It's no easy feat to sweep a ranked college hockey team, let alone No. 4 Boston College, but the Bulldogs just did exactly that.
The No. 9 University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team wrapped up its series with the Golden Eagles Saturday at AMSOIL Arena, looking every bit like a team twice its age in its 2-1 defeat of BC. With the win, UMD picks up the sweep in its first series of the year, and sends the Golden Eagles -- a squad that made an NCAA Regional run just last March, back to Chestnut Hill, Mass. winless.
"We put together a great weekend for ourselves, and yesterday was a different game than today, which often happens with the back-to-back games," said head coach Maura Crowell. "Today was more defensive, tighter, less goal scoring, but I love the way that we finished it out. There were momentum swings throughout the game, but when we needed to make big plays we did."
Junior forward Ryleigh Houston, fresh off a two-goal Friday night, put the Bulldogs up 1-0 at 3:33 of the first period. Freshman Maggie Flaherty knocked the puck down for Houston, who skated in alone for the game's first score. Flaherty doubled UMD's lead at 16:21 with a power play shot from the lower right circle that beat BC goaltender Maddy McArthur up high for the first tally of her collegiate career.
BC finally cut the Bulldogs lead in half at 2-1 on a power play goal from Savannah Norcross at 16:29 of the second period, but the Golden Eagles would get no closer.
The Golden Eagles had a slight 27-23 shot advantage in the contest, including a 11-5 lead in the second period, but UMD had junior goaltender Maddie Rooney, who stopped 25-of-26 shots she faced in the skate. McArthur made 21 saves for BC, which starts the season 0-2.
The Bulldogs, who are certain to climb the national rankings in the following days, will host the No. 3 University of Minnesota next weekend at AMSOIL in Western Collegiate Hockey Association action. Game time Friday is set for 7:07 p.m., while the puck will drop Saturday afternoon at 3:07 p.m.
BULLDOG NOTES: UMD starts the season 2-0 for the 12th time in its 20 season history ... Ryleigh Houston's goal output on the weekend (three) matches her total goal output from her entire sophomore season ... the Bulldogs are now 8-6-1 all-time against Boston College, and 34-14-5 against Hockey East opponents ... five freshmen figured in at least one goal in the series, with Kailee Skinner leading all rookies with three assists.