The University of Minnesota Duluth of women's hockey team is the 2020 MN Cup champions.
The No. 10 Bulldogs claimed that title Sunday with a 2-0 win over Bemidji State University at AMSOIL Arena, one day after knocking off Minnesota State University, Mankato in double overtime. UMD, playing in the second annual MN Cup, reached their first title game after bowing out in a 4-3 overtime loss to the University of Minnesota at Ridder Arena last season.
"Great game today, really happy with the 60 minutes we put together," said UMD head coach Maura Crowell, just three days removed from winning a World Championship gold medal with the U-18 U.S. side. "It was a battle last night against MSU, and we knew we could play a little bit cleaner and complete, and I think we did that. I am really happy about that and think it gets us going in 2020 the way we want to."
Ashton Bell netted the lone score of the first 40 minutes, a power play goal that came at 10:25 of the second period. Gabbie Hughes threw a pass on goal that glanced off Sydney Brodt before finding an alert Bell on the far post. Bell one-timed the puck past the outstretched glove of Lauren Bench for her league-best seventh goal of the season.
The Bulldogs got an insurance goal at 14:08 of the third period on tip from senior Ryleigh Houston, her first goal of the year. Anneke Linser found Taylor Stewart on the point, and Stewart put a rocket toward the net that Houston somehow redirected with the back of her blade to double-down on UMD's lead.
UMD netminder Maddie Rooney did the rest, posting 38 saves for her 11th career shutout and second of the season. BSU outshot the Bulldogs 38-25 in the contest, including 18-7 in the final stanza, but Rooney and UMD's blueliners held BSU at bay and scoreless in two power play attempts.
Bench had 23 saves for the Beavers, who landed Abby Halluska on the MN Cup All-Tournament Team.
The Bulldogs had two players on the All-Tournament Team -- Bell, and Hughes, who also doubled as the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
UMD (9-8-3) will have next weekend off from outside competition before hosting BSU (12-9-1) at AMSOIL for a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series on Jan. 17-18.
2020 Minnesota Cup All-Tournament Team
Goaltender- Emma Polusny, St. Cloud State
Defenseman- Jessica Kondas, Minnesota State
Defenseman- Ashton Bell, Minnesota Duluth
Forward- Claire Butorac, Minnesota State
Forward- Abby Halluska, Bemidji State
Forward- Gabbie Hughes, Minnesota Duluth (MOP)
BULLDOG NOTES: UMD is now 75-20-7 all-time against the Beavers, and 1-2 so far this season ... Maddie Rooney is now just 27 saves away from tying the UMD career mark for saves .... The senior goaltender had 60 on the weekend, and now has 2,971.