Final Saturday within the WCHA Ultimate Faceoff semifinals at Ridder Area, Minnesota Duluth surrendered a objective to Minnesota within the opening minute of an eventual 5-1 loss to the Gophers, who additionally struck early within the second and a mere 14 seconds into the third.
Again at Ridder Area once more on Thursday for the NCAA match, it was the Bulldogs who have been putting early and sometimes.
UMD senior middle Gabbie Hughes posted a pure hat trick, scoring two of her three objectives within the opening minute of the primary and second intervals, to guide the No. 8-seeded Bulldogs to a 4-0 victory over No. 9 Harvard in a first-round NCAA match recreation Thursday at Ridder Area.
Now the Bulldogs will get a second shot on the Gophers, who because the second seed acquired a bye straight to the quarterfinals. The 2 in-state rivals will play for a sixth time in 2021-22 at 2 p.m. Saturday in a recreation that may determine whether or not UMD will get again to the NCAA Frozen 4 for the second 12 months in a row, or if the Gophers return for the primary time since dropping to Wisconsin within the 2019 nationwide championship recreation.
“It’s attention-grabbing coming again to the identical constructing for tonight’s recreation — which was the largest recreation of the season — to see how we have been going to reply,” stated Bulldogs coach Maura Crowell, a former assistant and affiliate head coach below Harvard coach Katey Stone. “I believed we responded rather well. It’s additionally attention-grabbing should you consider that recreation final weekend, Minnesota scored on the primary shift of the sport, and the way the tides turned on the finish of the primary, after which quickly into the second, and firstly of the third. I used to be speaking concerning the timing and the way that impacts the sport, we type of flipped the script and did that tonight.”
Hughes, the Lino Lakes native who performed at Centennial Excessive Faculty, scored 39 seconds into the sport and picked up her second objective 25 seconds into the second interval. A finalist for the Hockey Humanitarian Award and Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, she buried her third objective of the sport with 7:39 left within the second to provide UMD a three-goal benefit heading into the third interval.
Linemate and fellow Patty Kaz finalist Elizabeth Giguere had the first help on two of Hughes’ objectives — and nearly fed her for a fourth later within the second interval — whereas Klein, a fifth-year senior like Giguere, set Hughes up on the second rating seconds into the second interval.
Giguere completed with three assists and Klein had two. Senior middle McKenzie Hewett additionally had a objective for UMD, tallying her seventh objective of the season within the third to make it 4-0.
“It was actually enjoyable,” Hughes stated of the efficiency her line placed on Thursday. “I used to be speaking to Kleiner after that, and that was most likely among the finest video games we’ve performed collectively shortly. So it felt actually enjoyable, and I feel the important thing to that was simply specializing in 5 minutes at a time for our line. It actually helped us at present.”
Thursday was the third assembly this season between the Bulldogs and Crimson, and the third time the Bulldogs skated away victorious having swept Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, over New 12 months’s Weekend. Hughes, Giguere and Klein mixed for seven objectives and 9 assists within the collection sweep, with Hughes scoring 4 objectives and Giguere notching 5 assists.
“They’re an exceptional line,” stated Harvard senior defenseman and captain Emma Buckles. “There’s no going towards that. They performed us actually laborious, and we tried to maintain up with them.”
Soderberg returns between the pipes
The Bulldogs gave senior goaltender Emma Soderberg the beginning over sophomore Jojo Chobak on Thursday and Soderberg, the semifinalist for nationwide goaltender of the 12 months, completed with 27 saves for her fourth shutout of the season.
The starter for nearly your complete season, Thursday’s NCAA match recreation was Soderberg’s first begin since giving up three objectives on 5 pictures within the first interval of Recreation 1 of a WCHA quarterfinal collection towards Minnesota State on Feb. 25. It was simply Soderberg’s second begin since coming back from a breakout efficiency with Sweden on the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.
Soderberg stated she initially underestimated how a lot time it could take to get better from enjoying 5 Olympic video games on the opposite facet of the globe.
“It undoubtedly took extra time than I believed it could be,” Soderberg stated. “I felt like I may simply maintain rolling into it, however clearly it was laborious — first dealing with the jet lag of 14 hours. After which simply entering into the rhythm once more, like faculty, hockey and every part like that. Nevertheless it’s been enjoyable, and Jojo has been doing an incredible job in web for us. Nevertheless it’s good to be again.”
Chobak — who enters the NCAA match with a .928 save share and 1.79 objectives towards common this season — made 11 straight begins for UMD between Jan. 21 and Feb. 18 after which grew to become the go-to for the Bulldogs within the WCHA playoffs after the opening interval of Recreation 1. She performed within the Ultimate Faceoff semifinal towards the Gophers final Saturday, giving up that objective 51 seconds in earlier than ending with 34 saves on 38 pictures.
Requested why she selected Soderberg on Thursday, Crowell stated she appreciated Soderberg’s expertise within the NCAA match. Soderberg backstopped the Bulldogs to inside a win of the nationwide championship recreation in final 12 months’s NCAA tourney in Erie, Pennsylvania, stopping 74 of the 77 pictures she confronted in a 1-0 time beyond regulation win over Colgate and 3-2 time beyond regulation loss to Northeastern.
“I believed Jojo performed rather well final weekend, however Sods has been in these spots and he or she’s earned the chance to get within the web,” Crowell stated. “She’s a unbelievable teammate, was a unbelievable teammate to Jojo right through. We simply felt it was time to place her again in there, and he or she was nice.”