|1st||2:34||MND||1-0||EV GW||Demi Crossman (5)||Sidney Morin/14, Michelle L÷wenhielm/7|
|1st||19:02||MND||2-0||PP||Catherine Daoust (2)||Lara Stalder/29, Sidney Morin/15|
|2nd||6:33||MND||3-0||EV||Lara Stalder (20)||Ashleigh Brykaliuk/24, Catherine Daoust/7|
|2nd||14:05||MND||4-0||EV||Demi Crossman (6)||Michelle L÷wenhielm/8, Ashleigh Brykaliuk/25|
|3rd||4:00||MND||5-0||EV||Lara Stalder (21)||Ashleigh Brykaliuk/26, Shelby Brossart/1|
|St. Cloud State||0||0||0||0|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|St. Cloud State||9||7||5||21|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|St. Cloud State (9-22-4)||0/3||4/8||0|
|Minnesota Duluth (23-5-5)||1/3||4/8||0|
|St. Cloud State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Janine Alder (L, 9-17-4)||40:00||4||14||10||0||24|
|Minnesota Duluth Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Maddie Rooney (W, 23-5-5)||60:00||0||9||7||5||21|
Despite finding out in-game Thursday that she was one of ten finalists for the 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, Lara Stalder stayed focused on what she wants far more as a Bulldog - postseason success.
The second-ranked University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team started that phase of the season in impressive fashion, blanking St. Cloud State University 5-0 at AMSOIL Arena in game one of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association's playoff quarterfinals. UMD's 23rd win of the season featured a bevy of scoring from the Bulldogs, including six players that notched two or more points in the contest. Stalder and Ashleigh Brykaliuk paced UMD with three points each (Stalder 2g, 1a, Brykaliuk 3a), while senior forward Demi Crossman scored two goals for a career high.
"I'm pretty happy with every aspect of the game today," said head coach Maura Crowell, who is now 3-1 in WCHA postseason action. "We will be ready for whatever they throw at us tomorrow. It's really hard to end a team's season, and we know that, and we won't take that for granted."
Crossman initiated the offensive output just 2:34 into the first period with a wrist shot from the face-off dot . Late in the period, junior defenseman Catherine Daoust inadvertently redirected a long Stalder rebound past Huskies goaltender Janie Alder to help the Bulldogs take a 2-0 lead 58 seconds before the first intermission.
From there UMD would roll, as Stalder and Crossman added goals in the second period. Crossman's sixth goal of the season and third in two games punctuated the tone of the Bulldog mindset Thursday. The senior forward walked out from the left and backhanded the puck into the net for the 4-0 lead at 14:05 of the second period.
Stalder rounded out UMD's scoring four minutes into the third period, finishing off a Brykaliuk rebound that also gave defenseman Shelby Brossart her first career assist. Stalder capped her first skate as a Kazmaier candidate with two goals and an assist - effectively stretching her current scoring streak to 12 games.
"It kind of reflects our team, we are number two in the country," said Stalder when asked about being a finalist. "It would be a great honor to win it, but in the end, I'd rather put the trophy in the air."
Amid all of UMD's offense was sophomore goaltender Maddie Rooney, who turned away 21 St. Cloud State shots en route to her sixth shutout of the season and eighth of her Bulldog career. UMD outshot the Huskies 44-21 in the contest, and played two goaltenders in net. Alder made 24 saves in 40 minutes, while Taylor Crosby stopped 15 shots in final 20 minutes for SCSU, who falls to 9-22-4 overall.
"We're reenergized, our team is excited," said Crossman. We know the best is yet to come and that's how we are playing."
UMD (23-5-5) will attempt to close out the best-of-three series tomorrow afternoon at AMSOIL Arena. The playoff puck will drop at 3:07 p.m.
BULLDOG NOTES: Senior defenseman Sidney Morin's two assists gives her 50 for her career and catapults her into sixth all-time among UMD blueliners ... Morin also played her 143rd game Thursday night, tying her for eighth all-time in games played ... Morin already owns the UMD record for consecutive games skated (143) ... With six shutouts this season, Maddie Rooney is now alone in third place for UMD shutouts in a single season ... Six players recorded two or more points in the skate, including Morin, Catherine Daoust (1g, 1a) Michelle Lowenhielm (2a) Demi Crossman (2g), Ashleigh Brykaliuk (3a) and Lara Stalder (2g, 1a) ... Stalder's 12-game scoring streak now includes 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points.