DULUTH, Minn. - Note to the national coaches polls: the University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team is making a mockery of the current top-10 rating.
The No. 2 University of Wisconsin snuck out of AMSOIL Arena with a 1-0 win over the Bulldogs Saturday night, but it was UMD that still exited the series with two points and the proof the Bulldogs can skate with any team in the NCAA right now. Playing without freshman winger Bailey Wright for a second consecutive night and Brienna Gillanders for an 11th straight game, UMD, who falls to 7-6-3 overall and 5-6-3 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, still pushed the game to the final whistle.
After two scoreless periods for a total of 42:12 minutes without a goal, Wisconsin broke the stalemate 2:12 into the final stanza. Karley Sylvester snipe over the shoulder of Kayla Black and into the top netting gave the Badgers the lone goal of the game and the 1-0 lead.
Despite outshooting Wisconsin 22-17 overall in the third period and 10-7 in shots on goal, the Bulldogs simply couldn't slip the puck by either Alex Rigsby or her substitute 32:09 into the game, Ann-Renee Desbiens. The Badgers had the slight edge in shots in the skate at 32-28, with Black turning in 31 saves for a total of 66 in the series.
"We played really well tonight and battled hard and I'm proud of the team," said head coach Shannon Miller after the game. "We had tons of great scoring chances and couldn't score and unfortunately it's been a theme for many games this year and it's a problem we have to solve."
UMD will host Team Russia for its last AMSOIL action of 2013 on Monday. The game is set to get underway at 6:07 p.m.