Maddie Rooney had no idea heading into Friday's conference showdown with Bemidji State University that she was nearing the University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey all-time career saves record.
But record set the senior goaltender did, making 30 saves to help the No. 10 Bulldogs shut out the Beavers 4-0 in an all-important Western Collegiate Hockey Association game at AMSOIL Arena. With the win, UMD, with two games in hand on BSU, also closes to within three points of the fourth place Beavers with the triumph.
"No one told me," laughed Rooney after the game as to whether or not she knew she was closing in on the record. "Again, it was a good team shutout and and my team had my back. I was seeing the puck well tonight and when I wasn't, my team came up with huge blocks."
The WCHA's leading scoring defenseman Ashton Bell gave the Bulldogs an early 1-0 lead just 25 seconds into the contest. Bell's wrist shot from the middle of the blueline crept through traffic for her eighth goal of the season, giving Sydney Brodt her 12th assist this year on the play.
With just 30 seconds remaining in the first period, Anna Klein doubled UMD's advantage with a one-timer from the slot. Brodt tracked down a BSU defenseman in the corner and forced a turnover to Gabbie Hughes, who walked it around the net and fed Klein in the slot for the 2-0 foothold on the Beavers.
Neither team got on the board in the second period, and despite BSU owning a 20-15 shots on goal after the first 40 minutes, it was UMD that struck again at 8:19 of the third period. Anderson's second goal of the season came on a long skate from the redline in, and ended with snipe from just inside the BSU circle to stretch the Bulldogs lead to 3-0.
With just over three minutes remaining in the game, Rooney covered up save number 2,999 of her career, a backhanded effort from the blueline from a BSU player. Moments later, Hughes' shot from behind her own blueline found the empty Beaver net at 16:56, capping off UMD's lead at 4-0.
Rooney picked up her 12th career shutout in the 30-save effort, and has helped hold BSU scoreless in its last 120 minutes of consecutive head-to-head action with UMD. Despite having three power play attempts on the night and outshooting UMD 30-27, BSU has now been outscored by the Bulldogs 6-0 in their last two games. Lauren Bench had 23 total saves for the Beavers in the loss.
The Bulldogs (10-8-3, 5-6-2) and Beavers (13-11-1, 7-8-0) will wrap up game two of the series tomorrow afternoon at AMSOIL with a 4:07 p.m. puck drop.
BULLDOG NOTES: Maddie Rooney takes over UMD's career save spot in just 107 games ... Rooney's teammate as a freshman, Kayla Black, reached the former record of 2,998 in 121 skates ... Rooney sits at 3001 after Friday night's contest.