GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The University of North Dakota women's hockey team took the first game of the weekend series against St. Cloud State with a 4-0 win on Friday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Making her eighth start in net, freshman netminder Lexie Shaw stopped 16 shots for her first career shutout. She made nearly half of her saves, seven, in the third period alone and totaled four saves while shorthanded.
"She's been playing really well and continues to do so," head coach Brian Idalski commented on Shaw's performance. "I'm excited for her, earning her first career shutout.
"I thought we did what we needed to do to win a hockey game, these are big points in the league and the national picture."
North Dakota improves to 14-5-2 (11-4-2-1 WCHA) and remains in third place in the WCHA standings with 36 points. St. Cloud is now 4-18-3 (3-14-2-1 WCHA) and remains tied for sixth in the WCHA standings with 12 points.
After not scoring a power-play goal since Dec. 13, the UND special teams led the way on offense. North Dakota tallied two power-play goals, while Andrea Dalen scored shorthanded for a total of three special-teams goals on the night.
"We got a lot of opportunities on the power play and I think that (the third power-play unit) did a really good job, Layla had a snipe there," Andrea Dalen commented. "On the PK, we pressured a lot and we did what we've been doing in practice, and that has helped a lot."
After a back-and-forth start to the game, UND settled in and started to take control of things halfway through the first period. Despite having a clear advantage in shots, UND wouldn't find the back of the net until the final seconds of the period.
Josefine Jakobsen opened the scoring with just eight seconds remaining in the first, beating SCSU goaltender Julie Friend five-hole with a shot from the left circle on the power play.
The goal gave UND some momentum heading into the second period, when it capitalized on more chances to open up a multi-goal lead.
It took less than two minutes into the second period for defenseman Gracen Hirschy to find the back of the net to put North Dakota up 2-0. While on a two-on-one, Hirschy cut across the front of the net and beat Friend to the far post for her sixth goal of the season.
Later in the period, Dalen scored shorthanded to give UND a three-goal lead. She toe-dragged around a defender while on a rush and fired a shot that beat Friend over her glove.
North Dakota carried the three-goal lead into the final period of play. Layla Marvin would score UND's final goal on the power play with 7:31 remaining in the game. Marvin took a one timer from the left circle that powered through Friend's glove and trickled into the back of the net.
St. Cloud State gained some energy with a late power-play opportunity, but UND brushed off the late rally attempt to hold onto the shutout for Shaw.
The two teams will close out the series tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. CST.