BULLDOGS BLANK FOURTH-RANKED WISCONSIN
Saturday, October 13, 2012
A tough weekend to open the season could have affected the University of Minnesota Duluth any number of ways heading into this weekend's Western Collegiate Hockey Association series with the No. 4 University of Wisconsin. The Bulldogs chose to put the past in the rear-view mirror, notching their first win of the season with a 2-0 victory over the Badgers Saturday afternoon at AMSOIL Arena.
UMD (1-2 overall and 1-2 in the WCHA) struck first less than 100 seconds into regulation on an unassisted tally by Brienna Gillanders. Gillanders capitilized on a puck misread by the Badgers and crashed the net for her first goal of the season. That's all the offense the Bulldogs would need, as freshman netminder Kayla Black kept the Badgers off the board, making 30 saves en route to the shutout victory -- the first of her career. The Blyth, Ontario native frustrated the visitors from start to finish and was the key in preventing Wisconsin from scoring on the power play (the Badgers went 0-for-6 with the player advantage). Wisconsin (3-1-1; 1-1-1) had a four-game unbeaten streak snapped in the loss, its first of the season.
"I left pretty good out there," said Black after earning her first collegiate shutout. "I felt that I was on top of my game and before the game and I think it showed in the game. It was a pretty big win for us but we have to refocus for tomorrow and make it happen again."
Sophomore forward Jenna McParland posted an insurance marker in the third period, scoring her first goal of the season on a breakaway. McParland took a loose puck at neutral ice and turned on the jets, forcing a backhand on net as she was hauled down. The puck slipped over the shoulder of Wisconsin goaltender Alex Rigsby, allowing UMD to comfortably fight off a late charge by the Badgers.
The Bulldogs, who were outshot in the skate 31-17, now lead the all-time series with Wisconsin 28-26-10.
""This weekend, we simplified a lot of things," said head coach Shannon Miller. "We told our players to play within themselves. We kept Decker in check tonight and we did a good job defensively and Kayla played well. "I thought Ohio State got a bounce in the second game they beat us. Today I think we got some bounces. We'll take it."
The two teams will wrap up their two-game set Sunday afternoon at AMSOIL Arena, with the opening faceoff scheduled for 3:07 p.m. All fans are welcome to a special "Skate with the Bulldogs" to be held on AMSOIL immediately following the game.
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