It was game that featured an outpouring of offense, but unfortunately for the Bulldogs, it favored the University of Minnesota Friday night.
The third-ranked Gophers scored four goals in the first period en route to a 5-2 win over the No. 4 University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team. In all, six of the seven goals scored on the night between the two squads were netted in the opening 20 minutes of play.
"It was a faster game this week than last week, and last week was fast, and it makes it fun," said UMD head coach Maura Crowell. "I think they are a very fast team, and I think we can skate with them, we just have to play a little quicker and adjust a few things for tomorrow."
UMD solved Minnesota early, and took the game's first lead just 1:07 into the skate. Gabbie Hughes scored the first goal of her Bulldog career after picking up a pass from junior Sydney Brodt off the boards. Hughes created a lane to the goal and tucked it past Gopher netminder Alex Guistene for the 1-0 lead.
Minnesota answered, however, in the form of three goals in less than four minutes. Gracie Zumwinkle started the Gopher rally at 3:54, and a Gopher goal by Catie Skaja was bookended by a power play goal from Taylor Wente at 7:19. After Minnesota had built a 3-1 lead, Wente scored again at the 14:13 mark to push the Gophers out in front 4-1.
Bulldog freshman Taylor Anderson cut into Minnesota's advantage with 3:38 remaining in the opening period with a wrist shot from the circle for her first collegiate goal, and after 20 minutes of fast and furious action, UMD trailed Minnesota 4-2 into the first intermission.
That score would stand until Minnesota tacked on another tally 8:42 into the third period. In all, Minnesota outshot UMD 46-23, and went 1-for-2 on its power play. The Bulldogs were scoreless in two power play attempts, but had 41 saves from junior goaltender Maddie Rooney, who made 27 of 28 shots faced in the final 40 minutes.
The Bulldogs (2-1) and Gophers (3-0) will finish up their series Saturday afternoon at AMSOIL. Game-time is set for 3:07 p.m.
BULLDOG NOTES: Four of the five UMD players to register a point Friday night were freshmen ... the Bulldogs were without junior defenseman Jalyn Elmes and senior forward Emma Yanko.