A tough weekend to open the season could have affected the University of Minnesota Duluth any number of ways heading into this weekend's Western Collegiate Hockey Association series with the University of Wisconsin. The Bulldogs chose to put the past in the rear-view mirror, notching their first win of the season with a 2-0 victory over the Badgers Saturday afternoon at AMSOIL Arena.
UMD (1-2 overall and 1-0 in the WCHA) struck first less than 100 seconds into regulation on an unassisted tally by Brienna Gillanders. That's all the offense the Bulldogs would need, as freshman netminder Kayla Black kept the Badgers off the board, making 30 saves en route to the shutout victory -- the first of her career. The Blyth, Ontario native frustrated the visitors from start to finish and was the key in preventing Wisconsin from scoring on the power play (the Badgers went 0-for-6 with the player advantage). Wisconsin (3-1-1; 1-1-1) had a four-game unbeaten streak snapped in the loss, its first of the season.
Sophomore forward Jenna McParland posted an insurance marker in the third period, scoring her first goal of the season on a breakaway. McParland took a loose puck at neutral ice and turned on the jets, forcing a backhand on net as she was hauled down. The puck slipped over the shoulder of Wisconsin goaltender Alex Rigsby, allowing UMD to comfortably fight off a late charge by the Badgers.
The two teams will wrap up their two-game set Sunday afternoon at AMSOIL Arena, with the opening faceoff scheduled for 3:07 p.m.