Former teammates Soderberg and Chobak draw in regulation, but Bulldogs' goalie gets edge in shootout
Fifth year senior goaltender Emma Soderberg nearly tied UMD's career shutout record, but the Huskies tied the game late to force overtime and a 1-1 tie.
DULUTH — Squaring off against her former Minnesota Duluth teammate Jojo Chobak in the opposite crease, Bulldogs fifth-year senior goaltender Emma Soderberg was on the verge of tying the UMD record for career shutouts by a goalie.
St. Cloud State spoiled the moment, however, beating Soderberg with under four minutes remaining in regulation to force a 1-1 overtime tie Friday in WCHA play at Amsoil Arena. Soderberg got the last laugh, however, stopping all three shots she faced in the shootout to give UMD the extra league point.
Soderberg finished the night with 20 saves on 21 shots, while Chobak — the goalie Soderberg rotated with late last season at UMD after returning from the Olympics — finished with 43 saves on 44 shots after making 18 saves on 18 shots in the first period.
“She's an unbelievable goalie, so being able to put 44 shots on net and only get one goal doesn't surprise me at all,” said UMD fifth-year senior Gabbie Hughes, who scored the Bulldogs’ lone goal Friday. “It's fun to compete against a goalie like that and someone you know well. Seeing her perform at that level and playing her game is also very fun to see. She was a teammate. Being able to bury a couple more would be nice, but no surprise.”
UMD fifth-year senior Maggie Flaherty scored the lone goal on Chobak in the shootout. Having beaten Chobak before in shootouts during practice in previous seasons when Chobak was a Bulldog, Flaherty said she was able to use that knowledge to put the puck in the right spot — low.
But like Hughes, Flaherty lamented UMD’s missed chances in regulation against their former teammate.
“We had a lot of good scoring chances, big rebounds,” Flaherty said. “We were getting there, but obviously not putting them away. We just have to clean that up tomorrow and get in their crease and be a little bit more mean in that area.”
Huskies junior center Emma Gentry scored the game-tying goal for St. Cloud with 3:12 left in the third period while Hughes notched the Bulldogs’ lone goal on a power play with 3:34 left in the second.
A UMD turnover behind the UMD net led to Gentry’s goal. Soderberg was also screened by three of her own teammates on the play. Meanwhile, Hughes' goal missed its mark on the short side, but still went in after connecting with Chobak's helmet.
Here's a look at Gabbie Hughes' 206th career point and 80th career goal 🔥 pic.twitter.com/IY9qdmrFD1— UMD Women's Hockey (@UMDWHockey) February 11, 2023
“I liked the way we played. It was one shift, one broken play,” UMD coach Maura Crowell said of her team’s defensive effort. “We ended up with three players pretty low and the puck popped to a high forward, who took a shot. We jumped in front of (Soderberg) and screened what should have been a routine save. Just one broken play, and it's unfortunate, but glad we got the extra point in the shootout.”
Friday was Chobak’s second game against her former team this season — she made 23 saves on 25 shots in a 2-0 loss in St. Cloud on Nov. 11 — but her first back at Amsoil Arena as a Husky since transferring in the offseason. She last played at Amsoil Arena as a Bulldog on Feb. 27, 2022, making 21 saves on 23 shots to backstop UMD to a 3-2 overtime win over Minnesota State in Game 3 of a best-of-three WCHA quarterfinal series.
Chobak won’t be back in goal Saturday when UMD hosts SCSU again at 3 p.m. at Amsoil Arena. Chobak has been playing Fridays for the Huskies while fellow junior goalie Sanni Ahola takes the crease on Saturdays.
Chobak said it was both weird — like being in the home crease in the second period — and comforting to be back at Amsoil Arena on Friday. The first period, when she faced 18 shots and Soderberg saw just one, helped her settle in, though.
“Any time you face some shots and start rolling like that, it helps the rest of your game. You start getting more comfortable,” Chobak said. “Obviously there's a bit of uneasiness throughout the entire game, still nerves, but getting that many shots in the first and still holding it to 0-0 was good for me.”
Matt’s Three Stars
3. UMD fifth-year senior center Gabbie Hughes — Hughes’ goal was the 80th of her career and her 206th career point, tying her with Haley Irwin for fifth all-time at UMD in career points.
2. SCSU junior center Emma Gentry — Her game-tying goal gave the Huskies a point Friday. SCSU now has points this season against all four of the WCHA’s top four teams — UMD, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Minnesota.
1. SCSU goaltender Jojo Chobak — She finished with 43 saves on 44 shots, stopping 18-of-18 in the first period alone.
St. Cloud State 0-0-1-0—1
Minnesota Duluth 0-1-0—1
1. UMD, Gabbie Hughes (Maggie Flaherty, Clara Van Wieren), 16:26 (pp)
2. SCSU, Emma Gentry (Addi Scribner), 16:48
Saves — Jojo Chobak, SCSU, 43; Emma Soderberg, UMD, 20.
Power plays — SCSU 0-2; UMD 1-3. Penalties — SCSU 3-6; UMD 2-4.