Minnesota Duluth coach Maura Crowell sought more depth on the scoresheet entering 2020-21, and that’s exactly what she got in the season-opening 5-0 win at Minnesota State-Mankato on Friday via five goals from five different scorers.
That scoring depth was necessary on Saturday for the Bulldogs to complete the series sweep in Mankato after last year’s leading scorer Gabbie Hughes left the 7-3 victory over the Mavericks with an injury nearly five minutes into a crazy second period.
Attacking the Mavs' net shorthanded, Hughes was tackled — her head thrown down onto the ice — by Mavericks sophomore wing Kennedy Bobyck, who only received a holding minor on the play. Hughes, a junior center who put up 20 goals and 51 points last year, laid on her back briefly before being attended to and helped off the ice to the locker room by teammates.
Hughes did not return to the game and her status for next weekend's series against Minnesota at Amsoil Arena is "to be determined" at the moment, Crowell said by phone after Saturday's game.
Here is the takedown of Bulldogs junior center Gabbie Hughes at 4:58 of the second period.— Matt Wellens (@mattwellens) November 21, 2020
Hughes had to be helped back to the locker room and has not yet returned.
Mavs’ Kennedy Bobyck received a minor for holding on the play. pic.twitter.com/ge64o4gPwG
"You lose one of your best players there, it's tough to overcome that, but we did a great job coming out of that period with a 4-3 lead and then going on to put up a few more," Crowell said. "Five unanswered goals out of a lot of adversity is a great character win for us."
Junior wing Anneke Linser, junior center Kylie Hanley and senior wing Anna Klein all finished with two goals each. All three scored in the third period to turn a tight one-goal game into a second-straight rout for the Bulldogs.
Linser, who had just six goals a year ago after recording 10 as a freshman, put up a career-high four points after assisting Klein twice. Linser had a chance at a hat trick with 1:07 to play, but instead dished to give Klein — a 13-goal scorer last year — for the senior's second goal of the game and third of the year.
The Bulldogs trailed for 14 seconds during a crazy second period on Saturday that included six goals and seven penalties between the two teams. Five of those penalties were on UMD and they all came in the opening 10 minutes of the period. The Mavericks capitalized on two of the five advantages — while also giving up a shorty to Linser — to tie the game at 2-2 and 3-3.
Sophomore wing Kelsey King put the Mavs ahead with their one and only even-strength goal of the series at 12:03 of the second, but Hanley — with seven goals last year — slipped a puck past the near post shortly after, and freshman wing Clara Van Wieren scored the game-winner with two-minutes remaining in the second.
"So many different players scored this weekend and so many different players were in on those goals," Crowell said. "It's really encouraging at this point in the season to see so many people having success around the net. It just bodes well for the future."
The Bulldogs now return home and are scheduled next weekend to play the first UMD hockey games at Amsoil Arena in 265 days when Minnesota comes to town for a pair of WCHA contests at 6:05 p.m. Friday and 3:05 p.m. Saturday. The Gophers opened their season Saturday with a 4-0 home win over Ohio State. That series wraps up in Minneapolis on Sunday.
Minnesota Duluth 1-3-3—7
Minnesota State 0-3-0—3
First period — 1. Anna Klein 2 (Gabbie Hughes, Anneke Linser), 9:04.
Second period — 2. MSU, Kennedy Bobyck 1 (Taylor Wemple, Charlotte Akervik), 7:09 (pp); 3. UMD, Linser 1 (Lizi Norton), 7:52 (sh); 4. MSU, Madison Oelkers 1 (Brittyn Fleming, Brooke Bryant), 8:58 (pp); 5. MSU, Kelsey King 1 (Oelkers, Wemple), 12:03; 6. UMD, Kylie Hanley 1 (Ashton Bell), 12:17; 7. UMD, Clara Van Wieren 2 (Hanley, Naomi Rogge), 18:00..
Third period — 8. UMD, Hanley 2 (Van Wieren, Klein), 4:18; 9. UMD, Linser 2 (Mannon McMahon, Bell), 9:44; 10. UMD, Klein 3 (Linser), 18:53.
Saves — Emma Soderberg, UMD, 9-8-5—22; Calla Frank, MSU, 15-13-12—40.
Power play — UMD 0-4; MSU 2-6. Penalties — UMD 5-10; MSU 4-8.
This story was updated at 7:16 p.m. Nov. 21, 2020 with comments from Bulldogs coach Maura Crowell. It was originally posted at 6:42 p.m. Nov. 21, 2020.