DULUTH, Minn. - For a second-straight game, the University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team unloaded its offense on Ohio State University.
In fact, the Bulldogs throttled the No. 5 Buckeyes 6-3 at AMSOIL Arena in front of over 1,735 fans, just one day after it buried OSU 5-2. The series sweep also readjusted the allignment of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, where UMD now sits with 25 points -- two points shy of the Buckeyes, currently in third place.
"Today's win was huge," said UMD head coach Maura Crowell, just six days removed from guiding the U-18 USA squad to a World Championship silver medal. "It's great to get a sweep against a very good team and I loved the way our team played, stuck together and really finished the game off strong."
Just as the sophomore forward did Friday night, Naomi Rogge jump started UMD's scoring in the first period. Rogge corralled a wide shot from Sydney Brodt behind the net and threw it towards the crease where it redirected off a OSU player and in at 9:08. Brodt followed with a goal of her own 1:15 later, burying a drop pass from Ashton Bell in the slot one-time to push the Bulldogs into a 2-0 lead. Sophie Jaques capitalized on a power play for OSU at the 18:11 mark, and after the first frame, UMD took a 2-1 advantage into the locker room.
The Buckeyes fought back in the second period and peppered UMD with 22-8 shots on goal push. But it was Anna Klein that put UMD ahead by another goal at 9:21 of the second period. Klein's hustle to get to a puck in the Buckeye defensive zone was met with hostile contact, and after initially losing the puck, Klein found herself all alone in front of the OSU net. Gabbie Hughes followed and drove to the left side of the net before spotting a wide open Klein by the doorstep for the duo's second goal combination in the series.
After OSU had again drawn within a single goal at 3-2 on a rebound goal from Paetyn Levis at 17:17 of the second, Hughes single-handedly put the Bulldogs back up by two goals just 2:53 into the final stanza. Hughes drove into the Buckeye zone and ripped a shot under the left arm of Lynsey Wallace to put UMD in front 4-2.
The Buckeyes had one final break when a shot that wasn't ruled a goal during the run of play was minutes later determined to indeed give OSU its third goal at 8:16 of the period. But like the night before, UMD closed the door on any comeback, punishing OSU for an empty net at 18:34 when Brodt forced a steal and thread Rogge for the sophomore's fourth goal of the weekend. Brodt then punctuated the weekend with a power play goal of her own with just three seconds remaining in the game to extended UMD's lead to 6-3.
While the Bulldogs clearly had the offensive edge in the game, it also had the a goaltending. Maddie Rooney made 36 saves Saturday to bring her series save total to a whopping 75. OSU's Wallace had 30 saves for the Buckeyes, who outshot UMD 39-36 and fall to 15-9-0 overall and 9-7-0 in league play.
The Bulldogs (10-10-2, 7-7-2-2) will play in their first back-to-back home series since the first weekend in October when it hosts Quinnipiac next Friday and Saturday afternoon at 3:07 p.m.
BULLDOG NOTES: For just the second time this season, the Bulldogs netted six goals in a game ... UMD outscored OSU 11-5 on the weekend, the most goals UMD has scored in a series since it put up 11 on St. Cloud State Feb. 23-24, 2017 ... Both Sydney Brodt and Naomi Rogge had four points (2g, 2a) in the game, and along with Rogge's four point (2g, 2a) performance Friday night, marks team-high point outputs on the season ... With the wins, UMD is now 4-8-1 against top-10 teams.