The University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team is on a roll.
The Bulldogs extended their seven-game unbeaten streak with a 3-0 win over Bemidji State University Friday night at AMSOIL Arena and improved to 10-8-3 overall and 9-7-1 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. UMD is now just three points behind current third place team Ohio State and trails second place Wisconsin by six.
Brienna Gillanders netted UMD's lone goal of the first period just 5:01 into play. Rookie Aleksandra Vafina found Gillanders in the slot, and the junior forward beat BSU netminder Abby Ryplanski with a one-time shot for her fourth goal of the season.
At almost the identical swath of time in the second period, Jamie Kenyon cashed in her fifth goal in three games, carrying the puck behind the net and backhanding it in between Ryplanski and the pipe at 4:52 for the power play tally. Senior winger Pernilla Winberg tacked on a third Bulldog goal at the 14:01 mark, another one-time snipe from the back-post on a pass from sophomore forward Zoe Hickel. Senior center Katie Wilson grabbed an assist by first passing it to Hickel and the helper gave her the 100th point of her career, the 18th player in Bulldog history to accomplish the heralded feat. Wilson's 63rd career assist makes her the fourth player on the current squad to reach the point plateau.
"I think it's a big accomplishment and it's kind of cool to do it at home," said Wilson after the game about her career milestone. "I think as a team people are starting to click with their lines as the season goes on, but definitely coming into the second half here we are playing better."
Eight different players landed on the scoresheet for the Bulldogs, including goaltender Kayla Black, who recorded her second straight game with an assist along with her fourth shutout of the season. Black made 17 saves in the contest and helped UMD kill all five of the Beavers power play attempts.
"It was a good game for our team, I felt we could have had several more goals," said head coach Shannon Miller, now just six wins away from her 350th UMD career win. "We also had a goal tonight to be 100% on our penalty kill, people were talking about it on the bench and committed to it and blocking shots, so that was big. You celebrate the small successes and all of it was key."
The Bulldogs return to the ice tomorrow night to finish their regular season match-up with BSU at AMSOIL. Game-time is set for 7:07 pm.
BULLDOG NOTES: Katie Wilson joined Jessica Wong, Pernilla Winberg and Audrey Cournoyer as current Bulldog seniors in the 100 point club...Wilson is also one of four UMD players who has picked up a point in her last three games...Wilson has two goals and two assists in those last three skates, while Jamie Kenyon has netted five goals, Zoe Hickel has had three assists and Winberg has scored three goals...Rookie forward Hannah Bramm did not dress due to injury.