DEFENSIVE DUTY: The Bulldogs are no strangers as a program to defense, and through their first 10 games, own the WCHA's best defense and third lowest goals against average in all the NCAA.
UMD's team GAA is 1.10 -- and includes one open net goal. The Bulldogs two goaltenders that have split time so far -- sophomore Haliey MacLeod and freshman Ève Gascon both rank in the top-10 in the NCAA for goals against average. MacLeod sits second in the nation with a 0.75 GAA over four games, while Gascon ranks seventh with a 1.17 over six skates.
UMD's netminders also rank in the top-4 of the NCAA in saves percentage -- MacLeod owns a .962 for the second spot, while Gascon sits fourth with a .956.
While MacLeod has a shutout in her first four games, Gascon has three, which ranks fifth in the NCAA for team shutouts.
NO GOALS GASCON: Freshman goaltender Ève Gascon has already tied the third most shutouts recorded by a Bulldog freshman goaltender. With three shutouts in her first six games, Gascon is in rare company, and trails only Jennifer Harss, who had five shutouts as a rookie in 2009-10 and Kayla Black, who turned in four during the 2011-12 season.
Gascon has tied both Kim Martin (three shutouts in 2006-07) and Tuula Puputti (three in 1999-00). Martin piled up her three shutouts immediately -- the eventual All-American racked up three clean sheets in her first four starts at UMD.
SCORING STREAKERS: Two players enter this weekend on six-game scoring streaks -- graduate center Mannon McMahon (3g, 6a for 9 points) and senior winger Olivia Wallin (2g, 5a for 7 points). Both McMahon and Wallin's scoring streaks are career-longs. McMahon is also on a three-game goal scoring streak.
EARLY WINNINGS: The Bulldogs enter the weekend against Minnesota with a six-game winning streak on the line.
THE SERIES: UMD is 32-71-10 against the Gophers, one of only two NCAA programs the Bulldogs are upside down against.
UMD went 0-5 against Minnesota a season ago, and the Gophers defeated the Bulldogs in four games on the regular season for the first time since the 2015-16 season. Minnesota outscored UMD 17-9 in those five
Mannon McMahon, Nina Jobst-Smith and Hanna Baskin joined Ashton Bell as the top scorers against the Gophers a season ago. Their point breakdowns were as follows -- McMahon (2g, 1a), Jobst-Smith (1g, 2a), Bell (3a), and Baskin (3a). McMahon has recorded four goals and three assists -- seven points against Minnesota over the last two seasons.
Currently, the Bulldogs and Gophers are similar statistically, with Minnesota averaging 3.89 goals a game in nine games (7th in the NCAA) and UMD averaging 3.40 goals a game (9th in the NCAA.
In their last meeting in the NCAA Regional Final on March 11th at Ridder Arena, UMD feel 3-0 to the Gophers. After an airtight first period, Minnesota finally found that inch at 10:39 of the second period for the game's first goal and a 1-0 Gopher lead.
UMD held it to a one goal deficit until the Gophers scored at 3:22, and then on a breakaway at 10:18 of the third period. But despite outshooting Minnesota 14-8 in the final frame and an empty net for almost four minutes, the Bulldogs were unable to solve Gopher netminder Skylar Vetter, who turned away all 30 shots she faced.
Emma Soderberg was every bit as brilliant in her final game in a UMD sweater with 27 saves.
UMD vs. Minnesota - 32-71-30 All-Time
(Last 10 games)
Mar. 11, 2023 0-3 Loss Away!
Jan. 28, 2023 3-4 Loss Home
Jan. 27, 2023 0-3 Loss Home
Nov. 5, 2022 3-5, Loss Away
Nov. 4, 2022 2-3, Loss Away
Mar. 12, 2022 2-1 Win Away^
Mar. 5, 2022 1-5 Loss Away*
Dec. 11, 2021 2-6 Loss Away
Dec. 10, 2021 3-2 Win Away
Oct. 9, 2021 5-4 OT Win Home
! 2023 NCAA Regional Finals
^ 2022 NCAA Regional Finals
* 2022 WCHA Final Face-Off Semifinals
UMD-MINN HIGHLIGHT: UMD's last win against the Gophers came in the NCAA Regional Final at Ridder Arena on March 12, 2022, a 2-1 Bulldog win that returned UMD to back-to-back Frozen Fours and ultimately an NCAA runner-up finish.
