That's certainly one way to jump start a season.
The No. 9 University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team knocked off No. 4 Boston College 4-2 Friday night at AMSOIL Arena in the first action for both teams of the 2018-19 season. The Bulldogs had four different players register two points, including junior forward Ryleigh Houston, who netted UMD's first two goals. Freshman defenseman Lizi Norton and junior forward Sydney Brodt added a goal and an assist, and Kailee Skinner recorded two assists in first official Bulldog skate.
"Very proud of the way we played, of the way we came out," said head coach Maura Crowell. "I think our team in general likes to play the best teams, I think it brings the best out of us and I think that's what we saw today."
Houston's first goal was a one-time shot that finished off a cross ice pass from Gabbie Hughes 6:46 into the first period. After Daryl Watts equalized for BC with a shorthanded goal at 15:22, the Golden Eagles took a 2-1 lead 2:09 into the second period. The Bulldogs drew even with BC at 16:31 when Houston shoveled in her second goal of the night, and after 40 minutes of action, UMD and BC headed into the final 20 minutes deadlocked at 2-2.
The Bulldogs unlocked that tie early in the third period when junior forward Sydney Brodt buried a breakaway on her backhand just 3:35 into the frame. Brodt's goal was assisted by sophomore Naomi Rogge, who sprung Brodt free with a pass to Brodt from blueline to blueline, and by Norton, the first point of her young UMD career.
Norton then followed up her first collegiate point with her first Bulldog goal, a 5-on-3 power play shot from the extended goal line that deflected off a BC defenseman and into the goal at the 9:09 of the third period. In all, UMD was 1-of-3 with an extra skater and held BC scoreless in two power play attempts.
The Bulldogs outshot BC 35-27, and had 25 saves from junior goaltender Maddie Rooney. Golden Eagle netminder Maddy McArthur had 31 saves in the contest.
The series sequel will get underway tomorrow afternoon at AMSOIL at 4:00 p.m. The game will also double as Military Appreciation Day, and the Bulldogs will wear special camouflage jerseys that will be auctioned off during the game.
BULLDOG NOTES: The win gives the Bulldogs a slight edge in the all-time UMD-BC rivalry at 7-6-1, and improves UMD's record over Hockey East opponents to 33-14-5 all-time.
--Friday's win was the first over a ranked team since the Bulldogs swept then No. 5 Ohio State University on Jan. 26-27.