Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- The University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) women's hockey team took to the ice at AMSOIL Arena on Monday afternoon for the first official practice of the 2012-13 season.
The Bulldogs completed last year with a (21-14-1) record, finishing as runners-up in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) tournament and failing to qualify for the NCAA Division I tournament.
"We have a lot of freshmen this year," senior forward Katie Wilson said. "I've been very impressed with them on the ice and off the ice, so I think we're going to have a great team."
UMD has nine freshmen players this year, although two of them will be redshirt players, to go along with five seniors.
"We had a great end of the year [in 2011-12]," sophomore defenseman Emma Stauber said. "Hopefully we'll pick that up right from the start this year and just hope for the best."
The Bulldogs will be captained this season by senior defenseman Jessica Wong, who said the team will need to play well every game this season to be successful.
"In the WCHA, you can't really tell who's going to come out and work hard that game," Wong said. "It could be any team, and those teams are definitely going to be tough."
UMD opens the 2012-13 season with an exhibition weekend series on September 28 and 29 against the Minnesota Whitecaps, with Friday's game set for 7:07 p.m. and Saturday's for 3:07 p.m. at AMSOIL Arena.