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UMD women's hockey: Chobak blanks Buckeyes for win in first start as Bulldog

With Emma Soderberg off to join Team Sweden at the Olympics, Jojo Chobak picked up her first shutout in her first start for a 1-0 UMD victory over Ohio State.

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Minnesota Duluth goaltender Jojo Chobak (31) made 27 saves in her first start as a Bulldog on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, as the Bulldogs defeated Ohio State on the road 1-0.
Clint Austin / 2020 File / caustin@duluthnews.com
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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Making her first collegiate start Friday with Olympian Emma Soderberg off to join Sweden for the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, Minnesota Duluth sophomore goaltender Jojo Chobak made 27 saves to backstop the No. 8 Bulldogs to a 1-0 victory over No. 2 Ohio State in WCHA play at the OSU Ice Rink.

Chobak had made just four relief appearances of Soderberg, the senior All-American, prior to getting her first start against the Buckeyes on Friday. One of those relief appearances was against Ohio State a season ago in the WCHA Final Faceoff semifinals.

“She was phenomenal, and she got peppered good, especially in the third period,” Bulldogs coach Maura Crowell said. “They are very aggressive around the net, whether the whistle is blowing or not. She’s awesome. We’re so proud of her and so happy for her. Her teammates went absolutely bananas for her getting her first shutout in her first start against the No. 2 team in the country.”

Of Chobak’s 27 saves, 13 came in the third period after the Bulldogs had peppered Amanda Thiele, the Buckeyes’ second-string sophomore goaltender who was also starting in place of an Olympian, senior Andrea Braendli of Switzerland. Thiele, who stopped 25 of 27 shots in a 6-2 OSU win in Duluth on Dec. 4, finished with 27 saves on 28 shots.

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The lone puck to get by Thiele was a top-shelf knuckle puck from the point by Bulldogs senior forward-turned-defenseman Kylie Hanley, who scored with 32.1 seconds left in regulation.

Ohio State thought they tied the game at the buzzer on Friday to force overtime, but the goal was immediately waved off by the WCHA officials and the call was confirmed by video review. While the shot got off before the buzzer, it didn’t make it past Chobak and over the goal line in time.

“This was a really fun one,” Crowell said. “I thought we played so well that whole game, probably our most consistent game all season. To see Kylie score that goal with 35 seconds or so seconds left and hold on for the win at the end there, it was unbelievable.”

The Bulldogs and Buckeyes close their regular season series Saturday at 2 p.m. in Columbus.

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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