College hockey: UMD freshmen making an impact
While neither class attracted the preseason attention that last year’s freshmen did, the 2018-19 Minnesota Duluth men’s and women’s freshmen have made immediate impacts in the first few games of their college careers.
Freshmen forwards Jackson and Noah Cates — brothers from Stillwater, Minn. — accounted for three of the UMD’s men’s five goals over the weekend in a 1-1 tie and 7-4 loss against Minnesota. Both picked up their first collegiate goals Sunday in Minneapolis with Noah scoring first. Older brother Jackson then posted two goals in the second period.
“It’s something special. For Jackson to be able to get a second one there, I think it puts a lot of confidence in their game and you could see it actually throughout the game,” UMD senior captain Parker Mackay said Sunday. “They both played really well. They play hard, they play the right way. It will be fun to see moving forward.”
The Cates brothers and Hermantown native Cole Koepke, a winger, were the only three freshmen to play in both games against the Gophers last weekend. Koepke picked up his first collegiate point Sunday, assisting Jackson Cates on his first goal.
Freshman wing Tanner Laderoute and freshmen defensemen Jake Rosenbaum made their college debuts on Sunday. Laderoute took the spot of sophomore wing and Cloquet native Kobe Bender while Rosenbaum was listed as the seventh defenseman with sophomore Dylan Samberg out due to a lower-body injury suffered Saturday.
“I liked all the freshmen,” Sandelin said after Sunday’s 7-4 defeat. “I thought Tanner Laderoute had a really strong game for playing his first game. I thought Cole Koepke got better. Those guys are going to continue to get better.”
For the women, coach Maura Crowell has suited up all nine of her freshmen in the first four games with just the goaltender, Emma Soderberg, having yet to play.
Of the eight skaters, seven already have recorded their first collegiate point and four — Gabbie Hughes, Lizi Norton, Maggie Flaherty and Taylor Anderson — have scored their first collegiate goal.
Hughes, the second-line center from Lino Lakes, Minn., has two goals with both coming last weekend against the Gophers. She is also one of five to have posted three points this season along with Norton, Flaherty, Kailee Skinner and Anneke Linser.
Hughes got the call Saturday in the shootout following a 2-2 overtime draw with Minnesota at Amsoil Arena. It was a new experience for her, but she converted.
“My teammates on the bench really helped me,” Hughes told the media Saturday. “I was like, ‘Guys, what do I do?’ They were like, ‘Just do you.’ They calmed me down and got me ready. It was amazing.”