Gabbie Hughes might have missed the Bulldogs last game, but Hughes was impossible to miss Friday afternoon at the Buffalo Harbor Center, in Buffalo, N.Y.
The sophomore center netted two goals for the University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team to help secure a 4-1 win over Mercyhurst University in the first game of the Ice Breaker Tournament. In addition to Hughes, UMD's penalty kill unit and goaltender Maddie Rooney all but slammed the door on the Lakers, who had nine power plays in the game, but only connected on their first one.
Mercyhurst's lone tally of the game came midway through the first period, but Hughes' first goal 43 seconds before the first intermission pulled UMD even. At 7:17 of the second period, Hughes struck again -- this time unassisted -- to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead on her sixth goal of the season. Rookie forward Kasundra Betinol netted the first goal of her Bulldog career at 15:59 to stretch UMD's advantage to 3-1 after 40 minutes of play.
After a third period with seven penalties called between both squads -- including four against the Bulldogs -- UMD's Anneke Linser iced the victory cake with 37 seconds left in the contest for the 4-1 final.
Rooney -- named the game's first star for her efforts -- had 30 saves against the Lakers. Kennedy Blair made 27 stops for Mercyhurst, who falls to 4-2-0 overall.
UMD advances to play Colgate University Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. CT after the Raiders defeated the University of Connecticut 6-2 in the second game Friday.