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UMD women's hockey: Bulldogs beat Mavericks by a touchdown in season-opening win

Naomi Rogge and Gabbie Hughes score two goals each and Emma Soderberg posts a shutout in Minnesota Duluth's 7-0 win at Minnesota State on Friday.

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Minnesota Duluth forward Naomi Rogge (9), shown hugging forward Clara Van Wieren last season in Minneapolis at the WCHA Final Faceoff, scored two goals and two assists Friday in the Bulldogs season-opening 7-0 victory over Minnesota State in Mankato. (Tyler Schank / 2021 File/ News Tribune)

Coming off an NCAA Frozen Four run in 2020-21, Minnesota Duluth opened the 2021-22 season and WCHA play Friday night with a bang by beating Minnesota State by a touchdown, routing the Mavericks 7-0 at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center in Mankato.

The Bulldogs — who outshot the Mavs 41-14, won 33 of 53 faceoffs, and committed just a single penalty to MSU’s eight — are back at Minnesota State again at 3:01 p.m. on Saturday to wrap up the series.

Redshirt senior wing Naomi Rogge jump-started the Bulldogs' offense by scoring two of the first three goals. She finished with four points on the night, tying her career high set back during her sophomore season of 2018-19.

Rogge, who missed the 2019-20 season due to a knee injury, also had two goals and two assists on those four-point nights, which came in back-to-back games against Ohio State on Jan. 18-19, 2019, at Amsoil Arena.

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“She just plays with so much confidence,” said coach Maura Crowell, who was coaching in her 200th game with the Bulldogs on Friday (101-79-20). “Just a year off of that injury, she is a lot more sure of herself and back to the way she wants to play. It’s great to see.”

All three members of UMD’s high-powered top line — senior Gabbie Hughes and fifth-year seniors Anna Klein and Elizabeth Giguere — were held off the scoresheet for the opening 35 minutes, but they all finished with three points each.

Hughes had two goals and an assist, Klein registered a goal and two assists, and Giguere was credited with three assists in her debut as a Bulldog after transferring in from Clarkson.

Senior goaltender Emma Soderberg made 14 saves for her seventh career shutout. She had six a year ago — her first as the starter — in 19 games.

Senior forward Taylor Anderson and senior defenseman Maggie Flaherty also had goals for the Bulldogs on Friday. For Flaherty, who kicked the extra point with 8:16 left in regulation, it was her first goal since her overtime game-winner against Bemidji State in Game 1 of a best-of-three WCHA quarterfinal series on Feb. 28, 2020, at Amsoil Arena.

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“Everybody can jump off the bench for the most part and execute at a high level,” Crowell said of what she liked most from Friday’s win. “That depth is certainly there. I thought our (defensemen) chipped in nicely tonight as well. With (Soderberg) playing well, it was really a complete performance for us. That’s what we want all season long.”

UMD lands Minnetonka recruit

Minnetonka junior forward Grace Sadura announced her verbal commitment to the Bulldogs on Instagram Friday afternoon, just hours before UMD dropped the puck on the 2021-22 season.

Sadura, who would join the Bulldogs as a freshman in 2023-24, posted 20 goals and 17 assists in 23 games last season as a sophomore at Minnetonka. She had 10 goals and 17 assists in 31 games as a freshmen in 2019-20 when Minnetonka finished third in the Class AA state tournament.

Box score

Minnesota Duluth 2-2-3—7

Minnesota State 0-0-0—0

First period

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1. UMD, Naomi Rogge 1, 6:30

2. UMD, Taylor Anderson 1 (Taylor Stewart, Mannon McMahon), 12:28

Second period

3. UMD, Rogge 2 (Gabbie Hughes, Anna Klein), 6:41 (pp)

4. UMD, Hughes 1 (Klein, Elizabeth Giguere), 15:32

Third period

5. UMD, Klein 1 (Giguere, Rogge), (pp)

6. UMD, Hughes 2 (Rogge, Giguere), 4:45

7. UMD, Maggie Flaherty 1, 11:44

Saves — Emma Soderberg, UMD, 14; Calla Frank, MSU, 34.

Power play — UMD 2-8; MSU 0-1. Penalty kill — UMD 1-2; MSU 8-16.

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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