UMD hockey notebook: Bulldogs' blue line reputation, and Gilling, help lure Daschke from Miami to UMD

Scott Sandelin's ability to move his defensemen on to the professional level played a big role in Miami senior defenseman Derek Daschke chosing to play his fifth year at Minnesota Duluth, as did some insight from former Miami and junior hockey teammate Casey Gilling.

Miami senior defenseman and captain Derek Daschke talks with reporters during NCHC Media Day on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Daschke is graduating from Miami and transferring to Minnesota Duluth for his fifth season to begin graduate school in 2021-22.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — For the second consecutive season, a Michigander who wore a letter for Miami University is transferring to Minnesota Duluth for his fifth season in the NCAA.

RedHawks senior defenseman and captain Derek Daschke will join the Bulldogs for the 2022-23 season after amassing 85 points via 24 goals and 61 assists in 133 games over four seasons with the RedHawks.

Daschke — a 24-year-old, 6-foot-2, 195-pound blue liner who grew up just north of Detroit in the suburb of Troy — had four goals and career-highs of 24 assists and 28 points as a senior in 2021-22, and he led the entire NCHC in average time on ice this past season at 25 minutes, 35 seconds. Western Michigan’s Ronnie Attard was second at 25:11 while the top Bulldog was sophomore defenseman Wyatt Kaiser (10th) at 22:13, according to numbers compiled by the Grand Forks Herald .

“Just playing against (UMD) the last four years, you get a ton of respect for teams that have winning cultures and that are tough to play against. And then on top of that, the guys that they produced at the next level, that’s obviously what I want to do,” Daschke said. “Defensemen-wise, there’s been a lot of very, very good defensemen to go through the program and I think Coach (Scott) Sandelin’s background of playing in the NHL and being a defenseman, he can help me immensely get to the next level.”

Daschke is graduating from Miami this spring with a degree in supply chain management. He’ll begin his master of business administration in the fall at UMD. He is one of two transfers the Bulldogs have coming in now for the 2022-23 season along with Maine junior goaltender Matthew Thiessen.


A year ago, UMD added a single player from the transfer portal in fifth-year senior center Casey Gilling, who also played four years at Miami before becoming a Bulldog. The native of Gaylord, Michigan, was an assistant captain his senior year at Miami.

Daschke and Gilling were teammates for three seasons at Miami, and before that in 2016-17 in the United States Hockey League with the Muskegon Lumberjacks.

020721.S.DNT.UMDmpux c06.JPG
Miami defenseman Derek Daschke (13) shoves Minnesota Duluth forward Noah Cates (21) on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021 at Amsoil Arena in Duluth. After four seasons with the RedHawks, Daschke is transferring to UMD.
Tyler Schank / File / Duluth News Tribune

“I had a pretty good relationship with Casey and he was a huge help through the process,” Daschke said. “He told me I would get along with the guys, and things like that helped because stepping into a new place — especially college, where guys have had relationships for 3-4 years — stepping in as the new guy is not always easy. He gave me the inside loop on the locker room, and that was huge to help me out.”

The addition of Daschke gives the Bulldogs eight defensemen for the 2022-23 season. UMD is also bringing in three freshmen in Riley Bodnarchuk, Aiden Dubinsky and Hermantown native Joey Pierce.

UMD returns only four from its 2021-22 squad — Wyatt Kaiser, Darian Gotz, Owen Gallatin and Will Francis — and just three of its top six blueliners — Kaiser, Gotz, Gallatin — from a year ago.

Incoming for 2022-23

Kyle Bettens, F, Youngstown (USHL)
Jack Smith, F, Sioux Falls (USHL)
Ben Steeves, F, Sioux City (USHL)
Isaac Howard, F, USA Hockey National Team Development Program
Luke Johnson, F, Lincoln (USHL)
Aiden Dubinsky, D, Tri-City (USHL)
Riley Bodnarchuk, D, Okotoks (AJHL)
Joey Pierce, D, Lincoln (USHL)
Zach Sandy, G, Minot (NAHL)
Matthew Thiessen, G, Maine (Hockey East)
Derek Daschke, D, Miami (NCHC)

A database of Minnesota Duluth men's hockey recruits for the 2022-23 season and beyond
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With Ben Patt electing not to return for a sixth season and Ryan Fanti signing an NHL contract, Zach Stejskal will be the only returning goaltender for UMD in 2022-23. The Bulldogs will bring in Zach Sandy from the NAHL and Maine junior Matthew Thiesen.

Outgoing from 2021-22

Kobe Roth, 5thSr, F (Grad)
Casey Gilling, 5thSr, F (Grad)
Noah Cates, Sr, F (Grad/NHL)
Koby Bender, 5thSr, F (Grad)
Ben Almquist, Jr, F (Transfer to Alaska-Anchorage)
Jarrett Lee, Sr, F (Grad/Transfer)
Matt Anderson, 5thSr, D (Grad)
Louie Roehl, 5thSr, D (Grad)
Connor Kelley, So, D (Transfer to Providence)
Hunter Lellig, Sr, D (Grad/Transfer)
Jake Rosenbaum, Sr, D (Grad/Transfer)
Ryan Fanti, Jr, G (NHL)
Ben Patt, RSr, G (Grad)


Bulldog Bites

Incoming Bulldogs freshman wing Isaac Howard is off to a hot start at the 2022 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship in Germany with five goals and an assist through two preliminary round games.

Howard — a native of Hudson, Wisconsin, who spent the past two seasons with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program — posted four of those goals and the assist in an 8-3 rout of Canada to open preliminary round play .

The U.S., at 2-0, wraps up Group A play on Tuesday against host Germany.

  • Former Bulldogs senior captain Noah Cates enters the final week of the NHL regular season with five goals and four assists in his first 13 NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers. He posted an early career-high of two goals and an assist Sunday in a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Flyers, who were eliminated from the playoff picture long ago, finish the season this week at Chicago on Monday, at Winnipeg on Wednesday and at home against Ottawa on Friday.

The award recognizes the body of work over an assistant coach’s career. Bellamy just completed her ninth season as an assistant coach and associate head coach at the NCAA Division I level and her seventh at UMD.

  • Former Bulldogs senior captain Zoe Hickel has left the Ohio State coaching staff after two seasons as an assistant coach under head coach Nadine Muzerall to become the manager of hockey programming and community relations for the American Hockey League’s Coachella Valley Thunderbirds, which are located in in Palm Desert, California, and will begin play in 2022-23 as an affiliate of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken. In two seasons in Columbus, Hickel helped coach the Buckeyes to two Frozen Fours and a win over UMD in the 2022 national championship game. Hickel will be reunited with her former coach at UMD, Shannon Miller, who is the Firebirds' vice president of branding and community relations.
Jojo Chobak, who was in line to take over as the starting goaltender next season, has entered the NCAA transfer portal after two seasons at UMD.

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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