For a building that has been a part of Division I women's hockey history unlike any other in the country, it was perhaps not the farewell the No. 4 University of Minnesota Duluth had wanted for the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.
The No. 8 University of North Dakota upset the Bulldogs in their last game at the DECC Saturday night 4-3 with a late scoring rally, although the loss does not dent the historic significance of the building UMD was a dominating 159-34-15 in over 12 dominant seasons. With the setback, the Bulldogs fall to 12-5-1 and 10-5-1 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
The Sioux snuck on the board first -- despite being outshot 11-2 -- on a wrist-shot from the right circle courtesy of Jocelyne Lamoureux at 7:22. North Dakota's lead was intact for just over 10 minutes before the Bulldogs offense flexed its muscle in record-breaking fashion.
UMD stunned the Sioux with three goals in a Bulldog program record 21 seconds, and Katie Wilson started the streak at 17:02 by following up her own near post shot to get UMD the 1-1 equalizer. A mere seven seconds later - just a second short of tying the UMD record for quickest back-to-back goals - Jessica Wong and the Bulldogs struck again. Off a Gina Dodge face-off win, Wong, from just inside the Sioux blueline, beat North Dakota netminder Stephanie Ney over the shoulder to give UMD a 2-1 lead at 17:09. Pernilla Winberg followed in Wong's footsteps 14 seconds later, redirecting an Elin Holmlov feed top-shelf to put the Bulldogs on top in a sudden 3-1 flurry. Winberg's goal came at 17:23, just 21 seconds after Wilson had ignited the offensive outburst.
The Sioux cut UMD's lead to a single goal when Lamoureux netted the lone goal by either team in the second period at 16:15, and just 6:16 into the third period of play, Sara Dagenais followed up Larmoureux's initial shot to bring North Dakota even with the Bulldogs at 3-3.
North Dakota went ahead for good at the 13:55 mark when Mary Loken's shot painfully trickled through Kim Martin's five-hole for the game-winner. Despite outshooting the Sioux 44-27, the Bulldogs ended up splitting both series with North Dakota on the season.
Martin made 23 saves for UMD, while Ney stopped 41 for the Sioux, who improve to 9-7-2 overall and 8-6-2 in the WCHA.
The Bulldogs will enjoy a holiday break for the next few weeks before returning to competition in 2011 with the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis on Jan. 14-15.