A Minnesota Duluth traveling party of 24 is expected to attend an NCAA Division I Champions Celebration on Monday afternoon at the White House in Washington, D.C.
The Bulldogs, who won the 2010 womenâ€™s hockey title, are to fly from Minneapolis at 6 a.m. Monday and be part of a 4 p.m. outdoor event hosted by President Obama. UMD returns home at 6 a.m. Tuesday, said coach Shannon Miller.
Twenty members of UMDâ€™s 2009-10 team, along with coaches Miller, Laura Schuler and Michelle McAteer (now head coach at Augsburg College), along with Chancellor Lendley â€œLynnâ€ Black are to make the trip. It will mark the fifth White House appearance for the womenâ€™s hockey program.
â€œThis is a remarkable honor for all of us and thereâ€™s a great deal of positive energy from all of our players. Theyâ€™re excited about having such an opportunity,â€ Miller said Tuesday.
Two senior defensemen from last season are traveling the furthest â€” Jaime Rasmussen from home in Garden Grove, Calif., and Sarah Murray from Switzerland, where sheâ€™s teaching and playing hockey. Emmanuelle Blais, a senior forward and team MVP from last season, is coming in from home in LaSalle, Quebec.
The Bulldogs are bringing a gift for the president â€” a maroon UMD hockey jersey with the name Obama on the back and No. 10, which notes the year.
Itâ€™s believed championship teams in all Division I sports for men and women, except football and basketball, will be recognized at Mondayâ€™s event. The tradition was started by President George W. Bush.