One night after receiving their 2010 NCAA championship rings, the No. 3 University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team was reminded just exactly how hard it was to earn them.
The Bulldogs suffered a 4-2 setback at the hands of No. 9 Ohio State University at the Duluth Entertainment Center Convention Friday night, just one week after six UMD skaters were playing in the Four Nations Cup. The loss drops the Bulldogs to 8-3-0 overall and 6-2-0 in Western Collegiate Hockey Association action, and marks the second-straight loss for UMD against the Buckeyes. The Bulldogs are now 41-5-4 all-time against OSU.
"Considering we haven't played together for two weeks, I thought we played well," said UMD head coach Shannon Miller. "We had more quality scoring chances than Ohio State, but just couldn't score. It was one of those nights where we just didn't get a bounce."
Without sophomore forward Pernilla Winberg (illness) and senior defenseman Tara Gray (concussion) in the line-up, the Bulldogs still jumped out to a 1-0 lead a mere 13 seconds into the game on a goal by senior blueliner Jocelyne Larocque. OSU equalized on a Natalie Spooner score at 9:43 and the two teams took a 1-1 tie into the first intermission.
Elin Holmlov - who a mere week ago was skating for Team Sweden - scored her fifth goal of the season and notched her second point of the night at 3:15 of the second period to give UMD a 2-1 lead. The Bulldog's lead was fleeting, however, as Spooner struck again just 1:16 later to knot the contest at 2-2. OSU went ahead for good on a Paige Semenza goal at 18:26, and scored a power-play goal with 1:14 left in the skate to cement the final score at 4-2.
UMD, which owned the WCHA's best power-play entering Friday's game, was held scoreless in five attempts against OSU. The Buckeyes were 1-of-7 with the man advantage, but the Bulldogs outhshot OSU 33-27. Bulldog netminder Jennifer Harss made 23 saves, while her Buckeye counterpart Lisa Steffes turned away 31 pucks for OSU, now 7-5-1 overall and 3-5-1 in the WCHA.
Both teams will drop the puck again tomorrow night at the DECC, with the game slated to start at 7:07 p.m.