UMD women's hockey: Chobak backstops Bulldogs to first win at Wisconsin since 2010

UMD sophomore goaltender Jojo Chobak made a collegiate-high 45 saves to end an 18-game winless streak for the Bulldogs against the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison.

Women hockey players in purple and yellow uniforms compete against players in white and maroon uniforms on an indoor ice sheet.
Minnesota Duluth goaltender Jojo Chobak (31) made a collegiate-high 45 saves on Friday to lead the Bulldogs to a 3-0 victory over Wisconsin in Madison.
Clint Austin / 2022 File / Duluth News Tribune

MADISON, Wis. — Minnesota Duluth sophomore goaltender Jojo Chobak stopped a collegiate-high 45 shots to backstop the Bulldogs to their first win over Wisconsin in Madison in over a decade, shutting out the Badgers 3-0 on Friday in WCHA play at LaBahn Arena.

The series wraps at 8 p.m. Saturday in Wisconsin’s capital city.

Friday was Chobak’s sixth straight start in place of senior starter Emma Soderberg, who is on the other side of the globe backstopping Sweden this month at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, China.

Playing not too far from her hometown of Chicago on Friday, Chobak improved to 5-1 as the Bulldogs starter and earned her second shutout in six games, with the other coming via 27 saves in her first collegiate start on Jan. 21 at Ohio State.

Chobak made 12 saves in the first period when UMD was held to only three shots on goal, and then withstood another barrage by the Badgers in the third period when UMD was outshot 17-4.


“We had that one-goal lead for a long time, but the shots just kept ringing up for Wisconsin,” said Maura Crowell, who picked up her first win as Bulldogs coach in Madison. “Jojo was so locked in and I can’t say enough. If it wasn’t for her, the score would have been different, that’s for sure. She was there when we needed her against some of the best scorers in the country.”

Fifth-year senior Elizabeth Giguere scored two goals for the Bulldogs in the third period to clinch the win, putting UMD ahead 2-0 with 8:24 to play in the game and then adding an empty-net goal with 14 seconds left.

Those were the 16th and 17th goals of the season for Giguere, but it was the third goal of the season and of the career of freshman wing Gabby Krause that stood up as the game-winner. Krause gave UMD a 1-0 lead 3:42 into the game off a give-and-go with sophomore wing Clara Van Wieren.

Crowell called the line of Krause, Van Wieren and junior center Mannon McMahon UMD’s top line Friday night, even using them as an example for the rest of the team to follow during the second intermission.

“I basically told the team after the second period, ‘Watch what they’re doing. They’re causing havoc around the Wisconsin net by just putting pucks on net and not trying to be too perfect,’” Crowell said. “They were fantastic. I was so happy for them and Gabby Krause, a freshman, gets in there and scores against Wisconsin. She had a great game for us.”

Friday’s win snapped an 18-game winless streak for the Bulldogs against the Badgers in Madison, having gone 0-16-2 since the last victory at Wisconsin on Nov. 28, 2010. UMD’s last sweep of Wisconsin came during the 2007-08 season.

In addition to being without Soderberg on Friday, the Bulldogs were also missing senior defenseman Maggie Flaherty, who left Tuesday’s win at St. Cloud State early due to an injury.

Badgers goalie Kennedy Blair stopped 13 of the 15 shots she faced. Sophie Shirley put eight shots on the Bulldogs' net, all of which were stopped by Chobak.


Co-host of the Bulldog Insider Podcast and college hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune and The Rink Live covering the Minnesota Duluth men's and women's hockey programs.
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