STORRS, Conn. - Games on the road aren't suppose to be easy but the University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team found a way to keep an underdog University of Connecticut at bay Friday night.
The No. 5/6 Bulldogs picked up the 5-4 triumph over the Huskies in Storrs, Conn., the first time UMD has ever played in UConn's Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum in program history. With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 2-1-0 on the young season and remain undefeated all-time against the Huskies with a record of 3-0.
UMD took the early lead in the contest when junior Katie Wilson picked up the loose puck off a Emma Stauber rebound and buried it in the net just 3:53 into the action. UConn equalized at 16:13 on a power-play tally by Emily Snodgrass.
The Bulldogs regained the lead 8:31 into the second period on a goal by junior forward Vanessa Thibault. A mere 27 seconds later, UMD doubled the Huskies deficit with an unassisted score by junior Audrey Cournoyer, her third goal of the season. UConn managed to cut the lead to one when Rebecca Hewett beat Harss top shelf to bring the score to 3-2, 13:32 into the frame.
The teams appeared be ready to head to their locker rooms with a one-goal differential until UMD junior defenseman Jessica Wong got off back-to-back shots, the second of which crossed the goal line to give the Bulldogs a two-goal lead with less than six seconds to play in the period.
The Huskies trimmed UMD's lead to one on a goal by Alesandra Vakos 4:26 into the final period of play but senior forward Haley Irwin extended her scoring streak to eight games strong on the eventual game-winner at the 17:30 mark. UConn used an extra skater to net goal with 46 seconds remaining in the game but they would get no closer.
The Bulldogs outshot the Huskies 39-21 in the contest, including a 19-2 shooting rampage in the second period. Harss made 17 saves for the Bulldogs in her second win of the season, while her netminding counterpart Alexandra Garcia totaled 34 for 0-3-2 UConn.
Both teams will go at it again tomorrow afternoon with a 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time face-off.
BULLDOG NOTES: Neither Sophomores Jamie Kenyon or Noora Jaakkola skated in the contest for UMD...The Bulldogs are now 17-3 all-time against Hockey East opponents and 2-1 on the season...Haley Irwin has now scored in UMD's last eight games dating back to Feb. 18 of last season...In those skates she has compiled three goals and 12 assists for 15 points.