UMD women's hockey: Bulldogs beat Northeastern 2-1 in double OT to reach NCAA title game
UMD gets overtime revenge against the Huskies after falling in OT a year ago in the Frozen Four semifinals in Erie. The Bulldogs will play Ohio State for the national championship on Sunday on the Penn State campus.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Bulldogs revenge tour continues on in Hockey Valley.
A year after losing in overtime to Northeastern in the 2021 NCAA Frozen Four semifinals in Erie, Pennsylvania, Minnesota Duluth sent the Huskies packing this time around via a 2-1 in double overtime victory on Thursday in the 2022 NCAA Frozen Four semifinals at Pegula Ice Arena on the campus of Penn State University.
UMD redshirt senior forward Naomi Rogge scored the game-winning goal with 1:45 remaining in the second overtime to set up a national championship showdown with WCHA rival Ohio State. The Bulldogs and Buckeyes split their regular season series 2-2 with series splits in Duluth and Columbus.
NAOMI ROGGE SENDS @UMDWHockey TO THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!! #WFrozenFour pic.twitter.com/qEMHQ1krJT— NCAA Ice Hockey (@NCAAIceHockey) March 18, 2022
Puck drop for the 2022 national championship game is at 3 p.m. CDT at Pegula Ice Arena. Ohio State is seeking its first NCAA title in its first national championship game appearance. For the Bulldogs, it will be their seventh appearance in the NCAA title game and the first since they won a fifth and most recent national championship in 2010.
UMD head coach Maura Crowell, who along with associate head coach Laura Bellamy is in her seventh season with the Bulldogs and seeking her first national championship at UMD, called Friday the best moment of her hockey career.
“It’s unbelievable,” Crowell said. “This team, a lot of these players have been in this program for a long time. We’ve been at the lowest of lows at times, today is the highest of highs. It’s a one-year journey, but it’s much more than that. It’s so meaningful for me as a coach and for so many of these players to get to this point. It takes a really special group and we have one more to go. We’re going to focus on that, but this is a really special moment for us.”
Bulldogs senior goaltender Emma Soderberg finished with a career-high 46 saves and Huskies fifth-year senior goalie Aerin Frankel made 49 stops in what was a memorable performance by both netminders.
It took moments of chaos to beat both in regulation, with UMD finally getting a puck past Frankel — the 2021 Patty Kazmaier Award winner and back-to-back national goaltender of the year — with 9:55 to play in regulation to tie the game at 1-1.
The goal came off a faceoff that was won by Rogge. Senior fourth-line center McKenzie Hewett, who was also on the ice at the time, was able to pick the puck up in the mess of sticks and skates and backhanded it to senior wing Taylor Anderson for a one-timer through traffic.
Both Hewett and Anderson had defenders draped on them at the time of their plays, but found a way to connect and slip one past Frankel.
“For me going into these games, the top lines sometimes X each other out and coaches put bets on who might score those goals,” Crowell said. “I had Taylor Anderson. She’s a Frozen Four killer. She had a big goal for us last year against these guys. That’s where your depth comes through and it showed tonight.”
While Anderson and Rogge’s goals were the ones that got through, they were by no means the best looks UMD had on Friday. Those chances either didn’t get the right bounce or were denied by Frankel.
In the first period, Frankel made a outstretched pad save on a shot by UMD fifth-year senior wing Anna Klein. The post then assisted Frankel at stopping a shot by fifth-year senior wing Elizabeth Giguere on what was a third or fourth chance by UMD.
The iron saved the day for Northeastern in the third period as well when a blast by UMD sophomore wing Clara Van Wieren hit the inside of the far post and bounced out.
UMD’s next-best looks came in the first overtime, where Van Wieren was once again denied on a Grade-A scoring chance, but this time it was Frankel stepping forward to stop the sophomore. Frankel also stonewalled Hughes late in the first OT.
“Aerin showed why she is the goaltender of the year and a Patty Kazmaier winner,” Northeastern coach Dave Flint said. “She gives us a chance to win every day. The team knows that. They also play looser in front of her. I’ve coached teams where they didn’t have confidence in their goalie and they played totally different. One reason we’ve been is not only she stops a lot of shots, it allows us to play a style that we want to play. She’s been making saves like that for five years.”
Northeastern took a 1-0 lead into the third period after scoring on a scramble in the Bulldogs crease 3:35 into the second. The Huskies were able to draw Soderberg out above the crease on a rush, and put a puck on the UMD goaltender that couldn’t be corralled. Freshman wing Skylar Irving eventually poked the puck through a crowd of maroon jerseys.
Soderberg said it was an easy goal to shake off, and she did, stopping everything she saw or didn’t see after that.
“Those are the type of goals that happen in these games. It has to be Grade A where a goalie maybe can’t see the puck,” Soderberg said. “It’s easy to reset. You can’t think about it. If a puck goes in, then it’s one to the next puck to make the next save.”
Söderberg keeps OT going. #UMDwHky #WFrozenFour pic.twitter.com/zf14ir8MaJ— UMD Hockey gifs (@UMDHockeygifs) March 18, 2022
Like Frankel, Soderberg had a number of game-saving stops, but the one that stood out the most to her and Rogge came just before the second intermission. Soderberg nabbed a puck with her outstretched glove in the final 15 seconds of the second, robbing Northeastern fifth-year senior defenseman Skylar Fontaine of a look at an open net.
Soderberg made a similar game-saving pad stop in overtime as well when Fontaine fed Irving on the opposite side of the crease, but it was the one at the end of the second that Rogge said she was most thankful for.
“That was my girl I was backchecking to,” Rogge said of the shooter Soderberg stopped late in the second. “I remember coach saying, ‘That was a great save,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, it was. It saved my butt.’"
“Any one she makes is a great save. She’s always there for us, and you always have trust in her. If something goes wrong, she’s going to be there for us.”
Friday was the second stop on what Hughes last Saturday dubbed the Bulldogs’ “revenge tour” following the 2-1 come-from-behind win over Minnesota at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. Like the Frozen Four semifinal versus Northeastern, UMD gave up the first goal to the Gophers in the NCAA quarterfinal before getting the next two — though no OT was needed. The Bulldogs had lost a week earlier to Minnesota in the WCHA Final Faceoff semifinals by a 5-1 margin.
It was a year ago to the date Friday that the Bulldogs lost 3-2 to Northeastern in the 2021 NCAA Frozen Four semifinals in Erie, Pennsylvania. Fontaine recorded the game-winner after a trip by the Huskies went uncalled, leading to her game-winning goal in the final 30 seconds of just one overtime.
A year later, Rogge took a pass from fifth-year senior wing Elizabeth Giguere and fired a shot that went through the legs of Fontaine and past Frankel late in the second OT.
The tour rolls on.
“We put in so much work in the offseason, and our goal from the start when we all got together as a group was to make it to that game on (Sunday),” Rogge said. “For it to come true with this group of girls, it's just so incredibly special.”
See you Sunday!!! pic.twitter.com/dj5skZ14Ew— UMD Women's Hockey (@UMDWHockey) March 18, 2022
Minnesota Duluth 0-0-1-0-1—2
1. NU, Skylar Irving (Katy Knoll, Maddie Mills), 3:35
2. UMD, Taylor Anderson (McKenzie Hewett, Naomi Rogge), 9:55
3. UMD, Rogge (Elizabeth Giguere, Hewett), 18:15
Saves — Emma Soderberg, UMD, 46; Aerin Frankel, NU, 49.
Power play — UMD 0-0; NU 0-1. Penalties — UMD 1-2; NU 0-0.