After being on the wrong side of back-to-back 1-0 losses to Ohio State and Bemidji State in their last two games, it was Minnesota Duluth picking up the lone goal Saturday in a 1-0 overtime victory over the Beavers at Sanford Center in Bemidji.
Sprung loose via a stretch pass by junior forward Gabbie Hughes, freshman defenseman Nina Jobst-Smith scored the game-winner on a breakaway 3:23 into the 3-on-3 OT period. It was her first collegiate goal in eight games at UMD.
“I actually have no words for it. Gabby made an awesome pass off to me,” Jobst-Smith said. “She's really good at those. She's just a natural at finding players. I couldn't believe that I was just on a breakaway. There was no one around me.”
Junior goaltender Emma Soderberg earned her fourth shutout in 10 starts this season by making 17 saves on Saturday. She has given up just one regulation goal in UMD’s last four games.
“Run support,” — as UMD coach Maura Crowell termed it after a 1-0 overtime loss at Bemidji State on Friday night — has been hard to come by for UMD in its last four games, however. The Bulldogs have just a single regulation goal vs. a goaltender in their last four games. That came in the first period of a 2-0 win over Ohio State at Amsoil Arena on Jan. 15, with the second goal that night being an empty netter.
UMD then lost 1-0 at home to OSU on Jan. 16 and 1-0 Friday night in overtime in Bemidji. The Bulldogs went 186 minutes, 40 seconds without a goal before Saturday’s OT game-winner against the Beavers.
“It’s challenging because the first semester we were talking about our offense so much and how many goals we were scoring,” Crowell said. “Things offensively were coming easily and now I feel like it's the flip side of the game, which is equally important — tight defense.
“Goals will come. We know that we have tons of skill on this team.”
Three former ‘Dogs in NWHL bubble
The National Women’s Hockey League opened its 2020-21 season Saturday with all six teams in a bubble at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, New York. Three former Bulldogs are taking part, with Jenna McParland playing for the league’s newest franchise, the Toronto Six. Emma Stauber, of Duluth, and Lynn Astrup are with the Minnesota Whitecaps.
The Whitecaps opened with a 2-1 win over the Boston Pride while the Six fell 3-0 to the Metropolitan Riveters.
Minnesota Duluth 0-0-0-1—1
Bemidji State 0-0-0-0—0
1. UMD, Nina Jobst-Smith 1 (Gabbie Hughes), 3:23.
Saves — Emma Soderberg, UMD, 3-3-7-4—17; Kerigan Dowhy, BSU, 6-13-9-2— 30.
Power plays — UMD 0-4; BSU 0-0. Penalties — UMD 0-0; BSU 4-8.