LAST TIME OUT: The Bulldogs swept the University of St. Thomas back on Nov. 3-4 by scores of 3-1 and 4-0 at AMSOIL Arena.
On Friday night, the Bulldogs picked up their game one win. Just 3:51 into the first period, Olivia Wallin intercepted a UST pass on the boards and fed the puck over to Reece Hunt in the high slot to put UMD up 1-0. Midway through the frame, Mannon McMahon made it a 2-0 game at 10:46.
UMD tacked on a third goal in the second period, another Wallin to Hunt connection 6:49 to stretch the Bulldogs lead to 3-0. Despite starting the third period with two players in the box, UMD held off the Tommies power play. UST's lone goal came off an errant UMD pass off the boards behind the net at 8:55, but the Tommies would get no closer. A Bulldog goal was called off at 11:58 and instead, UMD was forced to fend off a five minute major penalty. But like all UST power plays on the evening, the Bulldogs never broke and kept the Tommies scoreless on seven power play attempts in the game.
UMD outshot UST 35-24 and got outstanding goaltending from Sophomore netminder Hailey MacLeod, who had 23 saves, including nine in the third period alone.
In game two, a 4-0 UMD win, an early goal from McMahon at 5:02. UMD went up 2-0 at 12:08 of the second period when the puck found its way out to junior defenseman Hanna Baskin just inside the point, Baskin's second tally of the season. A little under a minute and a half later, the Bulldogs expanded it to 3-0 on a goal from Wallin off a cross-crease feed from Hunt at 13:41 of the frame. It was the third combination for the pair in the series, with both players working together for three points – Wallin a goal and two assists and Hunt with two goals and one assist.
The Bulldogs last goal came 13:49 into the third period from Mary Kate O'Brien, with assists credited to Hunt and senior defenseman Paula Bergstrom -- Bergstrom's first point as a Bulldog.
UMD posted its fourth shutout of the season and the third of the young career of Ève Gascon between the pipes. Gascon made 21 saves for the Bulldogs, who outshot the Tommies 29-21 the game.
NOTES FROM THE UST SERIES: UMD is now 9-0-1 all-time against St. Thomas.
--Reece Hunt had a series total to five points in series on three goals and two helpers.
--Mannon McMahon had a goal and assist Saturday, and with a goal Friday, put up three points on the weekend, along with Oliva Wallin, who had a goal and two assists over both games.
--After the UST weekend, McMahon and Hunt are now averaging 1.30 points per game -- the 22nd best ppg in the NCAA.
PERFECT FITS: New arrivals Reece Hunt and Olivia Wallin have taken no time to make an offensive impact for the Bulldogs.
Hunt is tied for the most UMD points through 10 games, and has dished out a team-best seven helpers. Wallin is averaging just a point under 1.00 a game, with nine points on three goals and six assists.
MCMAHON STREAKS ON: Graduate senior Mannon McMahon has now played the fourth most consecutive games in program history.
The forward has skated in 144 straight-games to date, putting her just one game behind Sidney Morin in third with 147 games, Ashton Bell at No. 2 with 164, and Anna Klein, who owns a program-best 165 consecutive games played.
UMD's all-time games played record was set last season by Naomi Rogge, and stands at 168 games. McMahon is currently 13 games away from cracking into the top-10 games played of all-time.
THE 400 WCHA WIN CLUB: On Oct. 28, the Bulldogs joined one of the most exclusive club in all of Division I women's hockey.
With their win at Bemidji State, UMD clinched its 400th WCHA win, just the third league team to reach the mark, and the third fastest program to reach 400 wins.
The Bulldogs have gotten 90 of those wins against Bemidji State, and 87 against Minnesota State. The third-most wins have come against St. Cloud State (81), while the Bulldog have all-time triumphs against Ohio State with 74.
PARTY LIKE IT'S 1999: It's been exactly 25 years since the UMD women's hockey program hit the ice for its first NCAA season at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. The Bulldog program will celebrate the season (along with the WCHA's 25th Anniversary season) all year long, highlighted by a 25th Anniversary Team that will be unveiled each week throughout the regular season.
As a program, UMD has compiled 542 wins overall, along with 400 WCHA wins. While the Bulldogs are five-time NCAA champions, they have also skated in seven NCAA title tilts -- including just two seasons ago (2021). As a program, UMD, which has made the NCAA Tournament the past three seasons, has punched its postseason ticket 14 times, and has made eight NCAA Frozen Four appearances -- including two over the past three seasons.