot of players going right now. That’s exciting and that makes us really tough to play against,” Crowell added.
UMD will face Penn State Friday afternoon then St. Lawrence on Saturday.