With junior forward Ryleigh Houston and freshman forward Gabbie Hughes, among others, putting pucks in the net early on this season, no one was concerned that Minnesota Duluth's leading goal-scorer from a year ago, forward Naomi Rogge, was without a goal six games into the season.
Except Rogge herself.
"Not by the team, it was more self-inflicted pressure," Rogge said of not scoring. "It's nice to see there are a lot of girls who are stepping up as well."
With this weekend in the books, 5 of our 9 Bulldog Pups have their first career goals! Congrats, Anni! 🐶🔥 pic.twitter.com/dkCla90XWr— UMD Women's Hockey (@UMDWHockey) October 21, 2018
Rogge is goalless no longer. The sophomore from Eden Prairie, Minn., laid waste to the back of the Bemidji State net this weekend, scoring twice in a 6-1 win on Friday and two more times Saturday in a 2-0 victory that completed the sweep of the Beavers in WCHA play at Amsoil Arena.
Rogge recorded 16 goals and 24 points -- both team highs -- in 35 games a year ago as a freshman. She now has four goals and six points -- tying her with Hughes for the team high in goals -- through eight games this year.
"It's huge," Crowell said. "We've talked a lot about the value that she brings other than scoring goals because if all you think about is production, the last thing that is going to happen is production. Building on baby steps and taking care of other parts of the game will then lead to the floodgates opening.
"It was huge for her confidence, that line and our overall offense."
Rogge is one of four Bulldogs tied atop the team's point list with six, along with linemate and junior captain Sydney Brodt, Hughes and Houston.
Here’s a 👀 at the first goal of the game 🔥 pic.twitter.com/gGiM4YxVaY— UMD Women's Hockey (@UMDWHockey) October 20, 2018
The first two goals of 2018-19 for Rogge came in the third period Friday as she was able to score with 12:22 remaining in regulation and in the game's final second.
On Saturday before a crowd of 974, Rogge was able to stake the Bulldogs to a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission. Both goals were set up via chips by sophomore forward Ashton Bell springing Rogge free for highlight-reel breakaways against sophomore goaltender Lauren Bench.
Rogge beat Bench the first time one-on-one while the second time she was required to make a move from right to left on sophomore defender Mak Langei to get her shot off against Bench.
"We were just talking as a line to chip pucks out. We thought that could beat (Bemidji's) D better and let the wings just fly," Bell said of conversations between her and her linemates, Rogge and Brodt. "(Rogge) got some good chances there and put the puck in the back of the net."
Here’s Rogge’s 2nd of the game! 🐶 pic.twitter.com/C6BRJYOrsH— UMD Women's Hockey (@UMDWHockey) October 20, 2018
Junior Maddie Rooney was originally credited with the second assist on Rogge's first goal Saturday, giving the UMD goaltender the first point of her college career. That assist was later taken away.
Rooney's consolation prize was her first shutout of the season and ninth of her college career with the last one coming on Feb. 23, 2017 in a 5-0 WCHA playoff win over St. Cloud State in Duluth.
Rooney stopped all 24 shots she faced Saturday against the Beavers and 51 of the 52 shots she saw in the series.
"Maddie Rooney is, you know, she's Maddie Rooney," Beavers coach Jim Scanlan said. "We had a number of opportunities and Rooney just came up big for them."
* The Bulldogs were without junior defenseman and co-captain Jalyn Elmes on Saturday. She missed the game for percautionary reasons due to an upper body injury suffered during the third period of Friday's game. Senior assistant captain Emma Yanko was also missed her fifth and sixth consecutive games this weekend due to injuries.
This article is written by Matt Wellens from Duluth News Tribune and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.