Senior forward Michelle Karvinen scores two goals for North Dakota

Senior forward Michelle Karvinen scores two goals for North Dakota

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The University of North Dakota women's hockey team completed a weekend, and regular-season, sweep of St. Cloud State with a 3-1 victory on Saturday afternoon at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

"I thought there were some positives and I thought there were some things that we could have done better, but to get a sweep in the WCHA is a solid weekend," head coach Brian Idalski said.

North Dakota improves to 15-5-2 (12-4-2-1 WCHA) and remains in third place in the WCHA with 39 points. St. Cloud is now 4-19-3 (3-15-2-1 WCHA) and remains tied for sixth place in the WCHA with 12 points.

Senior forward Michelle Karvinen had two goals and freshman Amy Menke had two assists to help lift UND to the win.

The first period ended in a scoreless tie with neither team establishing much control, though UND had some good chances, highlighted by a Kayla Gardner breakaway opportunity.

St. Cloud would strike first when Hannah Brodt beat North Dakota goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie midway through the second period, chipping in a loose puck in the slot; but North Dakota responded with less than three minutes remaining in the period.

As UND gained the zone, Menke connected on a centering pass with Karvinen, who put it past SCSU goaltender Julie Friend's five hole for her 12th goal of the season.

"We didn't panic and that's important," Karvinen said of the team's comeback. "It wasn't the way we wanted it to go, but we got together in the locker room after the second period and got it together. I think we came out in the third period and played like we should have had the whole game."

Just over a minute into the third period, Karvinen would score again. She gathered a loose puck in front of the crease and beat Friend to the far post to put North Dakota up 2-1.

With the lead, UND started to generate more chances in the final period. UND shook off some late pressure when St. Cloud opted for an extra attacker with an empty net. Josefine Jakobsen then sealed the win by scoring in the empty net with 14.6 seconds left.

Amsley-Benzie made 20 saves in the victory, while Friend finished with 32 saves. Amsley-Benzie was also instrumental in the North Dakota penalty kill, which successfully kept the Huskies from scoring on six opportunities. She made nine of her 20 saves while shorthanded.

North Dakota returns to the ice next week, hosting Bemidji State, Jan. 14-15, at 7:07 p.m. both nights.