Get the latest from Women's Hockey Life straight to your inbox

North Dakota Looks to Build Off Success of Last Season

Hello everyone! This is the first time I have ever written a blog so we will see where it takes us. First we will start with an introduction. My name is Margot Miller I am a senior at the University of North Dakota.  I graduated from Shattuck St Mary’s in 2008. I have played forward my whole life, though this season I am testing the waters at defense and it has been a learning process that’s for sure! As for school I am in pre-nursing classes and have been accepted into the nursing program and will be starting this coming spring, I am very excited about that. I am from West Bloomfield, Michigan and I am a huge Detroit sports fan.  I am very proud of being from Michigan and the strides it has made recently. I am a die hard Red Wings fan…. I don’t miss a game. I can’t complain with the seasons Detroit sport teams are having right now. The Lions are 5-0, 3 years ago they were 0-16, so that’s awesome! The Tigers are playing the Rangers in the ALCS, which is huge for Detroit sports. 

Enough with the introductions. Let’s get on to talking about hockey. Last season our team had a breakout season, this year our goal was to keep that momentum moving on from last year. We were disappointed with how our season ended. We just missed out on making the national tournament. Our expectations are very high this season. A majority of the team stayed in Grand Forks this summer to train and take summer school classes. I thought this would kind of be boring. I only got to go home for 2 weeks, but I had a blast staying in Grand Forks. A normal day consisted of us working out at 6AM then those who worked would go to work for a few hours or class then hit up the pool for the rest of the afternoon, can’t complain about that life right? Then we would skate at night, it was nice to have the team there to push each other.  It was also nice because we were all used to each other by the time the season got started. 

Classes started at the end of August and the rest of the team came together at that point. Preseason was hard as usual. It is probably the hardest 3 weeks in perspective of physical demands, we are skating twice a day and lifting/conditioning 5 times a week. You can’t forget classes somewhere in the middle of that as well! But there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Before we opened with our exhibition games against Manitoba we went on a little team-bonding event to one of our teammates cabins. This was a blast we got to spend the whole weekend on the lake and we really got to know each other as a team. 

Here is Jorid Dagfinrud and I trying to get on the tube at our team-bonding trip at the lake. 

Our first exhibition games were against the University of Manitoba; these are always nice games to play for a tune up because we had huge games against Boston University and Wisconsin our first 2 weekends of the regular season. Our first regular season games were against Boston University, they were ranked #2 in the nation, these games were huge for us to start off the season on a good note. We split the weekend and ended up playing very well Saturday night. Over the weekend we also got to walk around Boston on some of our pre game walks. We stayed right downtown in the middle of everything, it was crazy during rush hour. This was a lot different atmosphere from what we are used to in a small town such as Grand Forks! Overall we had a great time on the trip. 

Some of the team walking through a water fountain in downtown Boston. 

Last weekend we traveled to Wisconsin, who are the defending national champions. We ended up loosing Saturday night 5-2, but Sunday night we played some of our best hockey we were up 2-1 till the last minute of the game where they tied it up. We ended up going to OT and Wisconsin scored to end it. We were upset we lost the game but we took a lot of positives away from the weekend and we can’t wait to play them again! This weekend Vermont comes to Grand Forks for our home opener and the following weekend we celebrate our 10-year anniversary vs. Ohio State. 

As for everything else non-hockey, school is going well for me right now. I am finished up with my psychology minor and waiting to start the nursing program in the spring. So right now I am taking some classes that interest me such as sport sociology, a coaching class, an independent study, and pharmacology. Right now I am enjoying the success that Detroit sports are having. I will see you guys next month. I am planning on writing my second blog on my team with some interesting facts on each player, hopefully some embarrassing ones too! 

Go Wings, Go Tigers, Go Lions- Imported from Detroit!



More about Jaclyn Hawkins