DULUTH, Minn. - The University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team made it game Saturday afternoon at AMSOIL Arena, but the Bulldogs will need a little more if they face the second-ranked Badgers again in three weeks.
The No. 2 University of Wisconsin dealt UMD its first shutout of the season on Senior Day, sweeping the Bulldogs 3-0 to wrap-up UMD's last regular season series at home. The loss, coupled with a Bemidji State University series sweep, dropped the Bulldogs into fifth place heading into the last Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular season series of the year. UMD trails the Beavers -- now in fourth -- by a single point, and Ohio State University, currently in third place, by five points. Six points will be on the line for all three squads next weekend.
"Better game today, from start to finish, but to come away with zero goals today and one yesterday, that's not going to cut it against a great team like Wisconsin or against anyone," said head coach Maura Crowell. "Our offense needs to get going, we need to get more pucks to the net and a way to bury them. I thought Maddie (Rooney) played very, very well today and gave us every chance we needed and we couldn't find a way."
The Bulldogs came within an inch of finding a way midway through the first period. Naomi Rogge shoveled a shot that skidded underneath the crossbar long enough to light the lamp and force a video review. But in the end, the puck didn't cross the line, and despite outshooting the Badgers 6-1 in the first seven minutes of play, neither team had anything to show from the first 20 minutes.
Wisconsin scored its game-winning goal early in the second period on a third rebound attempt that was finally netted by Alexis Mauermann at the 2:06 mark. The Badgers doubled that lead at 14:47 on a high slot laser from Emily Clark -- her third of the series.
Just 22 seconds into the third period, Wisconsin tacked on an insurance goal from Sam Cogan, and over 60 minutes of action, outshot UMD 52-24 on the afternoon.
Maddie Rooney made 49 saves for the Bulldogs -- a season-high -- and her sixth 40 or more save game this season. It also marked the fourth-most saves the junior has had in a game over her 82 collegiate game career. Kristen Campbell had 24 saves for the Badgers, who like UMD was scoreless in two power play attempts. Wisconsin improves to 28-4-0 overall and 18-4-0 in the WCHA.
The Bulldogs head to Mankato, Minn. next weekend to face Minnesota State University for an all-important six WCHA points. The last regular season series gets underway Friday at 7:07 p.m., and will wrap up Saturday at 4:07 p.m.