The Bulldogs might be celebrating their senior class this weekend, but Friday night at AMSOIL Arena Pernilla Winberg sure was the one doing the celebrating.
Winberg netted a natural hat-trick in the first period of play en route to scoring four goals on the evening to help lead the No. 6 University of Minnesota Duluth over St. Cloud State University 8-0. It was seventh-straight win for the Bulldogs, and increases their current unbeaten streak to eight games strong. UMD is now 19-7-3 overall and 17-7-3 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
UMD got on the board at 10:45 of the first stanza and never looked back, as Winberg's first tally beat SCSU goaltender Ashley Nixon through the five-hole. A drop pass from Jessica Wong paved the way for Winberg's second score with three minutes remaining in the period, doubling the Bulldogs' advantage, and Winberg batted in the puck through traffic 1:51 later to give UMD the 3-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Winberg began the second period where she left off in the first by finishing a give-and-go from Brienna Gillanders at the 4:15 mark. Her fourth goal of the game - a career-high -- also marked the first time a Bulldog player had scored four goals in a game since Emmanuelle Blais completed the feat on Feb. 26, 2010 against North Dakota. Junior forward Haley Irwin tacked on a goal 17:16 into the second stanza to extend UMD's stronghold on the scoreboard to 5-0 -- her first action in a game since Jan. 22 against Wisconsin.
The Bulldogs scored three goals in the first two minutes of the third period - three goals over just 1:05 to be exact - courtesy of Tara Gray, Elin Holmlov and Kacy Ambroz to stretch UMD's offensive evening to its eventual final score of 8-0. Besides the Bulldogs' avachlance of goals, UMD's defense held the Huskies to just one shot in the first period (a 23-1 advantage for the Maroon and Gold), and limited SCSU to 15 total shots on the night. Overall, UMD outshot the Huskies 52-15.
Sophomore goaltender Jennifer Harss picked up her seventh win of the season, turning away 10 shots in two periods of action. Junior Lana Steck played the entire third period, and made five saves for UMD.
Both teams will hit the ice tomorrow night at AMSOIL for the last regular season game of the 2010-11 season. Game-time is set for 7:07 p.m., with a special ceremony to honor UMD's five seniors - Kim Martin, Holmlov, Gray, Laura Fridfinnson and Jocelyne Larocque tomorrow following the game.
BULLDOG NOTES: Pernilla Winberg's four goals was the fifth time a UMD player has scored a hat-trick this season...Two of those five hat-tricks have come against the Huskies...Friday's final of 8-0 was the third time this season UMD has scored eight goals and earned a shutout...10 players picked up a point in the contest, including six that recorded two or more points.