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UMD women's hockey: Bulldogs beat St. Thomas 3-0 in series opener

Hughes, Giguere and Van Wieren score for the Bulldogs while Soderberg picks up her eighth career shutout.

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Minnesota Duluth forward Clara Van Wieren (25), shown during a game on Feb. 20, 2021, last season at Amsoil Arena, picked up her first goal of the 2021-22 season on Saturday in a 3-0 win for the Bulldogs at St. Thomas. Tyler Schank / File / Duluth News Tribune
Tyler Schank

In the first meeting between the two programs, NCAA Division I and WCHA newcomer St. Thomas hung with eighth-ranked Minnesota Duluth for 20 minutes before the Bulldogs unloaded in the second period for a 3-0 victory on Saturday at St. Thomas Ice Arena in Mendota Heights, Minnesota.

Game 2 of the series is at 2 p.m. Sunday in Mendota Heights.

“We knew they were going to be a hard working team, a good structured team and that's what they showed us in the first,” UMD coach Maura Crowell said. “So we regrouped after one, got back at it and I thought we outworked them in the second. We had the puck a lot, we were winning battles, putting a ton of pressure on them. We were in the (offensive) zone for the majority of the period and got rewarded with two nice goals.”

After an even first period in which UMD held a narrow 10-8 advantage in shots on goal, senior center Gabbie Hughes and fifth-year senior wing Elizabeth Giguere scored in a second period where UMD outshot the Tommies 13-5.

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It was the fifth goal of the season for both Hughes and Giguere, who along with fifth-year senior wing Anna Klein (two assists Saturday) now have a combined 10 goals and 22 assists in seven games this year.

That line had scored the Bulldogs' last six goals until the third period, when sophomore wing Clara Van Wieren, who had three assists in her first six games this year, picked up her first goal of the season to extend the lead to 3-0.

“It was a nice one too,” Crowell said of Van Wieren’s goal. “She holds onto the puck quite a bit. You can see against any team in the country, she is strong on the puck. She was able to change direction, like she often does, and it seemed like there was a lot of white ice in front of her. She took it and snapped off a beauty.”

St. Thomas freshman goalie Saskia Maurer made 31 saves on 34 shots Saturday, including a stop against Klein on a penalty shot in the third period that would have given the Bulldogs a 4-0 lead.

Maurer is a Swiss national team goaltender who played with former Bulldogs forward Lara Stalder this summer at the World Championship, where she posted a 1.96 goals against average and .942 save percentage in five games. Saturday was Maurer’s first loss in three starts for the Tommies.

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UMD senior goaltender Emma Soderberg, a Swedish national team goaltender, finished with 21 saves for her second shutout of the season and eighth of her career.

Crowell credited Soderberg for making some big saves early in Saturday’s game when UMD found itself in a tight battle at St. Thomas.

“She might not see a lot of pucks in those situations, but what she does see is usually a pretty high-level scoring opportunity,” Crowell said. “She was fantastic today all the way down the wire for us today. It was a well-earned shutout for her today.”

Box score

Minnesota Duluth 0-2-1—3

St. Thomas 0-0-0—0

First period

No scoring

Second period

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1. UMD, Gabbie Hughes (Anna Klein), 2:56

2. UMD, Elizabeth Giguere (Hughes, Klein), 12:41

Third period

3. UMD, Clara Van Wieren (Mannon McMahon), 12:23

Saves — Emma Soderberg, UMD, 21; Saskia Maurer, UST, 31

Power play — UMD 0-2; UST 0-3. Penalties — UMD 3-6; UST 2-4.

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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