Bulldogs and Gophers Set to Duel at Amsoil Arena

Story posted January 26, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Hayden Lewis

When people think of great rivalries in women’s college hockey, one of the first matchups that comes to mind is Minnesota facing off against Duluth. A rivalry that is as old as time always manages to produce exciting games every time the young women battle on the frozen pond.

34 of the athletes between the two teams hail from the Land of 10000 Lakes, and every battle is for bragging rights. The Gophers have the bragging rights this year winning both battles between the squads thus far.

One of the world's greatest players, Taylor Heise, is a Golden Gopher. She leads the team in points and assists, while being second in goals scored. On the season she has 20 goals, 27 assists and 47 points in just 25 games.

On Heise’s heels is Grace Zumwinkle, the team's leading goal scorer. Zumwinkle has 45 points, 21 goals and 24 assists on the season. The Heise-Zumwinkle connection has been a problem all season for Minnesota’s opponents. If the Bulldogs want to win they need to shut the dynamic duo down all weekend.

The defensive corps is spearheaded by Madeline Wethington. She only has one goal on the season but has an outstanding 18 assists placing her point total at 19 for the season. She is second on the team in blocked shots with 20, and for a team that does not concede many shot opportunities, her statline is outstanding.

Skylar Vetter wears the pillows most often for Minnesota and her stats are phenomenal. On the season she has a .926 SV% and a 1.67 GAA. When Vetter is wearing the pillows for the Golden Gophers the team knows they have a chance to win every single night, and win is what they have done all season.

The Gophers bench boss Brad Frost has been with the team since 2007 and has a career win percentage of .807. This year the team has eclipsed the average at .840 on the season.

Maura Crowell is the boss in Duluth, Minnesota, and has been the boss since 2015. In her time with the Bulldogs she has turned the program into a powerhouse school that competes with the top schools in the country every season.

Her team is led by netminder Emma Soderberg, a graduate student who has been with the Bulldogs for a long time. Up to this point in the season, Soderberg has posted a .932 SV% and 1.50 GAA.

Manitoba native, Ashton Bell has been a perennial force in the backend for Duluth. She has 33 blocked shots on the season, sponge worthy numbers, while also posting 10 goals and 15 assists for a grand total of 25 points on the season, which is good for 3rd on the team.

Graduate forward and captain Gabbie Hughes is leading the team in points and assists, and is the teams biggest offensive threat. On the season Hughes has seven goals and 27 assists. Her 27 assists have her tied for second in the nation with Heise.

The two game series between the Bulldogs and Gophers should be electric for the full 120 minutes of hockey.

I think Duluth will defend home ice and secure one of the two games with a win because of the brick wall they have between the pipes.

Hayden Lewis is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email lewis1818hayden@gmail.com.

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Hayden Lewis

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Hayden Lewis is a Freshman from Penn State. He has spent his first year in CommRadio as a contributor to the sports department writing articles focused on the NHL and PLL. He is also doing Play-by-Play for women’s hockey as well. As a new member he is a shadow on the talk show Sin Bin and contributes his hockey knowledge to the show. Prior to coming to Penn State he attended Culver Academies in Culver Indiana where he played hockey and lacrosse. You can contact him @15haydenlewis on twitter, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)