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UMD Women’s Hockey Returns to Thanksgiving Tournament Tradition

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The Bulldogs will face non-conference opponents for the first time this season, taking on Penn State on Friday and St. Lawrence on Saturday.

DULUTH, Minnesota — The holidays bring 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, DC, preparing for the DI in DC Tournament. UMD normally plays in a tournament or series Thanksgiving weekend, including recently traveling to Connecticut, New York, and Vermont. On Thanksgiving they will practice, explore the city a bit, and then dine extensively.

Due to the pandemic, the Bulldogs didn’t have a trip last season, so they’re happy to get this tradition back.

“It’s going to be fun, I’m excited to spend it with the girls. The coach said we have some free time, so I think we’re going to explore DC a little bit,” said second-year forward Clara Van Wieren.

“It’s just a lot of bonding between everyone as a whole. We like to think that the Bulldog family also includes our parents and siblings, so I think it’s super cool that we can all be together,” added senior striker Naomi Rogge.

“We haven’t had much time to do that outside of AMSOIL Arena, so nice to get that time together,” said head coach Maura Crowell.

But as Crowell added, it’s a business trip and UMD will face non-conference opponents for the first time this season. The Bulldogs say it’s a good experience to have now and they are going into the tournament with great confidence, scoring 27 goals in the last five games.

“To get into an ice rink we haven’t been to and a team we haven’t seen in a while, it’s super important to have that confidence,” said Rogge.

“Every time we can play against different teams, I think it’s good for us. They do some things a little differently than teams in our league and I think that just makes us better hockey players. We will adjust our game a little bit, but not too much, because I feel we have a lot of players now. That’s exciting and that makes us very hard to play against,” Crowell added.

UMD will face Penn State on Friday afternoon and St. Lawrence on Saturday.

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