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Packers’ Rodgers breaks collarbone, may be out for season

UWS women look for rebound season

The University of Wisconsin-Superior women’s hockey team is coming off its first losing season in Dan Laughlin’s 13 years as head coach.

The Minnetonka native is the all-time leader in wins among Yellowjacket women’s hockey coaches with an overall record of 217-104-36. And his winning percentage of .658 is among the highest of all active NCAA Division I and Division III hockey coaches.

Laughlin has the right ingredients to quickly turn things around as the 2016-17 Yellowjackets return 17 letter winners, including all three goaltenders and the entire defensive unit from last year’s team that finished 10-12-5.

“Last year was a tough one,” Laughlin said. “It was just one of those years. It wasn’t a bad year; it was just a hard one. It seemed like we didn’t get any bounces and we didn’t get any breaks. I’m very confident we will rebound and have a good season.”

The three goaltenders returning are Sky Brown (6-5-1), an All-WIAC honorable mention pick last season, Natasha Singer (3-6-2) and Kim Kobar (1-1-2). Added to the mix is Aubrielle Champagne, a freshman from Tok, Alaska.

“Having the back end secured is a big help,” Laughlin said. “They get along great, they compete and that’s what we want. We want them competing hard in practice and hopefully that will then carry over into the game.”

Picking a starting goalie will be a weekly decision for Laughlin.

 “They have to earn it in practice, then how they play in the games,” Laughlin said. “It’s going to be a daily process, but I’m absolutely confident in all four of them. And any one of them can step up.”

UWS returns five junior defenders — Emily Heid (Elk River, Minn.), Abby Constant-Bercier (The Pas, Manitoba), Saige Patrick (Steinbach, Manitoba) and Maggie Cragg (Champlin, Minn.). Joined in the mix is freshman Sam Mugge (Spicer, Minn.).

UWS lost two seniors from last year’s squad — sisters Lynne and Karen Larson. Those two happen to have been Superior’s leading scorers, with Lynne scoring 14 goals and nine assists, followed closely by Karen’s seven goals and 14 assists.

Returning forwards include seniors Amanda Coey (Brandon, Manitoba); Leah Elledge (Champlin Park, Minn.); Hailey Adair (Brooklyn Park, Minn.); Rebecca Hurst (Gilberts, Ill.); Mikayla Goodin (Andover, Minn.); and Paige Dale, Andover, Minn.), who played three seasons at UW-Eau Claire and was all-WIAC honorable mention in 2014; and sophomore Sam Westgaard (Elk River).

Adair and Heid are the top returning scorers with six goals and eight assists each. Goodin (8-5) and Elledge (6-7) both had 13 points; Constant-Bercie (2-10) had 12 points; and Coey (1-9) had 10.

“The big thing up front is that we had a hard time scoring goals (last year),” Laughlin said. “It wasn’t like we weren’t getting any chances; it was just that we couldn’t put it in the net. It’s like basketball, you get an open shot but it won’t go in.

“Hopefully we’ll get some help from the freshmen coming in. They’re going to have to work their way up, but hopefully in the long run they’ll be putting some pucks in the net for us.”

Freshmen forwards Laughlin is counting on include Hannah Currin (Bloomington), Molly Shelton (Pine Island, Minn.), Kaleigh Martinson (Champlin Park, Minn.) and Sarah Fjeran (Duluth Marshall).

“We have a really good freshman class coming in,” Laughlin said. “We can’t lean on them right away — they’re going to have to mature and develop — but they’re going to be a big part of our future. They just have to get some experience.”

Besides scoring goals, UWS has been focusing on special teams.

“Special teams are going to be big for us,” Laughlin said. “We have big goals for both the penalty kill and the power play.”

UWS was picked to finish third out of four teams in the WIAC in the preseason poll.

Three-time defending champion UW-River Falls was picked first, followed by UW-Stevens Point. UW-Eau Claire was picked last.

After playing six non-conference games, UWS opens WIAC play Nov. 18 at UWEC.

“We expect to win it (WIAC),” Laughlin said. “We’re not going in it to finish in third place, like the preseason poll picked us.

“River Falls is always going to be near the top, but we’re right there with them. We beat them last year, and in my eyes we should have been 2-2 against them.”

Joining Laughlin’s coaching staff is Tom Doig, who played at UWS from 1976 through 1980 and helped get the Yellowjackets to three NAIA tournament appearances, including a third-place finish in 1980.

Doig, who spent the last two seasons at Hayward High School where he helped guide the Hurricanes girls team to a state runner-up finish in 2014-15, and Wisconsin state championship in 2015-16, currently ranks tied for sixth on the Yellowjackets’ all-time scoring list with 164 points, including sixth all-time in assists (96) and eighth all time in goals (68).

