Shannon Miller specifically focused her team last week on playing solid defensive hockey. Two shutouts later against the nation's fourth ranked team, it appears Miller's squad took the message to heart.
The University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team kept the University of Wisconsin off the score sheet for a second game Sunday, stymying the Badgers 1-0 at AMOSIL Arena for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association sweep. With the sweep, the Bulldogs improve to 2-2 overall and in the WCHA, and more importantly gain some all important confidence.
"We don't have a deep roster right now because of injuries and we were not able to practice together as a team," said Miller, who is now collectively 29-26-10 all-time against Wisconsin in 65 meetings. "We did pieces of the defensive side of the game and that was our entire focus, was really solid defensive hockey and then the offense will take care of itself and that rang true actually for both games. We were just really good defensively and Kayla Black did a good job in net and the offense came."
The lone score of the game came 18:12 in the first period, a shot from the left point by Jessica Wong that hurdled traffic and beat Badger netminder Alex Rigsby. Wong's second goal of the season was assisted by sophomore winger Jenna McParland, who finished the weekend with two points after scoring on a breakaway in Saturday's triumph.
Black was again stoic in between the pipes, turning away 25 shots for a grand total of 56 on the weekend. UMD held Wisconsin scoreless on the power-play in three attempts, boosting the penalty kill units success to a perfect 8-of-8 in the series. Wisconsin falls to 3-2-1 overall and 1-2-1 in the WCHA, and was outshot by UMD 28-25.
"Overall as a team we stuck to the game plan," said senior captain Wong after the game. "Coach set out a fairly easy game plan for us and we did what she told us to and that's what we have to keep doing. We played together. We have a good team."
The Bulldogs - who earned their first regular season sweep over the Badgers since Jan. 16-17, 2010 -- will take their show on the road next weekend when they travel to Mankato, Minn. to face Minnesota State University, Mankato. Game time for Friday's contest is set for 7:00 pm, while Saturday's skate will get underway at 3:00 pm.