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College women's hockey: Bulldogs' Rogge regains scoring touch

Minnesota Duluth's leading scorer from a year ago, sophomore forward Naomi Rogge, vanquished a 10-game goalless streak last weekend in convincing fashion by scoring two goals each night in a pair of wins over Ohio State.

Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.comMinnesota Duluth forward Naomi Rogge (9) controls the puck near Ohio State's Rebecca Freiburger (16) during last Friday's game at Amsoil Arena. Rogge scored four goals in two games against the Buckeyes last weekend.
Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com Minnesota Duluth forward Naomi Rogge (9) controls the puck near Ohio State's Rebecca Freiburger (16) during last Friday's game at Amsoil Arena. Rogge scored four goals in two games against the Buckeyes last weekend.

Minnesota Duluth's leading scorer from a year ago, sophomore forward Naomi Rogge, vanquished a 10-game goalless streak last weekend in convincing fashion by scoring two goals each night in a pair of wins over Ohio State.

The goals are nice, but not as nice as the wins, she says.

"It's a confidence booster, but we're more excited about the sweep," Rogge said. "Sweeping the No. 5 (now seventh-ranked) team is huge."

Winners of three straight and five of their last seven, the Bulldogs women remain at home this week to host Quinnipiac in nonconference play at 3:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Amsoil Arena. The series is part of a doubleheader with the the UMD men, who host Nebraska-Omaha at 7:07 p.m. each night.

In its last five victories, the UMD women have racked up 23 goals, with 16 coming during the three-game winning streak that includes last week's sweep of the Buckeyes.

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Not by coincidence, the Bulldogs reunited the dynamic offensive trio of junior forward Sydney Brodt and sophomore forwards Rogge and Ashton Bell. Those three have scored half of the team's goals over the winning streak and Rogge has half of the goals scored by that forward line, which started the season together and found success as a trio last year.

Rogge paced not only that line, but the entire Bulldogs team a year ago with 16 goals and eight assists in 35 games.
"She came on the scene pretty strong as a freshman, had a great year," UMD coach Maura Crowell said of Rogge, the WCHA forward of the week and NCAA first star of the week. "I'm sure she learned a lot about what it takes to compete at this level and be successful for the long haul from September all the way through to February into March.

"Taking that experience and confidence into this year can only help. Putting that line back together, they certainly made a big splash and that's great to see at this point in the season."

While second on the team in goals and points this season to freshman forward Gabbie Hughes, Rogge is currently on pace to match or surpass last year's offensive output. She has nine goals and eight assists through 22 games this season compared to the 10 goals and six assists through 22 games last year.

Rogge was well off that pace prior to last weekend's outburst against the Buckeyes, however, with just five goals and four assists. She had a single assist in her first six games, and went eight games without a point from Nov. 16-Jan. 6.

That lack of offense wasn't because Rogge was snakebitten, her coaches and teammates said. It was because she had taken on a new role with the Bulldogs.

Last year, Rogge was in attack mode constantly and now she's been asked to be a stronger force defensively as well.

"I'm focusing more on the defensive side of things. I've been in the center, on wing, focusing more on the details," Rogge said. "I wasn't paying attention to the details as much as I am this year, like blocking shots and being able to pin girls in the 'D' zone. I'm forcing turnovers rather than waiting for someone else to do it."

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Because of the youth that makes up the Bulldogs' roster - which includes 16 freshmen and sophomores - Brodt said players like Rogge have taken on roles typically reserved for juniors and seniors.

Brodt said Rogge is a leader in the locker room and a shutdown player defensively on the ice. Rogge is also still a goal-scorer, and the captain is happy to have her back as a linemate.

"She has played different roles," Brodt said. "She has played center on almost every line this year. That can be tough. She's been my wing multiple times. I'm happy to have her back there. We have good chemistry together."

QUINNIPIAC (8-13-3) AT UMD (10-10-2)

What: Nonconference series

When: 3:07 p.m. Friday/Saturday

Where: Amsoil Arena

TV: My9 Friday only

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Internet: flohockey.tv

Twitter: @UMDWHockey

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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