Minnesota Duluth landed four players on the All-WCHA teams announced Wednesday, including a pair of players on the all-league first team.

In a nod to the Bulldogs' defensive play this season — a league low 1.44 goals allowed per game during the regular season — both first-team selections came from the back end, with senior defenseman Ashton Bell landing on the first team for the second consecutive season and junior goaltender Emma Soderberg making the first team in her inaugural season as the UMD starter.

Junior center Gabbie Hughes and her linemate, senior wing Anna Klein, both landed on the All-WCHA second team after tying for third in the league in scoring, averaging 1.31 points per game each. Hughes, a two-time second-team selection, posted 10 goals and 11 assists while Klein finished with 11 goals and 10 assists.

“Love to see our players get recognized,” said Maura Crowell, whose Bulldogs take on Ohio State at 5:07 p.m. Saturday in the WCHA Final Faceoff semifinals at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. “Ash and Sods on the first team, that's a really big deal. There are some great players in our league across all teams and to be acknowledged by our peer institutions’ coaches, that says a lot for those guys.”

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Bell, a candidate to make the 2022 Canadian Olympic team, is the Bulldogs’ first two-time All-WCHA first team selection since All-American Jocelyne Laroque — an Olympic gold and silver medalist with Canada — did so in 2008-09 and 2010-11.

A converted forward, Bell is in just her second season on the blue line. After recording 32 points in 36 games a year ago, she tallied 12 points in 16 games this season and posted a league-best plus-19 rating.

The offensive side of playing the blue line was easy for Bell to pick up a year ago, but now Crowell said she’s seen Bell become a force defensively, shutting down opposing attacks night-in and night-out.

“Rush defense is one of Ash’s big strengths,” Crowell said. “Her ability to escape transition, she has a great stick on entry, and is super smart in reading plays. I don't know if that's because she was a forward. She might have a little sense of what they're trying to do. It comes a little easier to her.”

Soderberg is just the third Bulldog goalie to land on the All-WCHA first team, joining Kim Martin (2007-08) and Riitta Schaublin, who did it twice (2004-05, 2005-06).

The first-team all-league honor was the fourth award in four days for Soderberg, who on Sunday was named the league’s goaltending champion via her league-best 1.34 goals against average and .951 save percentage. She was named WCHA Goaltender of the Week and Goaltender of the Month — for a third-straight month — on Monday.

On Thursday, she is expected to be named the WCHA Goaltender of the Year when the league hands out a slew of individual honors. The WCHA Player of the Year will be announced Friday, the day before the WCHA Final Faceoff gets underway at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.

“She's been playing awesome and our game on Saturday was insane,” Bell said, citing the career-high 45 saves Soderberg made against Wisconsin in the 4-3 overtime loss. “We are very lucky to have her back there with us.”