For two teams with no shared history between them, the University of Minnesota Duluth and Boston University looked like storied rivals on the ice Saturday afternoon at AMSOIL Arena.
In the end, the Bulldogs and No. 7 Terriers played to a 2-2 overtime draw in front of 2,005 UMD fans, but the game was all Bulldogs from the very first puck drop.
AMSOIL Fans had not seen UMD play in over three weeks, and there was little doubt that UMD had improved greatly over that time. The Bulldogs dominated the first period, but it was BU that scored the first goal at the 10:56 mark to give the Terriers the 1-0 lead.
That score would hold for the rest of the first period and all of the second, with UMD having outshot BU 21-15 after the first 40 minutes of play and killed off 17 minutes worth of penalties, including a five-minute major against the Bulldogs with 5:50 remaining in the second stanza.
UMD's luck finally caught up with its effort when sophomore blueliner Brigette Lacquette drilled the puck towards the net, shooting for a tip, only to send it off a BU skate and past Terrier goaltender Kerrin Sperry 3:24 into the first period.
"I thought (Katie) Wilson tipped it for sure," said Lacquette. "I was shooting for a tip and it went in."
The Bulldogs then took the lead for the first time in the game with 3:40 left in regulation on a goal from red-hot sophomore winger Zoe Hickel, her eighth tally of the season, finishing off a brilliant pass across the lane from Lacquette.
"I saw Zoe come off the bench and I think we hit the blueline at the same time," said Lacquette. "I just looked because the girl committed towards me and passed it to her, hoping for the best."
The best was a 2-1 lead that was quickly challenged when BU scored with 2:35 remaining in the game. But the goal was immediately called off, and after further video review, it was confirmed the BU player used a high stick to hit the puck past UMD netminder Kayla Black.
Less than 30 seconds later, however, the Terriers did knot the game at 2-2 with a goal from Kathryn Miller, and despite a five minute overtime, the game wrapped up with the 2-2 draw.
"It may look like our team has nothing to lose right now but really we expect a lot more from ourselves and this is an opportunity for us to get a ranked team, especially from back east," said Hickel. "We are actually pretty disappointed with a tie because we gave up the lead and we are excited for tomorrow. It's going to be a battle."
Black made 21 saves for the Bulldogs, while Sperry made 28. UMD went 0-of-4 on the power play but held the Terriers scoreless in two attempts, including a five minute major. The Bulldogs outshot BU in every period, including holding the Terriers to a mere three shots over the final period until there was less than four minutes remaining. UMD's overall shot advantage was 30-23.
The Bulldogs (7-8-2 overall) and Terriers (11-3-2 overall) will hit the ice tomorrow for a rematch with the game slated for a 3:07 p.m. and expected to go on despite the current forecast for snow.
BULLDOG NOTES: Zoe Hickel's scoring streak is now at seven games, with five goals and four assists over those seven skates...With an assist on Hickel's goal, Katie Wilson is now at 96 career points (36g, 60 assists), four shy of the 100-point club...UMD is now 17-4-1 against Hockey East foes and has gone 1-1-1 during the current season against the WHEA.