There doesn't seem to be a shortage of penalties when the University of Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State University collide in women's hockey, but the Bulldogs didn't have a shortage of goals Friday night either.
UMD earned a 5-1 triumph against the Huskies at AMSOIL Arena, improving to 7-7-1 overall and 4-6-1 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
"We didn't have a rhythm in the first period, but we just kept staying positive," said head coach Shannon Miller. "When we finally got off our penalty kill, finally got back to five-on-five, we found our rhythm."
UMD took the lead late in the first period at 16:27 on a power-play tally by rookie forward Jenna McParland. McParland spun to her right and away from the boards and a St. Cloud defender on the left side and drove the net, beating Huskey goaltender Tayler VanDennakker through the five-hole.
The Bulldogs' luck changed dramatically, however, with just 1:25 remaining in the first period. Defenseman Tea Villila was called for checking from behind and game misconduct penalty, leading to her ejection from the contest and a five-minute power-play for SCSU to start the second period.
The Huskies equalized just 2:09 into the second period, taking advantage of UMD's five-minute major when Cari Coen scored in the slot. The Bulldogs then killed off eight minutes of penalties in the first ten minutes of the period, punctuating the accomplishment by taking back the lead. Rookie blueliner Bridgette Lacquette walked in from the right circle and used the crossbar to put the Bulldogs up 2-1 at 10:50. UMD had a goaled called off with 2:25 remaining in the period due to goaltender interference, but responded 1:35 later with a power-play goal by Vanessa Thibault at 18:30. The play started from a point pass from Haley Irwin, who slid the puck over to Jessica Wong on the left side. Wong then passed across the slot to Thibault on the right doorstep, and UMD got a little breathing room into the second intermission with a 3-1 advantage.
The third period showcased more Bulldog offense and more of McParland, as the rookie forward's speedy skate down the slot resulted in her second goal of the game on a pass from Irwin at 11:02. Shara Jasper, who moved back to defense in Villila's absence, iced the game 2:06 later on a shot from the top of two circles that hit the crossbar on in to give the rookie the first goal of her career.
Bulldog senior netminder Jennifer Harss made 19 saves in 56:02 of action, and Lana Steck made a save for UMD in 3:58 between the pipes. UMD - tagged with 10 penalties for 31 minutes worth of infractions - went 2-of-6 on its power-play and held St. Cloud to one goal in seven extra skater attempts. The Bulldogs outshot the Huskies 31-21 in the game - including 11-2 in the third period.
Both teams will hit the ice again tomorrow night at AMSOIL for a 7:07 p.m. start. UMD will wear special edition pink jerseys in honor of the fight against breast cancer. The jerseys will be auctioned off after the game, with all proceeds going to Essentia Health's Breast Cancer Fund.
BULLDOG NOTES: Three UMD players had three points in Friday night's game, including Jenna McParland (2-1=3), Haley Irwin (three assists) and Audrey Cournoyer (three assists)...Irwin has now scored at least a point in her last five skates.