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UMD women's hockey: Bulldogs fall to Buckeyes 6-2 to split WCHA series

The Bulldogs continue WCHA play next weekend against Minnesota at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis before taking a two-week holiday break.

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Minnesota Duluth senior center Gabbie Hughes attempts a pass against Ohio State senior center Sara Saekkinen on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, at Amsoil Arena in Duluth. Contributed / Drew Smith / Minnesota Duluth Athletics

Minnesota Duluth senior goaltender Emma Soderberg made 34 saves Saturday, however, second-ranked Ohio State was able to beat her five times to salvage a WCHA series split with the Bulldogs via a 6-2 win at Amsoil Arena.

Senior forwards Elizabeth Giguere and Gabbie Hughes both scored for the Bulldogs — who won 5-2 on Friday — but the goals came in the third period with the Buckeyes already leading 5-0.

“I feel bad for (Soderberg) because I thought she had a really good game last night and was playing well tonight, too,” UMD coach Maura Crowell said. “Some of the shots and opportunities (OSU) had were pretty much uncontested.

“That being said, that was a good team. They came in here and showed us that if we want to be highly ranked like that, we got to be able to bounce back and go for two big games. That's what we're looking for, is consistency from Friday to Saturday night against top opponents.”

Ohio State fifth-year senior forward Lexi Templeman scored twice, putting UMD down 3-0 early in the second period and 5-0 seven-plus minutes into the third period. Liz Schepers, Paetyn Levis, Riley Brengman and Jenna Buglioni also scored for OSU with Buglioni’s being an empty-net goal late.

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Sophomore goaltender Amanda Thiele made 25 saves on 27 shots for the Buckeyes, who went 1-for-4 on the power play while holding UMD to 0-for-4.

The Bulldogs continue WCHA play next weekend against Minnesota at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis before taking a two-week holiday break. The Bulldogs and Gophers split their first meeting of the season Oct. 8-9 in Duluth with Minnesota winning 3-1 on Friday and UMD 5-4 in overtime on Saturday.

The Gophers are coming off a win and tie against previously unbeaten Wisconsin.

“We can play with the best teams in the country, we can beat the best teams in the country,” Crowell said. “We've beaten Minnesota, we've beaten Ohio State. Everybody's beaten each other. The top four of the WCHA is legit. It is what everybody wonders, and I think this weekend proved the parity amongst us.”

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