ARLINGTON, Va. - For the first time since mid-October, the No. 6/7 University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team suffered a 3-2 loss to Penn State University Friday afternoon at the MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Virgina.
"It's a disappointing loss, that's for sure," said UMD head coach Maura Crowell. "We killed off, I don't know how many, penalties throughout the game, but it definitely got to us. I would have liked to see our emotions stay in check, and you know ,when we did have five-on-five play, it was okay. Somewhat just out of sync and those are tough, but you have to be able to persevere in those moments so certainly a learning type of game for us."
The Nittany Lions opened the game's scoring with just the second goal on UMD in five games at 5:19 of the opening period. Natalie Heising split two Bulldog defenseman and slipped it by UMD netminder Emma Soderberg for the early 1-0 lead.
PSU's lead was short lived, however, and the Bulldogs equalized when Anna Klein banged in a pass from Gabbie Hughes from the extended goal line at 8:04 on the power play, UMD's 10th power play goal of the season.
Dealt the blow of a five minute penalty kill at 11:08 of the period and loss of defenseman Kylie Hanley for the game, the Bulldogs not only kept the Nittany Lions off the scoreboard with the extra skater, they added a goal of their own late in the frame. Elizabeth Giguere slid the puck from right to left over to Hughes, who dropped the puck across the ice to Klein. The senior forward lifted the puck into the upper mesh in the midst of being tripped at 18:18 of the first period for her second goal of the game to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 advantage heading into the first intermission.
That score would survive a scoreless second period, but PSU broke through again in the third period. Heising nabbed her second goal of the game, striking off the face-off at 5:18 to knot the game at 2-2. The Nittany Lions netted a deflection on the power play at 12:34, and Lyndie Lobdell's goal served as the eventual game-winner for PSU, its first-ever win against the Bulldogs in three attempts.
UMD just edged PSU 26-25 in shots on goal, but the Bulldogs were bogged down by 29 penalty minutes on nine penalties, a whopping 6.5 more infractions than UMD has been used to in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play entering Friday's skate. In all, there were 17 penalties called against both sides -- UMD went 1-of-7 on the power play, while PSU went 1-of-6. Soderberg had 22 stops -- including 11 on the penalty kill -- for the Bulldogs, and her Nittany Lion counterpart, Josie Bothun, made 24 for PSU, which improved to 8-5-2 overall.
The Bulldogs (6-5-0) will hit the ice again tomorrow afternoon against St. Lawrence University at 2:30 p.m. ET inside the MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Virginia.
BULLDOG NOTES: After scoring both goals for the Bulldogs, senior forward Anna Klein is now at 49 career goals ... Only 14 players have scored 50 or more goals for the Bulldogs in program history, including Klein's linemate Gabbie Hughes ... Hughes extended her current scoring streak to six games with two assists in the game ... Hughes now has three goals and 12 assists for 15 points in her last six outings.