Women show flashes despite winless weekend

While the now seventh-ranked UMD women’s hockey team failed to pull out a win over the weekend, there were some positive signs that came from the squad’s series with North Dakota. North Dakota’s Michelle Karvinen struck first Saturday afternoon halfway through the first period, but the Bulldog offense woke up to score the game’s next three goals. Less than 30 seconds after Karvinen scored, Bulldog junior Jenna McParland slipped the puck between the legs of goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie to tie the game 1-1.

McParland wasn’t done yet, however, as she pulled her team ahead with her second goal of the game with 34 seconds remaining in the first period.

Freshman defenseman Lara Stalder added a goal to make it 3-1 in the second period. The Luzem, Switzerland, native has two goals and nine total points through her first four collegiate games to lead all UMD scorers.

Despite Stalder’s stellar play, the Bulldogs faded in the third period Saturday. North Dakota went on the attack in the final frame with three unanswered goals to take the game 4-3.

“I thought our team came out a little slow on Saturday,” goaltender Kayla Black said. “I don’t think we were all prepared for what the game would be like. On Sunday we came out a lot better and more aggressive right off the start.”

Despite UMD coming out more aggressive in game two, North Dakota carried its late-game momentum into Sunday by scoring the first two goals to make it 2-0 in the second period.

The Bulldogs didn’t go down easily, as junior forward Meghan Huertas tipped a shot from Stalder past Amsley-Benzie to make it 2-1 late in the second. Less than two minutes later junior forward Zoe Hickel tied it with another UMD goal, and then Huertas followed up with yet another to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead through 40 minutes.

Black stopped 37 shots in Saturday’s matchup, but couldn’t keep North Dakota from sneaking in a goal in the third period to forge a 3-3 tie. Out of Black’s 37 saves, seven came on the penalty kill, an area where UMD has yet to allow a goal this season.

“Our penalty kill is definitely one of our strong points at this time,” Black said. “The defense has been doing a good job of letting me see the puck on shots from the point, and it’s always easier to stop the puck when I can see it. Everyone out there has been doing really well.”

The Bulldogs (2-1-1, 0-1-1 WCHA) jumped from No. 9 in the nation polls to No. 7 despite not winning a game, and will look to build on their start with a series against the top-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers Friday and Saturday night at AMSOIL Arena.

BY NICOLE BRODZIK brodz006@d.umn.edu

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