After leading all WCHA defenseman in points and goals in her debut season on the blue line in 2019-20, Minnesota Duluth senior defenseman Ashton Bell was named to the All-WCHA preseason team on Monday.

Bell, a first-team All-WCHA selection last year, posted 32 points and 11 goals after playing as a forward her first two seasons at UMD. The 32 points was a career-high, while the 11 goals tied the number she tallied as a freshman in 2018-19.

The All-WCHA preseason team was selected by the coaches, as was the preseason poll posted on Monday. The Bulldogs came in fourth behind No. 3 Ohio State, No. 2 Minnesota and No. 1 Wisconsin. The Badgers picked up four of the seven first-place votes and the Gophers got the rest.

Badgers senior forward Daryl Watts was named preseason players of the year and Minnesota freshman Abbey Murphy was named preseason rookie of the year.

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Bell was the lone Bulldog on the all-league preseason team, which also included Watts and junior forward Sophie Shirley from Wisconsin, senior forward Emma Maltais and junior goaltender Andrea Braendli of Ohio State, and Minnesota senior defenseman Emily Brown. UMD junior forward Gabbie Hughes received voted for the preseason team and player of the year.

Game times posted

Start times for six of the Bulldogs first eight games of 2020-21 have been posted with the first three Friday games dropping the puck at 6:07 p.m. and Saturday’s rematched beginning at 3:07 p.m.

UMD opens the season Friday and Saturday on the road at Minnesota State-Mankato before returning home the next two weekends to host Minnesota on Nov. 27-28 and St. Cloud State on Dec. 4-5.

The WCHA announced Sunday the Huskies women’s hockey program is pausing team activities for as least this week due to eight people within the program testing positive for COVID-19 in a nine-day span. That has forced the postponement of SCSU’s series this weekend against Bemidji State.