DULUTH, Minn. - If the University of Minnesota Duluth and the University of Wisconsin women's hockey teams have proven anything over the last 15 years, it's that their fans are always going to get back the price of admission in good hockey.
Such was the case Friday night at AMSOIL Arena where the Bulldogs and No. 2 Badgers played to a 2-2 tie before UMD grabbed the extra Western Collegiate Hockey Association shootout. The Bulldogs go to 7-5-3 overall and 5-5-3 in the WCHA.
The Bulldogs bit first on a twice tipped shot from the point courtesy of junior blueliner Tea Villila. Villila's shot was tipped by both sophomore winger Marie Delarbe and sophomore forward Alivia Del Basso, who redirected the puck past the glove side of Badger goaltender Alex Rigsby at the 12:11 mark. Wisconsin responded minutes later when Courtney Burke tucked in a rebound to equalize with 5:47 remaining in the first period.
MIdway through the second period, UMD did what very few teams have done this season to Rigsby and the Badgers' top-ranked defense - they netted a second goal. Embolden by Ashleigh Bryaliuk's deke at the red line, junior winger Jenna McParland took Bryaliuk's pass and slid it backhanded across the crease to senior Jamie Kenyon on the doorstep to take back the lead 8:43 into the stanza. Kenyon's seventh goal of the season would carry the Bulldogs into the second intermission up 2-1.
Wisconsin knotted the game at two goals apiece just one minute into the third period on another rebound, this time at the hands of Melissa Channel. A minute after the Badgers drew even, UMD's Lara Stalder was called for a checking from behind infraction, forcing the Bulldogs to kill a five minute penalty and without Stalder for the rest of the game. Both teams were called for a total of 13 minutes worth of penalties in the third period, but neither squad capitalized and for a 22nd time, UMD and Wisconsin needed extra time to finish a skate.
The Badgers had the only three shots in extra time and outshot UMD 37-24 in the game. Yet it was all Maroon and Gold in the ensuing shootout, with junior winger Meghan Huertas landing the lone goal with a lead-off high glove-side score and Bulldog goaltender Kayla Black taking it from there with three shootout stops and 35 saves between the pipes in the game. Rigsby turned away 22 for the Badgers and was 2-of-3 in the shootout.
"Obviously that was a big win for our team tonight and we played well for the majority of the game," said head coach Shannon Miller. "Unfortunately we were on penalty kill for 21 minutes -- an entire period -- so it's difficult to win a game but we played great and that's a big shootout win for us. Kayla Black played great tonight and was a difference-maker in tonight's game."
Both teams return to AMSOIL tomorrow night to put the wrap on the Thanksgiving series. The puck will drop at 6:07 p.m.
BULLDOG NOTES: UMD improves to 0-3-2 against teams ranked in the top-10 this season...Junior winger Jenna McParland added an assist Friday night and now has compiled five goals and three assists in 10 skates against the Badgers.