UMD WOMEN’S HOCKEY-Bulldogs score a sweet 16 in Mankato

There are some things you rarely see in a college hockey game. A final score of 12-0 is one of them, but it’s a feat the Bulldogs pulled off on Friday night against Minnesota State Mankato. It took UMD nearly 10 minutes to get on the scoreboard as forward Michela Cava put one past the Mavericks starting netminder Erin Krichiver for a 1-0 lead. And it would be all Bulldogs from there on out. Brigette Lacquette would score her first of three power-play tallies with 1:40 left in the starting frame before her team opened up two consecutive five-goal periods on the Mavericks in the second and third.

“Our whole team was pretty pumped,” Captain Zoe Hickel said. “There’s always been some bad blood between us so we got excited for that. We had a lot of kids who didn’t get to play too much or on the penalty and power play that got different opportunities so it’s just really good for the whole team when something like that happens.”

The Bulldogs lodged 56 shots on net Friday, and while UMD’s Kayla Black didn’t see nearly that many, she stopped all six shots she saw. The Bulldogs put in backup netminder Karissa Grapp for the third period. Grapp stopped the three shot attempts the Mavericks had in that time. Though she would not see any ice time, Bulldogs also added a third goaltender, officially welcoming Finland native Evelina Suonpää to the fold on Friday.

With that win, the Bulldogs were riding a four-game winning streak as they went into Saturday’s second matchup with Minnesota State.

While the 12-goal lead served as a morale boost for the team, Hickel also said getting intensity back after a win like that is a difficult thing to do.

“They put up a fight right from the start,” Hickel said. “It takes so much mental toughness to bring intensity into a game after you just won 12-0. It takes a special kind of athlete to do that. It was a hectic first period and they found a way to scramble our game.”

After a first period pep talk, the Bulldogs came out strong in the first shift of the second period as Lara Stalder scored an unassisted short-handed goal only seven seconds into the frame. UMD scored three more unanswered goals and finished up the weekend series with a 4-0 win over the Mavericks.

The game would end without a Maverick goal as Bulldog goaltender Kayla Black would record her eighth shutout of the season, securing a spot in the UMD record books for most shutouts in a single season. She made 25 saves in the outing, allowing zero goals for the second straight game.

“Kayla’s doing well,” Hickel said. “She’ll be tested the next few weeks but she’s doing well against the teams we’ve been playing. She’s playing consistently and it gives confidence to the team when she’s playing like this. It’s always good to know you can rely on the players on the back end.”

In total, the Bulldogs recorded 16 goals, 93 shots, six power-play tallies and a short-handed goal all while keeping the Mavericks 34 shots from getting through.

The Bulldogs now move on to play the University of North Dakota this weekend, a team right behind them in the WCHA standings.