UMD women's hockey notebook: Bulldogs lose Stewart to transfer portal, release 2023-24 schedule

The Bulldogs, coming off a third-straight NCAA tournament appearance, will play three nonconference series against other NCAA tourney teams in 2023-24, but won't have defenseman Taylor Stewart.

college women play ice hockey
Minnesota Duluth defenseman Taylor Stewart (21) celebrates after scoring the first goal of the game against Clarkson during the NCAA regional semifinal game at Ridder Arena on Thursday, March 9 in Minneapolis.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH — In order to ease the chaos of the transfer portal, the NCAA created windows for each sport limiting when an undergraduate student-athlete can submit their name. For hockey, it’s 60 days, starting the day after NCAA tournament brackets are announced.

The men’s window closes on May 18, while the women’s closed May 4, however, postgraduate student-athletes can enter at anytime.

On Wednesday, a postgrad from the UMD women’s hockey team, senior defenseman Taylor Stewart, put her name into the transfer portal, according to multiple Forum Communications sources. She graduated from UMD with a bachelor’s degree in biology on Saturday, but is eligible for a fifth season of NCAA eligibility for playing during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-21.

According to multiple News Tribune sources, Stewart’s departure is for academic reasons. She was supposed to be one of two fifth-year seniors on the 2023-24 Bulldogs’ roster along with center Mannon McMahon, who graduated Saturday with a degree in professional sales. The return of both players was officially announced by UMD on April 14.

Stewart’s departure leaves the Bulldogs with just one of their top four defensemen — junior Nina Jobst-Smith — coming back from the 2022-23 team that reached the NCAA regional final this season. The top defensive pairing of Maggie Flaherty and 2022 Olympic gold medalist Ashton Bell are among the nine UMD fifth-year seniors who are moving on.


In addition on playing on the top defensive pairing with Jobst-Smith, Stewart was in line to possibly serve as a captain, likely with McMahon, as UMD is losing all three — Bell and forwards Gabbie Hughes and Kylie Hanley — from 2022-23.

A native of Rochester, Minnesota, Stewart’s four goals and eight points as a senior were collegiate highs. She tallied two of her four goals this year in UMD’s 2-0 victory over Clarkson in an NCAA regional semifinal at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.

UMD has two freshmen defensemen — Quinn Dunkle and Ida Karlsson — signed to join the team in the fall, giving them six. The Bulldogs will likely have to turn to the transfer portal for a seventh. UMD has already added two players from the portal for 2023-24 — Penn State’s Olivia Wallin and Bemidji State’s Reece Hunt.

Minnesota Duluth defenseman Nina Jobst-Smith (28) pressures Colgate forward Kaitlyn O'Donohoe (16) during an NCAA tournament quarterfinal game on Monday, March 15, 2021 at Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

UMD releases 2023-24 schedule

The WCHA released its 2023-24 composite conference schedule on Wednesday and the Bulldogs followed with their full slate of games for next season. In addition to the 28 league games, the Bulldogs were able to fill out the full 34-game schedule with three nonconference series against teams that made the NCAA tournament in 2022-23.

Two of those three non-WCHA series will happen at Amsoil Arena, with New England Women’s Hockey Alliance regular and postseason champion Long Island visiting Oct. 6-7 to open the season. ECAC postseason champion Colgate visits Thanksgiving weekend on Nov. 24-25. UMD’s lone nonconference road series is at Quinnipiac on Jan. 5-6.

The full schedule can be found below.

2023-24 UMD women’s hockey schedule

13-14 — OHIO STATE
20-21 — at Minnesota State
27-28 — at Bemidji State


3-4 — ST. THOMAS
24-25 — COLGATE

1-2 — at Wisconsin
8-9 — at St. Cloud State

5-6 — at Quinnipiac
19-20 — at Ohio State

9-10 — at St. Thomas
23-24 — at Minnesota

1-3 — WCHA Quarterfinals
8-9 — WCHA Final Faceoff (Ridder Arena, Minneapolis)
10 — NCAA tournament selection show
14-16 — NCAA regionals
22-24 — NCAA Frozen Four (Durham, N.H.)

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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