One thing is for sure about the 2010-2011 University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team: just because Bulldogs are down, doesn't mean they are necessarily out.
No. 5 UMD dug itself out of a two-goal first period deficit to defeat Minnesota State University 5-2, Saturday afternoon at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. The Bulldogs improve to 2-1-0 overall and 2-1-0 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, and are now 39-4-3 all-time against the Mavericks.
"We played embarrassingly bad in the first 20 minutes," said head coach Shannon Miller. "There was no jump, no effort and we found ourselves down 2-0. We were able to come back and we played very well in the second and third periods, and we had a glimpse of how good we can be when we work. I am proud of how strong we finished."
Sophomore goaltender Jennifer Harss got the initial nod to start in goal, but the Germany native didn't get much help in front of her. MSU scored on the power-play at 5:57 into the first period, and then netted a second goal at 9:19 to go up on the Bulldogs 2-0 to begin the opening stanza. Miller pulled Harss after the second tally for senior netminder Kim Martin, and the remaining 10 minutes of the first period were scoreless for both squads.
UMD came to life in the second period, and the Bulldogs offensive prowess flexed its scoring-muscle. Sophomore forward Jessica Wong picked up her second goal of the season on a power shot from the point just 50 seconds into play, and then Wong dished out an assist 2:11 later to Pernilla Winberg to even the score at 2-2. On the power-play at the 13:58 mark, senior forward Laura Fridfinnson tipped a shot from blueliner Tara Gray for her first tally of the season, and UMD took its first lead of the game at 3-2. Junior forward Haley Irwin doubled the Bulldogs lead at 19:04 by scoring through MSU's netminder Alli Altmann's five-hole, and after trailing by two goals after the first 20 minutes of the game, UMD was holding a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes of action.
Irwin and linemate Elin Holmov - who assisted on Irwin's first goal - connected for a shorthanded 2-vs-1 at 15:39, and the Bulldogs had completed not only their comeback, but had added an exclamation point in the process.
Martin turned away 13 shots in 50:41 of action, while Harss had four saves in 9:19. Altmann had 37 stops for the Mavericks, who fall to 1-1-1 overall and 0-1-0 in WCHA play.
Both teams will skate again tomorrow afternoon at the DECC to finish the league series. Game-time is set for 3:07 p.m.
BULLDOG NOTES: Four UMD players are currently on three-game scoring streaks - Haley Irwin (4g, 2a), Jessica Wong (2g, 3a), Jocelyne Larocque (1g, 3a) and Elin Holmlov (4a)...seven Bulldogs have notched two or more points through their first three games, including four who have tallied four or more...the win was No. 55 for Kim Martin on her march towards the career wins mark...head coach Shannon Miller is now just seven victories away from her 300th win.