No. 2 UMD Sweeps North Dakota Extend Unbeaten Streak to 8
It was another successful weekend for the No. 2 University of Minnesota Duluth Women’s hockey team as they took down North Dakota 2-0 and 2-1 at AMSOIL Arena, improving their record to 20-4-4 on the season.
UMD opened the scoring on Friday with a sneaky play, right as a penalty to Jessica Healey expired. Healey skated right to the bench after her penalty, and on came senior winger Lara Stalder. Fellow teammate Michelle Lowenhielm found Stalder off the bench with a great outlet pass, and Stalder skated in all alone on North Dakota goaltender Lexie Shaw. Stalder made a beautiful backhand shot over the shoulder of Shaw, and just like that it was 1-0 after the first period.
UMD utterly dominated the second period, but was unable to get a goal across despite outshooting North Dakota 14-4.
The Bulldogs stuck to their game plan and continued to press North Dakota in the third period. A couple of undisciplined penalties by North Dakota found UMD on a 5 on 3 powerplay. This time, they were able to capitalize. Senior defensemen Sidney Morin fired home a shot short side from the left faceoff dot, which clinched the win for UMD.
Sophomore goaltender Maddie Rooney made 24 saves and picked up her second straight shutout good for her fifth of the season.
“We know that we have Rooney back there, so we’re pretty confident in her,” Morin said. “If we can keep people to the outside and get sticks in the way, we know she is going to make the first save. Then it’s our job to take care of those rebounds and make sure she doesn’t have to make two Grade-A saves in a row.”
Saturday’s game yielded similar results as the Bulldog’s suffocating defense shut down the Fighting Hawks. Completing a weekend sweep of a team is never easy, but UMD got it done once again.
"Saturdays are tough, but we figured it out," said UMD head coach Maura Crowell. "Our games lately have been tight, especially in the third period. We figure out ways to win, we play smart and we are drawing other teams into penalties at bad times for them. So I think it's very impressive how far we've come."
Freshman forward Sydney Brodt made a nifty play in the slot receiving a pass by going skate to stick and firing home the game's first goal 3:46 into the contest.
The game remained 1-0 until Marissa Salo of North Dakota scored early in the third period to tie the game. Clearly that didn’t rattle UMD, because just 70 seconds later, Lara Stalder capped off a 3 on 2 by burying her 2nd goal of the weekend, her team leading 19th goal of the season to take the lead right back.
“It’s nice to get the go ahead goal, especially right after (North Dakota) scored.” Stalder said. “We had a good odd man rush. I had the puck and didn’t even see it go in. I just saw the light go off.”
Next weekend will be a tough test as UMD heads to Madison to take on the No. 1 ranked Wisconsin Badgers. UMD split their series with Wisconsin back in mid November at AMSOIL Arena.
Picture courtesy of Dave Harwig