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UMD women's hockey: Soderberg backstops Bulldogs to season sweep of Bemidji State

Naomi Rogge and Anna Klein score their third goals of the weekend; Gabbie Hughes posts three assists in the Sophie's Squad Hockey Hits Back game against the Beavers.

Minnesota Duluth Bemidji State Women's Hockey
Minnesota Duluth goaltender Emma Soderberg (30) uses the tip of her stick to deflect a shot on goal against Bemidji State on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, at Amsoil Arena in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — After outscoring Bemidji State by a combined score of 21-3 in the first three meetings this season — including an 8-2 win Friday at Amsoil Arena — Minnesota Duluth found itself in a more familiar spot against the Beavers on Saturday.

Prior to this season, three of the last four games between UMD and BSU went to overtime, and four of the previous five were one-goal games.

Saturday’s regular-season finale was scoreless until late in the second period and a one-goal difference until late in the third, when the Bulldogs finally pulled away to beat the Beavers 3-0 in a WCHA matchup before a crowd of 1,704 people at Amsoil Arena, sweeping the regular-season series for the first time since the 2012-13 season.

Senior goaltender Emma Soderberg made 28 saves for the Bulldogs to post her fourth shutout of the season and the 10th of her UMD career. She made almost half her saves — 13 — in the second period when the Bulldogs were outshot 13-5 by Bemidji State.

“Emma frickin' stood on her head, so thank God for that,” Bulldogs fifth-year senior wing Anna Klein said. “It always feels good to sweep Bemidji. They always say that they think they are our rivals, so taking every single point from them this whole season, we got all of them, it feels great.”

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Klein, redshirt senior Naomi Rogge and junior defenseman Taylor Stewart scored for the Bulldogs on Saturday, with Anderson’s goal being the first of her college career after posting seven assists in her first 72 games at UMD.

Anderson’s goal was an empty-netter with 1:01 left in the game, but a beauty as she flipped the puck from behind the opposite blue line across the ice and into the BSU net.

“That was huge for us,” Soderberg said of Stewart’s goal. “That’s hard. A lot of times those end up as an icing and she got it perfectly right in there.”

Minnesota Duluth Bemidji State Women's Hockey
Minnesota Duluth defenseman Taylor Stewart (21) celebrates with Minnesota Duluth defenseman Lizi Norton (6) after scoring a goal against Bemidji State on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, at Amsoil Arena in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Rogge and Klein both finished with three goals on the weekend.

Rogge broke the scoreless tie late in the second period, driving to the net on the rush to direct a pass from senior center Gabbie Hughes across the goal line for a 1-0 UMD lead. It was Rogge’s 11th goal of the season.

Klein scored her team-leading 16th goal of the year on the power play late in the third, tapping in a rebound that came off a shot by fifth-year senior wing Elizabeth Giguere.

Minnesota Duluth Bemidji State Women's Hockey
Minnesota Duluth forward Anna Klein (19) scores a goal against Bemidji State goaltender Kerigan Dowhy (33) on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, at Amsoil Arena in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Bulldogs coach Maura Crowell said it was a struggle for the first 40-45 minutes, but her team closed the game out strong.

“They don’t go away, they always believe in themselves,” Crowell said of the Beavers. “They’re in a lot of tight games. They’re almost more prepared for them than anyone.

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“Klein’s goal on the power play was huge. The timing was great, and then to have Stewart seal it on the 5-on-6 was fantastic.”

Hughes was credited with assists on all three goals in a game that held a special significance to her and her family. Saturday’s game was a Hockey Hits Back Event by Sophie’s Squad, an organization she and her family helped found following the death of a friend over the offseason.

Sophie’s Squad promotes mental health awareness and honors the memory of 14-year-old Sophie Wieland, who died by suicide over the summer. She was not only a player that Hughes and her father — Terry — coached, but a friend as well.

MORE ON SOPHIE'S SQUAD:

Saturday’s Hockey Hits Back event featured mental health awareness messaging and raised $6,945 for Sophie’s Squad through chuck-a-puck, a silent auction and merchandise sales.

“It's so cool. She's been doing so much work with them,” Klein said of Hughes. “Everybody's seen it. Having them actually here in town and having the game dedicated to (Sophie) and hearing all the money that we were able to raise for that foundation, and just to bring her memory back into this rink, it was super cool. Very emotional, but a good win.”

Added Soderberg: “For us, we didn't just fight for three points today. We fought for something bigger, too.”

Bemidji State 0-0-0—0

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Minnesota Duluth 0-1-2—3

First period

No scoring.

Second period

1. UMD, Naomi Rogge (Gabbie Hughes, Maggie Flaherty), 14:41

Third period

2. UMD, Anna Klein (Elizabeth Giguere, Hughes), 16:49 (pp)

3. UMD, Taylor Stewart (Hughes, Klein), 18:59 (en)

Saves — Kerrigan Dowhy, BSU, 29; Emma Soderberg, UMD, 28.

Power play — BSU 0-3; UMD 1-2. Penalties — BSU 3-6; UMD 4-8.

Minnesota Duluth Bemidji State Women's Hockey
Minnesota Duluth forward Mannon McMahon (16) pokes at the puck against Bemidji State forward Paige Beebe (18) on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, at Amsoil Arena in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

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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