It appears pink looks pretty good on the Bulldogs after all.
Dressed in a special edition pink jersey from head to skate, the No. 8 University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team buried St. Cloud State University 10-2 Saturday night at AMSOIL Arena in a night dedicated to the fight against breast cancer. 11 Bulldogs got on the score sheet to help UMD improve to 8-7-1 overall and 5-6-1 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
"I thought tonight's game was exceptional for every single player," said head coach Shannon Miller, who is now 42-9-3 all-time against the Huskies. "We worked them very hard this week and the work we did paid off. What you saw tonight was the potential this team has."
The Bulldogs got off to quick start, scoring just 2:42 into the game. Jenna McParland and Haley Irwin took the puck from Jennifer Harss back in the UMD defensive zone and went the length of the ice, resulting in McParland's third goal of the series. Blueliner Jessica Wong put the Bulldogs up by two goals at 9:28, burying a wrist-shot from the point on the power-play for her seventh goal of the season. Junior forward Pernilla Winberg then walked in from the extended goal line to the left of St. Cloud goaltender Tayler VanDenakk to find a gap, giving UMD a 3-0 lead with 2:40 left in the opening stanza.
The offensive floodgates burst open for the Bulldogs in the second period as UMD compiled a staggering seven goals in just over 17 minutes of action. Audrey Counoyer finished a run by McParland just 20 seconds into the stanza, and the squad in pink steamrolled over the Huskies from there. Cournoyer netted two goals in the period, and McParland scored back-to-back goals less than two minutes apart a the 11:13 mark. When the ice had finally settled after the second period, UMD had six players with two or more points, and three with over four points apiece. McParland had netted her first collegiate hat-trick and Irwin, who scored a goal and added six assists, tied a UMD record for most assists in game - after just 40 minutes of action.
UMD shelled St. Cloud, outshooting the Huskies 43-17 and 32-8 through the first two periods. Goaltenders Jennifer Harss and Lana Steck split almost even time between the pipes, with Harss making five saves in 30:38 of action and Steck stopping 10 shots in 29:22.
UMD heads to Grand Forks next weekend to face the No. 5 University of North Dakota on Saturday and Sunday. The puck is scheduled to drop at 2:07 p.m. on both days.
BULLDOG NOTES: UMD's first line of Jenna McParland, Haley Irwin and Audrey Cournoyer picked up 16 points...Irwin's six assists top her previous career high of four helpers set back on Feb. 14, 2009 against Ohio State in Duluth...the weekend sweep was the first by the Bulldogs at home this season...Jennifer Harss' assist was the second of her career and first by a UMD goaltender since Kim Martin had one back on Feb. 11...the Bulldogs' 10 goals was the most since UMD netted 10 against Minnesota State at the DECC back on Nov. 24, 2007.