Soderberg ties Rooney for career shutouts as Bulldogs move to 6-0
Minnesota Duluth finished off a series sweep of Minnesota State in WCHA play at Amsoil Arena, with goaltender Emma Soderberg posting her second shutout of the season and 13th of her college career.
DULUTH — In baseball, it’s highly frowned upon to mention the no-hitter or perfect game a pitcher is working toward in the later innings.
The same goes for shutouts on the Minnesota Duluth bench. Those words are not to be spoken — or even contemplated — on or off the ice until that final buzzer sounds.
“When you think about it, usually you jinx it,” said Bulldogs fifth-year senior wing Taylor Anderson. “You don't you that in the last period about a shutout. Ever.”
Bulldogs fifth-year senior goaltender Emma Soderberg is making it harder and harder not to think about shutouts as she continued her climb up the rankings on Saturday, making 10 saves in a 2-0 victory for the fourth-ranked Bulldogs over Minnesota State in WCHA play at Amsoil Arena.
It was the second shutout of the season for Soderberg and 13th of her college career, tying her for fourth all-time in career shutouts at UMD with Maddie Rooney, who Soderberg backed up during her first two seasons as a Bulldog.
“They're both amazing. I'm so proud of Emma,” said Anderson, who played with both goalies in her UMD career. “I'm so glad she decided to come back for a fifth year. It's hard being away from your family in Sweden. We're just so lucky that she decided to come back and I'm really proud of her for that.”
Soderberg needs three more shutouts to tie fellow Swedish Olympian Kim Martin for third all-time at UMD. Riitta Schaublin is second with 17 career shutouts and Kayla Black holds the program record of 20.
While honored to be mentioned among players she has tremendous respect for, the stat that had Soderberg the most excited on Saturday was the Bulldogs’ 2-0 start to WCHA play following the 2-1 overtime win over the Mavericks on Friday, and 6-0 overall start.
The last time the Bulldogs started 6-0 was in 2006-07, when they won their first eight games en route to finishing as national runners-up.
“I’m very happy with how we’ve started the season, it give us momentum moving forward,” Soderberg said. “It’s just a good feeling. No one wants to lose and starting with a 6-0 streak feels pretty good.”
Like Friday’s 2-1 win over Minnesota State, goals were hard to come by again on Saturday despite UMD putting 40 or more shots on the Mavericks’ net for the second game in a row.
The goals did come much quicker, however, as UMD scored its two goals just 23 seconds apart and in the opening 5:20 of the game.
Both goals came via steals.
Co-captain Kylie Hanley — who scored UMD’s lone regulation goal on Friday 12:56 in — nabbed a puck in the neutral zone and dished to her fellow fifth-year senior wing, Anderson, for a breakaway to give UMD a 1-0 lead.
Sophomore wing Gabby Krause scored seconds later on an open net after senior center Mannon McMahon picked the pocket of a Maverick behind the visiting net.
Gabby Krause's third goal of the year put the Bulldogs up 2-0 at 5:20 of the opening period. pic.twitter.com/iv5wFjQUnG— UMD Women's Hockey (@UMDWHockey) October 8, 2022
Bulldogs coach Maura Crowell said she wasn’t sure where the game was going to go after the two quick goals, whether the offensive floodgates would open or not.
“I didn't know if we were going to keep rolling, but I think Mankato settled into the game well,” Crowell said. “It changed a little bit where we could have made it 3-0 or 4-0, but I think they probably figured things out and got settled in.
“It was a tight game and that's fine, too. We'll play any games the way they come at us.”
The Bulldogs, whose season got off to an early start on Sept. 24 at Long Island, will take next weekend off before resuming their season and WCHA play with a marquee series. UMD travels to Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 21-22 for a rematch of the 2022 NCAA championship game against Ohio State. The Buckeyes beat the Bulldogs 3-2 at Penn State last year for the national championship.
Matt’s Three Stars
3. UMD senior center Mannon McMahon — The steal was clutch, but her pass to linemate Gabby Krause was something else. It seemed like Krause was the only one expecting McMahon to put the puck there, as Krause had a wide-open net to score on.
2. UMD fifth-year senior Taylor Anderson — Moving Anderson to the top line has proved beneficial for UMD. Her speed compliments fifth-year senior center Gabbie Hughes very well. In addition to the game-winner, Anderson almost scored on a crazy 2-on-1 breakaway with Hughes in the third, but the shot missed just wide.
1. UMD fifth-year senior Emma Soderberg — Soderberg has had to rely on her mental strength much more than her physical abilities to start the season. Saturday was the third time this year she saw 10 or fewer shots, but she’s always ready and always in the game.
Minnesota State 0-0-0—0
Minnesota Duluth 2-0-0—2
1. UMD, Taylor Anderson (Kylie Hanley), 4:57
2. UMD, Gabby Krause (Mannon McMahon), 5:20
Saves — Alex Berg, MSU, 40; Emma Soderberg, UMD, 10.
Power play — MSU 0-2; UMD 0-2. Penalty kill — MSU 2-4; UMD 2-4.