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Bulldogs' Kaiser, James on verge of making 2022 U.S. National Junior Team, again

Minnesota Duluth's Wyatt Kaiser and Dominic James are among the 27 players USA Hockey is taking to Calgary this week for the rescheduled World Junior Championship. Two more cuts will be made before the final U.S. National Junior Team is announced.

UMD Men's hockey faces Omaha at Baxter Arena
Minnesota Duluth defenseman Wyatt Kaiser (5) boxes out Omaha forward Ty Mueller (19) on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, at Baxter Arena in Omaha, Nebraska.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune
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Minnesota Duluth’s Dominic James and Wyatt Kaiser are among the 27 players the United States National Junior Team will take to Edmonton, Alberta, this week for the rescheduled 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Kaiser — a defenseman heading into his junior season with the Bulldogs in 2022-23 — and James — a sophomore center — were part of the original U.S. National Junior Team that competed briefly in Red Deer, Alberta, in the World Juniors last winter before the tournament was canceled four days in due to a COVID-19 outbreak among multiple teams and officials.

The tournament has been rescheduled for Aug. 9-20 in Edmonton, and will be an entirely new tournament. The IIHF has hit the reset button as opposed to continuing the failed event of last winter.

Minnesota Duluth forward Dominic James (17) controls the puck against Minnesota on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, at Amsoil Arena in Duluth.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

USA Hockey will make two more cuts prior to the American’s first preliminary round game on Aug. 9 against Germany. The final roster is expected to be announced on Sunday, Aug. 7 following pre-tournament games against Finland on Friday, Aug. 6, and against Switzerland on Saturday, Aug. 6.

Bulldogs junior winger Blake Biondi, of Hermantown, and incoming freshman wing Isaac Howard also took part in the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp that began on July 24 in Plymouth, Michigan. Both were cut, as was former Bulldogs defenseman Connor Kelley, who has transferred to Providence.


This summer’s national junior camp was used to not only select the 2022 U.S. National Junior Team, but the team USA Hockey will take to the 2023 World Junior Championship on Dec. 26, 2022,-Jan. 5, 2023, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. That roster is expected to be announced in mid-December.

Members Only
Minnesota Duluth got 10 of its 12 new players on the ice against Arizona State last weekend, including eight of the 10 freshmen. A number of those newcomers made immediate impacts in their first games as Bulldogs, leading to a pair of wins over the Sun Devils.
Freshman wing Ben Steeves scored his first two goals as a Bulldog 57 seconds apart in the second period to break a 1-1 tie against the Sun Devils.
Freshman forward Isaac Howard, a first-round Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick, recorded the game-tying goal and fifth-year senior Derek Daschke, a transfer from Miami, scored the game-winner in 3-on-3 overtime as the Bulldogs topped the Sun Devils to open the season.
Emma Soderberg recorded her 12th career shutout while Mannon McMahon and Anneke Linser scored two goals each for the win over the Nittany Lions.
The Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team improved to 3-0 on its season-opening trip through the state of New York, getting power play goals from defensemen Ashton Bell and Maggie Flaherty, plus key penalty kills late in the third.
This week on the Bulldog Insider Podcast, Minnesota Duluth junior wing Blake Biondi tells us what it was like to have his senior year at Hermantown High School documented by a film crew for the documentary, 'Hockeyland'; and what it was like to go back and relive that part of his life three years later.

UMD women taking part in national camps

Six Bulldogs — two current, three former and a future ‘Dog — were invited to the 2022 USA Hockey Women’s National Festival that begins on Saturday, Aug. 8, and runs through Aug. 13 at Harborcenter in Buffalo, New York.

The camp will be used to help select the 2022 U.S. Women’s National Team for the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championship set for Aug. 25-Sept. 5 in Denmark. A U.S. Under-18 Select Team and Collegiate Select Team will also be selected for three-game series against Canada Aug. 17-20 in Calgary, Alberta.

Junior forward Clara Van Wieren and fifth-year senior forward Gabby Hughes — a top-three finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award in 2021-22 — are among the current Bulldogs who have been invited, however, Hughes is unable to attend.

Minnesota Duluth plays Minnesota in NCAA Division I Regional Final for a trip to Frozen Four
Minnesota Duluth forward Clara Van Wieren (25) skates with the puck against Minnesota forward Taylor Heise (9) on Saturday, March 12, 2022, at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis during the NCAA Women’s Hockey regional final.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

Anna Klein, Sydney Brodt and Maddie Rooney are among the UMD alumni taking part, while UMD recruit Grace Sadura of Minnetonka is among the under-18 invitees.

Meanwhile, north of the border, five Bulldogs were invited to Hockey Canada’s National Women’s Program Selection Camp this week and next in Calgary. The invitees include fifth-year senior Ashton Bell, former Bulldogs Elizabeth Giguere, Jocelyn Larocque and Brigette Lacquette, and future UMD goaltender Eve Gascon. Lacquette is unable to attend, according to Hockey Canada.

Canada is using the camp to select its national team for the upcoming World Championship, as well as its National Women’s Development Team that will take on Finland on Aug. 14 before playing the series against the United States.


Bell and Larocque both won gold on Canada’s Olympic team in February in Beijing. Giguere is coming off a season in which she was named a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award while helping UMD get to the national championship game.

Bulldog Bites

UMD associate head coach Laura Bellamy recently worked the USA Hockey Select U18 camp in St. Cloud. That camp was used to narrow down the field of under-18 invitees to the USA Hockey national festival in Buffalo.

  • UMD men’s recruit Ty Hanson, of Hermantown, is competing this week with the U.S. Under-18 Select Team at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Red Deer, Alberta. The U.S. opened with an 8-1 win over Germany in its first preliminary round game on Sunday and take on Finland on Monday. The tournament runs through Saturday, Aug. 6.
Co-host of the Bulldog Insider Podcast and college hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune and The Rink Live covering the Minnesota Duluth men's and women's hockey programs.
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