While most students at UMD were headed home to spend time with their families over Thanksgiving break, one group of women was spending their break together trying to take down the Bemidji State University Beavers. The Bulldog women’s hockey team spent Thanksgiving on the road as they traveled to Bemidji, Minnesota for a pair of WCHA match ups in a weekend where they would split even with BSU.
Bemidji showed off their skilled offense Friday night — one that helped them sweep a talented North Dakota team and go undefeated against No. 2 Minnesota in the previous weekends by putting four pucks behind junior netminder Kayla Black. The Blyth, Ontario native made 21 saves as she backstopped a team who couldn’t seem to connect in the first match of the weekend.
“(Black) was one of the players who did play really well on Friday,” senior captain and defenseman Emma Stauber said. “She did what she could that night, but us skaters couldn’t get our jobs done.”
The offensive spotlight fell on defenseman Brigette Lacquette who tallied the first goal of the night six and a half minutes into play. That spotlight would be short-lived as BSU came roaring back 4:35 later to tie it up and eventually put the Bulldogs to bed with a 4-1 final score.
“It was one of those nights that everything that could have gone wrong, did,” Stauber said. “We played poorly defensively, which carried over into our offensive zone play.”
UMD made an effort to turn things around Saturday and play a more cohesive game in front of Black, who shined in her sixth shutout of the season.
UMD would again put themselves on the board first, but this time around there was no offense to be had for the Beavers. Senior captain Zoe Hickel put her team on the board less than three minutes into the start of the game for what would be the eventual game-winning goal.
Hickel’s line mate and fellow senior forward Meghan Huertas would not only earn an assist on the game-winning goal, but also add a second and final goal on the empty net with less than a minute left in the final period. The Bulldogs ended the night with a 2-0 win and a much better feeling about the upcoming games.
“Saturday we hit the reset button,” Stauber said. “We were mentally and physically focused to get the job done. We stuck to our game plan a lot better and were able to execute, which was great to see.”
Next up for UMD are the Ohio State Buckeyes. The two teams have become well acquainted with one another after facing off in three consecutive first round playoff series. The Buckeyes are 1-4-1 in their last six games, and the Bulldogs will look to add a few more losses to that record before the weekend is up.
BY NICOLE BRODZIK Sports Editor