Asked following the conclusion of the 2021-22 season whether the Minnesota Duluth women’s hockey program would wade into the transfer portal like some of their rivals have in recent years, coach Maura Crowell was hesitant about the idea.

But she didn’t rule it out, either.

“It would have to be for the right person, and the right person only,” Crowell said. “I'm pretty particular about who we bring into the program.”

Well the “pretty particular” Crowell found “the right person” Wednesday for the Bulldogs in landing graduate transfer forward and 2020 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner Elizabeth Giguere out of Clarkson University.

Elizabeth Giguere (7) of Clarkson controls the puck against Kailee Skinner (7) of Minnesota Duluth during a game at Amsoil Arena in Duluth on October 5, 2019. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)
Elizabeth Giguere (7) of Clarkson controls the puck against Kailee Skinner (7) of Minnesota Duluth during a game at Amsoil Arena in Duluth on October 5, 2019. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)

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Giguere graduated from Clarkson this spring as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 233 collegiate points via 99 goals and 134 assists. She posted nine goals and 14 assists during the COVID-19 shortened 2020-21 season after tallying 37 goals and 29 assists for 66 points as a junior when she won the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the nation's top player.

"Over the past four seasons, Elizabeth has shown herself to be one of the top players in college hockey," Crowell said in the announcement. "She is a proven winner, elite goal scorer, and part of a prestigious sorority in women's hockey as a Patty Kazmaier Award winner. She has also performed extremely well in the classroom and will be an asset to the Labovitz School (of Business and Economics) as a bilingual student. We are thrilled to welcome her to Bulldog Country."

The Bulldogs, who are coming off a run to the NCAA Frozen Four in 2020-21, had a roster spot open up last week when senior defenseman and captain Ashton Bell was named to Canada’s National Women’s Team Olympic Centralization roster in the leadup to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Giguere — a 24-year-old native of Quebec City, Quebec — had been with Bell at Hockey Canada’s National Women’s Team Evaluation Camp last month, but was passed over for the rescheduled IIHF Women’s World Championship in August and 2021-22 centralization in favor of players with previous national team experience. Bell was one of just four current collegiate players selected.

Elizabeth Giguere (7) of Clarkson defends against Gabbie Hughes (17) Minnesota Duluth during a game at Amsoil Arena in Duluth on October 5, 2019. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)
Elizabeth Giguere (7) of Clarkson defends against Gabbie Hughes (17) Minnesota Duluth during a game at Amsoil Arena in Duluth on October 5, 2019. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)

Like every student-athlete who played during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-21, Giguere was granted an extra season of eligibility, though she likely did not expect that fifth year to come in 2021-22.

Instead, she is coming to UMD in search of a second NCAA championship after helping Clarkson win it all in 2017-18 as a freshman with 71 points. Her 27th and final goal that season was an overtime game-winner in the national championship against Colgate at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.

Giguere, who played wing at Clarkson, will be one of two Bulldogs on the roster in 2021-22 who are taking advantage of the NCAA’s extra season of eligibility because of the pandemic, along with senior wing Anna Klein. Winger Naomi Rogge will also be a fifth-year senior after taking a medical redshirt in 2019-20. Bell will be eligible to return to the Bulldogs in 2022-23.