ERIE, Pa. — The leaders of Minnesota Duluth’s shutdown defense in 2020-21 received a parting gift from the NCAA Frozen Four on Friday morning.

Bulldogs senior defenseman Ashton Bell and junior goaltender Emma Soderberg were both named second-team All-Americans by the American Hockey Coaches Association, a first for either player.

Bell, who scored the overtime game-winning goal Monday against Colgate in the quarterfinals in Erie, Pennsylvania, is the first Bulldogs defenseman in 10 years to be named an All-American and third player to ever receive the honor, joining two-time All-Americans Jocelyne Larocque (first team in 2009 and 2011) and Julianne “Montana” Vasichek (second team in 2004 and 2005).

A native of Deloraine, Manitoba, Bell was also an All-WCHA first-team pick and the WCHA Defenseman of the Year after posting four goals and 14 assists with a plus-19 rating.

Minnesota Duluth goaltender Emma Soderberg (30) blocks a shot on goal against Northeastern during the NCAA Women's National Collegiate Ice Hockey Championship semifinal game on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pa. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)
Minnesota Duluth goaltender Emma Soderberg (30) blocks a shot on goal against Northeastern during the NCAA Women's National Collegiate Ice Hockey Championship semifinal game on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pa. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)

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Soderberg, also an All-WCHA first teamer and the league’s goaltender of the year, is the first Bulldogs goaltender to be named an All-American since fellow Swede Kim Martin was named a first teamer 14 years ago at the end of the 2007-08 season. Riitta Schaublin, a first-team pick in 2006, is the only other All-American Bulldog in goal.

A native of Jarved, Sweden, Soderberg posted a 1.56 goals against average, a.944 save percentage and six shutouts, which put her near the top of the national goaltending ranks, right behind Northeastern senior Aerin Frankel, the national goaltender of the year whose Huskies edged out Soderberg’s Bulldogs 3-2 in overtime in the NCAA Frozen Four semifinals on Thursday.

Soderberg and Bell are the Bulldogs’ first All-Americans since the 2016-17 season — UMD’s last appearance in the NCAA tournament before this season — when Lara Stalder was named a first-team forward.

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