University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey head coach Maura Crowell told reporters Friday night that it was no accident the No. 10 Bulldogs don't shy away from scheduling highly-ranked opponents. UMD's 2-0 upset Saturday afternoon against No. 3 Clarkson University showed exactly why.
With AMSOIL Arena as the backdrop, the Bulldogs cleaned up their defensive play and Gabbie Hughes, Sydney Brodt and Ashton Bell provided all the offensive pop UMD would need to knock-off the Golden Knights, who entered Saturday's contest 3-0 on the young season.
After 31:30 scoreless minutes of action, Gabbie Hughes broke the stalemate, her second goal in as many games. With Hughes trailing in the slot, senior forward Sydney Brodt drew a pair of Clarkson players with her extended goal line skate and found Hughes. Hughes went from her forehand to her backhand and slide the puck past Marie-Pier Coulombe for the go ahead goal at 11:30 of the second period.
Hughes again had her stickhandling wizardry on display at almost the identical mark of the third period, putting the puck through a defenseman's skates before getting a shot on goal that found the back of the net via a second effort backhand by Brodt to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead at 11:28 of final stanza. Bell, who had the second assist on the first goal, also had the second assist on Brodt's tally, running Bell's assist total to a whopping four helpers in the series.
Maddie Rooney, along with all of UMD's defensive core, did the rest, securing the shutout with 29 saves, including 29 in the third period. Clarkson, who outshot UMD 29-23, had 23 stops from Coulombe. The Golden Knights fall to 3-1 on the season with the loss and was shutout for the first time in 53 games -- Clarkson was last held scoreless on Feb. 9, 2018 (a 0-2 setback to Yale).
UMD will jump into Western Collegiate Hockey Association play next weekend at AMSOIL with a visit from Minnesota State University, Mankato. The Friday-Saturday series gets underway at 3:07 p.m. both days.
BULLDOG NOTES: Sydney Brodt and Ashton Bell each posted four-point weekends ... Brodt notched two goals and two assists, while Bell added four assists ... Hughes added two goals and an assist for three points ... Hughes has now notched four goals and two assists for five points against Clarkson in four games ... Hughes is no stranger to raising her game against ranked opponents ... to date, she has compiled 14 goals and 12 assists in 20 games against teams ranked in the top-10 .... UMD's shutout was its first at home since Oct. 20, 2018 (2-0 win over BSU credited to Rooney) ... the upset was the first since UMD beat then No. 2 Minnesota at Ridder Arena last season 3-2 on Feb. 2, 2019.