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Howie: Saturday Sports Notebook

Bulldogs softball coach Jen Walter has accepted an assistant coaching position with the University of St. Thomas.

. UMD’s football team is ranked No. 1 in the NSIC North Preseason Coaches’ Poll, and Bulldogs senior quarterback John Larson has been named North Division’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.

. Julianne Vasichek has been named head women’s hockey coach at St. Scholastica, replacing Jackie MacMillan who resigned Monday to pursue other opportunities. Vasichek has been a full-time Saints assistant coach the last two years.

. The 96th Northland Country Club Men’s Invitational qualifying round continues today. Tournament favorites include Michael Christensen, Jack Ebner, Alex Kolquist, Joel Johnson, Tucker D’Allaird, Matt Mellin, Taylor Sundbom, Scott Pavelski, Sam Baker and Dan Moline. Play continues through Sunday.

. Former Bulldogs defenseman Neal Pionk, 26, of Hermantown signed a four-year, $23.5 million ($5.875 million average annual value) contract with the Winnipeg Jets.

. Hermantown High junior defenseman Ty Hanson has committed to the Bulldogs. Hawks elites Hanson, junior center Zam Plante (Bulldogs commit) and sophomore goaltender Dane Callaway (transfer from Duluth East) all are Duluth Times All-Preseason First-Team selections in 2021-22.

. The Athletic’s Corey Pronman on Plante, following the recent Hlinka Gretzky Cup: “Plante’s hockey sense stands out and he’s a great playmaker, but for his size he lacks ideal NHL speed.”

Published in Quote Me, Howie Sports

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