Freshman defenseman Milica McMillen registers goal and assist for Gophers

Sophomore Rachael Bona scored a goal for the Gophers

GRAND FORKS, N.D. --- The University of North Dakota women's hockey team held tight with the WCHA leading University of Minnesota team in Saturday's matchup, but Minnesota's third period spark prevailed as they defeated UND by a score of 5-1.

UND falls to 4-3-0 on the season and in WCHA play, while Minnesota remains undefeated with a 9-0-0 record.

Play during the first period went back and forth. North Dakota held the edge in shots on goal with ten to Minnesota's five. However, with North Dakota just missing prime opportunities, and Minnesota's goaltender, Noora Raty, making key saves, the teams would enter the first intermission scoreless.

Goalless play didn't remain long, as North Dakota scored its lone goal of the game just 18 seconds into the second period. Defenseman, Tori Willaims (The Pas, Manitoba), found the upper shelf on a shot from just inside the blue line to tally her first goal of the season. Mary Loken (Roseau, Minn.) and Andrea Dalen (Honefoss, Norway) were credited with assists on the goal, putting UND up 1-0.

Minnesota quickly responded with a nearly identical goal from Megan Bozek 57 seconds into the second period. Milica McMillen and Maryanne Menefee each tallied an assist on the game-tying goal. The 1-1 score would carry into the second intermission.

Minnesota ignited late in the third period to score four goals and leave North Dakota goalless. UM's first goal came at the 12:30 mark, as Rachael Bona found the net off of a rebound. Hannah Brandt was credited with an assist on the go-ahead goal.

In the 16th minute of the third period, McMillen gave the Gophers a 3-1 lead as she scored on a slapshot from the blue line. Becky Kortum received an assist on the goal.

Nearly a minute and a half later, at the 16:55 mark, Baylee Gillanders tallied her first goal of the season to put Minnesota up 4-1. The assist was given to Bethany Brausen on the play.

With one second remaining in the game, Brandt scored an unassisted empty net goal, sealing Minnesota's victory with a score of 5-1.

Minnesota finished the game with 28 shots on goal, while UND compiled 22. North Dakota had four minor penalties to Minnesota's three.

UND goalkeeper Jorid Dagfinrud (Sarpsborg, Norway) made 23 saves in the losing effort, bringing her record to 3-1-0 on the season.

UND will finish off the home series against Minnesota tomorrow afternoon with a start time of 2:07 p.m.