ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

College women's hockey: Scoring woes derailed Bulldogs' season

Minnesota Duluth coach Maura Crowell had plenty to say in the days after a disappointing, season-ending playoff loss to Bemidji State at Amsoil Arena.

Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com Minnesota Duluth sophomore captain Sydney Brodt (14) controls the puck against Presley Norby (6) of Wisconsin at Amsoil Arena earlier this season. While a strong captain, Brodt saw her offensive output dip as a sophomore, as did the rest of the Bulldogs.
Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com Minnesota Duluth sophomore captain Sydney Brodt (14) controls the puck against Presley Norby (6) of Wisconsin at Amsoil Arena earlier this season. While a strong captain, Brodt saw her offensive output dip as a sophomore, as did the rest of the Bulldogs.

Minnesota Duluth coach Maura Crowell had plenty to say in the days after a disappointing, season-ending playoff loss to Bemidji State at Amsoil Arena.

But nothing quite summed up the season quite like this sentence:

"If you are not consistently putting the puck in the net throughout the course of the year, it can bite you in big moments like it did," Crowell said.

A year ago at this time, the Bulldogs were preparing for an NCAA quarterfinal game against Minnesota at Amsoil Arena. Now the UMD women's hockey program is in the second week of its offseason after losing a best-of-three, first-round WCHA playoff series to the Beavers at home.

The series was a microcosm for the young Bulldogs' season. After mustering just one goal in a loss to open the series, UMD put four on the board in a Game 2 win. Then they were shut out in Game 3.

ADVERTISEMENT

"It's a big difference finishing now than in the NCAA tournament. It humbled us," UMD sophomore captain Sydney Brodt said. "You don't get to go to the NCAA tournament every year. It takes a lot. It takes a great team and a great playoff run."

The Bulldogs reached the NCAA tournament a year ago averaging 2.97 goals per game with four seniors atop the scoring chart. They had a top-three finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award in Lara Stalder, who had 54 points, plus two others in Ashleigh Brykaliuk and Katherine McGovern with 17 goals and 30-plus points each.

On top of that, there was senior defenseman and future Olympic gold medalist Sidney Morin with 24 points, and Brodt posted 21 points as a rookie.

This year, UMD had a 20-plus point defenseman in sophomore Jalyn Elmes (6-16- 22), freshmen forwards Naomi Rogge and Ashton Bell and fifth-year senior Katerina Mrazova scoring 20-plus points. That was it, however, as Rogge (16-8-24), Bell (11-12-23) and Elmes went 1-2-3 in scoring.

While a strong captain, Brodt offensively failed to build on her freshman season with just 16 points.

The result was a Bulldogs squad that mustered only 2.03 goals per game. They scored two or fewer goals on 21 occasions - including four shutouts - and went 5-13-3 in those contests. They were 1-11-2 in the 14 games they scored one goal or less.

In the 14 games UMD scored three or more, it was 10-3-1.

"A lot of our forwards were young this year so going into next year, it's just going to take us developing good chemistry with each other," Brodt said. "In the offseason, we really need to work on focusing on scoring, focusing on shooting the puck. There were times during the season we were getting too cute and that's one thing I personally want to work on during the offseason."

ADVERTISEMENT

Crowell said she expects more scoring out of Brodt next season. Freshman forward Anna Klein, with four goals in her last 10 games, sophomore Ryleigh Houston, a transfer from North Dakota, and junior forward Brooklyn Schugel, who missed the year with a knee injury, all have the potential to increase their offensive output, Crowell said.

UMD is also bringing in two dynamic offensive players from Centennial High School next season in Gabbie Hughes and Anneke Linser. They are two of eight players signed for next season.

Hughes scored more than 300 points in four years of varsity, including 73 points as a junior and 72 points this season as a senior. Her linemate, Linser, had more than 250 points with 60-plus coming the last two seasons.

Rogge, a graduate of Eden Prairie, has played with and against both players. She said both will make an immediate impact next season, on the scoresheet and with teammates.

"When I played with (Hughes), she asked a lot of herself and I think that makes her better," Rogge said. "She always wants to be the best one on the ice. She pushes herself and she pushes the people around her. That's what makes her an excellent player and the teammates around her. Anneke does the same thing. They compete with each other and that pushes them to be the best players they can be."

Of course, offense may not be as big of a deal for UMD next season, even though it is graduating four senior defenseman. That's because goaltender Maddie Rooney will be back for her junior season after backstopping Team USA to its first Olympic goal medal in 20 years.

"We want to put this program back into Frozen Fours, national championship conversations and when you bring a goalie like Maddie Rooney back in town and you add some of the offensive pieces that we have, I think the next couple years are going to be really exciting," Crowell said. "I would say we're still going to be young in a lot of spots, but you look at the best teams in the country and in general they have a really, really good goalie and Maddie is that. They usually have one or two people that can put the puck in the net and I think we'll have that."

Bulldogs signed 2018-19 recruits

ADVERTISEMENT

Taylor Anderson, F, Eagan

Maggie Flaherty, D, Lakeville North

Kylie Hanley, F, Hopkins/Park

McKenzie Hewett, F, Edmonton, Alberta

Gabbie Hughes, F, Centennial

Anneke Linser, F, Centennial

Lizi Norton, F/D, Orono

Kailee Skinner, D, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Bob King / rking@duluthnews.comMinnesota Duluth freshman forward Naomi Rogge skates with the puck in the offensive zone while being pursued by Penn State's Morgan Rolph during Friday night's game at Amsoil Arena.
Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com Minnesota Duluth freshman forward Naomi Rogge, shown during an early season game against Penn State at Amsoil Arena, led the Bulldogs in scoring as a freshman with 16 goals and 24 points.

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.
What To Read Next
Minnesota got two goals in the first period, but wouldn't find the back of the net again in the game.
The Wilderness still haven't solved Wisconsin in four attempts
The 28th induction ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, May 4.
Hermantown alum Beau Janzig had an assist on Hunter Bulger’s game-winning goal.