“He’s a go-getter and alumni, so he’s great to have with us,” Laughlin said. “He brings a wealth of knowledge as an assistant coach and recruiter. He’s excited, and I’m excited to have him on board.”

Doig is also part of the first father-son tandem to play for the Yellowjackets. His son Alec was a defenseman at UWS from 2011-14.

UWS opens the season at 7 p.m. today at Bethel and hosts Augsburg at 2 p.m. Saturday.

“We’re excited to get going,” Laughlin said. “We’ve been practicing for a while and it’s nice to see what you have. It comes really quick. We play games Friday-Saturday-Tuesday this week and next. So we have to get ready to play right away.”

’JACKET JOTTINGS: Coey has been named the team’s lone captain. “I expect all of my seniors to be leaders,” Laughlin said. “It doesn’t matter what’s on your jersey.” … Laughlin was a three-year standout defenseman with the Yellowjackets. From 1989-92 he appeared in 85 games and was the team captain of the 1992 team that made the school’s first ever appearance in the NCAA Division III Men’s Ice Hockey Championships. 

2016-17 UW-Superior

Women’s Hockey Roster

2 Sam Mugge..................................... D               Fr.                    Spicer, Minn.

3 Hannah Currin................................... F               Fr.                    Bloomington

4 Lexie Weiss..................................... F               Jr.                    Sleepy Eye, Minn.

6 Molly Shelton.................................... F               Fr.                    Pine Island, Minn.

7 Kaleigh Martinson.............................. F               Fr.                    Champlin Park, Minn.

8 Emily Heid....................................... D               Jr.                    Elk River, Minn.

9 Abby Constant-Bercier....................... D               Jr.                    The Pas, Manitoba

10 Mandy Tomlinson............................. F               So.                   Waupaca, Wis.

11 Jessica Marsalla.............................. F               Jr.                    Hibbing, Minn.

13 Amanda Coey................................. F               Sr.                    Brandon, Man.

14 Haley Williams................................. F               So.                   Elk River, Minn.

15 Leah Elledge................................... F               Sr.                    Champlin Park, Minn.

17 Saige Patrick.................................. D               Jr.                    Steinbach, Man.

18 Sarah Fjeran................................... D/F            Fr.                    Duluth Marshall

19 Kelly Cockerill.................................. F               Jr.                    Selkirk, Man.

20 Maggie Cragg.................................. D               Jr.                    Champlin, Minn.

21 Hailey Adair.................................... F               Sr.                    Brooklyn Park, Minn.

23 Paige Dale...................................... F               Sr.                    Andover, Minn.

25 Sam Westgaard.............................. F               So.                   Elk River, Minn.

26 Rebecca Hurst................................ F               Jr.                    Gilberts, Ill.

27 Mikayla Goodin............................... F               Jr.                    Andover, Minn.

30 Natasha Singer................................ G              So.                   Kimberley, B.C.

31 Aubrielle Champagne........................ G              Fr.                    Tok, Alaska

33 Kim Kobar..................................... G              Sr.                    The Pas, Manitoba

35 Sky Brown..................................... G              Jr.                    Lenore, Man.

Coaching Staff

Dan Laughlin — Head Coach (14th season - 217-104-36)

Tom Doig — Assistant Coach

2016-17 UW-Superior

Women’s Hockey Schedule

Fri., Oct. 28............. at Bethel, 7 p.m.

Sat., Oct. 29............ vs. Augsburg, 2 p.m.

Tue., Nov. 1............. vs. Northland, 7 p.m.

Fri., Nov. 4............... vs. St. Catherine, 7 p.m.

Sat., Nov. 5............. at St. Catherine, 3 p.m.

Tue., Nov. 8............. vs. St. Thomas, 7 p.m.

Fri., Nov. 18............. at UW-Eau Claire, 7 p.m.

Sat., Nov. 19............ vs. Stevens Point, 2 p.m.

Tue., Nov. 22............ at Gustavus, 7 p.m.

Fri., Dec. 2............... at UW-River Falls, 7 p.m.

Fri., Dec. 9............... at St. Scholastica, 7 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 10............ vs. St. Scholastica, 7 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 7.............. at Finlandia, 6 p.m.

Sun., Jan. 9............. at Finlandia, noon

Tue., Jan. 10............ at St. Thomas, 7 p.m.

Tue., Jan. 17............ at Stevens Point, 7 p.m.

Fri., Jan. 20.............. at UW-Eau Claire, 7 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 21............ vs. UW-Eau Claire, 2 p.m.

Fri., Jan. 27.............. at UW-River Falls, 7 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 28............ vs. UW-River Falls, 2 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 3............... at Northland, 7 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 4............. at Northland, 2:30 p.m.

Tue., Feb. 7............. at St. Olaf, 7:30 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 10............. at Stevens Point, 7 p.m.

Wed., Feb. 15................. vs. Northland, 7 p.m.

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