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With classes underway, here's an early look at the 2019-20 UMD hockey rosters

UMD men welcome five freshmen while the women bring in three for the upcoming season

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DULUTH — With classes getting underway this week on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus, the Bulldogs men’s and women’s hockey programs have posted their 2019-20 rosters.

Two squads have brought in a combined 37 freshmen over the past two seasons. This fall, fans only have eight new names total to learn between the two programs.

Here is a quick look at the two rosters as they stand heading into the final weeks of the offseason.

Five added for men’s run at three-peat

Scott Sandelin, whose team opens with an exhibition Oct. 5 against Alberta at Amsoil Arena, is bringing in four freshman forwards and one freshman goaltender for the program’s quest for a third-consecutive NCAA title and fourth national championship overall.

Forward is where the two-time defending champs — who do return 20 players from last year — took the biggest hit after graduating center Peter Krieger and wingers Billy Exell and Parker Mackay. They also lost another wing, Riley Tufte, a year early to the Dallas Stars.

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Coming in to replace that group is a pair of NHL drafted wings in 19-year-old Luke Loheit of Minnetonka and 18-year-old Quinn Olson of Calgary, Alberta. Loheit was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the seventh round in 2018 and Olson was taken this summer by the Boston Bruins in the third round.

Both Loheit and Olson come with junior experience, as do 18-year-old center Brady Meyer of North Branch and 21-year-old wing Brandon Puricelli of Ellisville, Missouri. Puricalli has spent the last four seasons in juniors, most recently with the Springfield Junior Blues of the North American Hockey League. He posted 80-plus points there a year ago.

Also coming from the NAHL is former Minnesota Wilderness goaltender Ryan Fanti of Thunder Bay. He’ll compete with redshirt sophomore Ben Patt — back from a season-ending injury in 2018-19 — for the backup role behind senior starter Hunter Shepard.

Breaking it down by the numbers, the Bulldogs will have five freshmen, eight sophomores, eight juniors and four seniors. They’ll have three goaltenders, 14 forwards and eight defensemen .

UMD had nine defensemen a year ago, but decided not to replace Mikey Anderson after he gave up his final two-years of eligibility to sign with the Los Angeles Kings. Senior Jared Hilderman and sophomores Hunter Lellig and Jake Rosenbaum will fight for his spot in the lineup.

Women short-handed on blue line

Of the five seniors, six juniors, nine sophomores and three freshmen Maura Crowell has on her roster for Season 5 at UMD, 14 are forwards, three are goaltenders and just six are defensemen .

Four of those six defensemen are the Bulldogs’ top two pairings that played in 30-plus games last season, the entirety of the top three forwards lines are back and UMD has a pair of national team goaltenders in senior Maddie Rooney (USA) and sophomore Emma Soderberg (Sweden).

UMD graduated three seniors — forwards Reagan Haley and Emma Yanko and defenseman Shelby Brossart — from last year’s team that finished a game under .500 following a loss to Minnesota in the WCHA Final Faceoff semifinals. Defenseman Lindsay Czech is also not back with the program after suiting up in 30 games the last two seasons.

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Just three are coming in to replace those four departures.

Freshmen forwards Mannon McMahon of Maple Grove and Kassy Betinol of Okotoks, Alberta, both hit the 50-point mark last year as high school seniors.

Rookie Taylor Stewart out of Rochester and Shattuck St. Mary’s will round out the blue liners, though Crowell may actually have another option — a seventh defenseman? — on her roster in junior forward Ashton Bell.

At least that’s what Hockey Canada thinks.

Bell — who has played defense in a pinch for UMD — has been listed all summer as a blue liner for national team camps, including the upcoming Canada National Women’s Team Fall Festival Sept. 9-15 in Liverpool, Nova Scotia.

Bell is one of 47 invitees to the camp, along with former Bulldogs Jessica Healey, Brigette Lacquette and Jocelyne Larocque. Haley Irwin was also invited, but is unable to attend.

The fall festival is an early look at candidates to represent Canada at the 2020 Women’s World Championship next spring in Halifax and Truro, N.S.

The UMD women are now less than a month away from their season-opening exhibition against the Minnesota Whitecaps on Sept. 28 at Amsoil Arena.

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