BULLDOGS HEAD DOWN TO MANKATO FOR WEEKEND SERIES WITH MUCH IMPROVED MINNESOTA STATE
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Fresh off a sweep of the University of Wisconsin, the University of Minnesota Duluth women’s hockey team will hit the road for the first time this season when it travels to Mankato, Minn. The Bulldogs will face Minnesota State University, Mankato in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series at All Seasons Arena, a rink UMD has not lost in for almost eight seasons. Friday’s contest will get underway at 7:07 pm, while Saturday’s skate is slated for 3:07 pm.
THE SERIES: The Bulldogs are 46-4-3 all-time against MSU and own a 13-game unbeaten streak that started back on Nov. 22, 2009. UMD won all four games against the Mavericks last season, outscoring MSU 18-4.
The two programs last faced each other at AMSOIL Arena on Feb. 17-18, the last series for both squads of the 2011-12 regular season. UMD skated off with a 4-1 triumph on Feb. 17, with help from then junior forward Audrey Cournoyer, who netted two goals in the first period. MSU was whistled for 36 minutes worth of infractions on just six penalties, with 20 minutes charged to one player as time expired.
The following night (Feb. 18) the Bulldogs were actually outshot 30-26, but simply were more accurate with a 7-1 blowout of the Mavericks. Then sophomore Jamie Kenyon scored two goals in the opening 2:42 of action and UMD rolled from there, netting three tallies in the first and third periods of play. In all, 13 players registered a point in the win, the most points in a game by UMD since 13 skaters got on the scoresheet back on Feb. 19, 2011 (a 9-0 win for the Bulldogs). Kenyon was one of three players to nab a career-high that night, posting three points (2g, 1a). Shara Jasper and Tea Villila also dished out a career-high two assists.
LAST WEEK: UMD pulled off back-to-back shutouts of Wisconsin over the weekend for the first time since Jan.16-17, 2010, triumphing 2-0 Saturday afternoon and 1-0 Sunday. Saturday the Bulldogs were outshot 31-17 and served with 23 minutes worth of penalties, yet still prevailed by two goals. Brienna Gillanders and Jenna McParland recorded goals in the skate, while freshman goaltender Kayla Black made a career-high 33 saves for her first career shutout.
Sunday Jessica Wong scored from the left point with 1:48 left in the first period, netting the eventual game-winner for the Bulldogs. Black made 25 saves for her second consecutive shutout, stopping 56 shots in all in the series.
NOTES FROM THE WISCONSIN SERIES: UMD is now 29-26-10 in 65 meetings with Wisconsin, including a three-game win streak against the Badgers dating back to the WCHA Final Face-Off semifinal last March.
--The sweep over then No. 4 Wisconsin was the first Bulldog sweep over a top-10 team since Oct. 29-30, 2010, when UMD swept No. 6 Minnesota at the DECC by scores of 3-2 and 4-2.
--Saturday’s shutout was UMD’s first since Feb. 26, 2010, a 5-0 win over Minnesota State with Jennifer Harss in net.
--The Bulldogs were perfect on the penalty-kill, going 8-of-8, although UMD still hasn’t registered a power-play goal yet in four games.
--Wisconsin came into last weekend’s series averaging 5.25 goals a game and had not been shut out in back-to-back games since 2001.
--Jessica Wong has now compiled 14 points in 15 games against Wisconsin, with four goals and 10 assists to her credit. Sophomore winger Jenna McParland has netted four goals and added an assist for five points in seven outings with the Badgers.
BLACKOUT -- BLACK EARNS WCHA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONOR: Kayla Black was named the WCHA’s Defensive Player of the Week Tuesday, two days removed from recording 56 saves in the UMD’s series against the Badgers. The freshman from Blyth, Ontario earnied two shutouts en route to leading UMD to a series sweep over Wisconsin at AMSOIL Arena by scores of 2-0 and 1-0.
The rookie goaltender kept the Badgers off the board in Saturday afternoon’s contest, despite faced with 23 minutes worth of penalties resulting in five Wisconsin power plays and 11 shots on goal down a skater. UMD was outshot 31-17 in the contest, but Black was stoic in earning her first collegiate shutout. It was more of the same for Black Sunday, turning away all 25 shots she faced and again stifled the Badgers power play on three attempts.
While Kim Martin had back-to-back shutouts as a rookie back on Oct. 15 and 21, 2006, Black becomes the first UMD freshman goaltender to post back-to-back shutouts in a series. Black now ranks fifth in the nation with a saves percentage of .941, second with two shutouts and sixth with a goals against average of 1.52.
THE WONDER OF WONG: Not only did Jessica Wong join the 100 career point club on Oct. 6, she became only the second defensemen ever to do so. Wong joins former teammate and Team Canada member Jocelyne Larocque as the only two blueliners in a club belonging to forwards.
Larocque owns 105 career points, which includes 86 assists, and sits as UMD’s all-time leading scorer from the backline. While Wong now has 101 points (43g, 58a) in 114 games, Wong began her Bulldog career as a forward in the 2009-10 season before head coach Shannon Miller dropped her back to the blueline. Wong has played in 70 games as a defensman, compiling 28 goals and 42 assists for 70 points from the back, ranking her sixth currently all-time among Bulldog blueliners.
WIth two current players in the 100 point club (Wong and Audrey Cournoyer), two other current UMD skaters are closing in on their 100th point. Pernilla Winberg is sitting at 98 points with 36 goals and 62 assists, including a goal and an assist last weekend, while Katie Wilson has climbed to 92 career points (34g, 58) after her three point weekend against OSU.
BULLDOG NOTES: The Bulldogs were again left out of the national top-10 rankings this week for only the third time in program history, despite shutting out the No. 4 team in the nation...UMD currently has the fourth-best scoring defense in the nation, allowing just 1.50 goals a game through four games...The Bulldogs are also averaging just 1.50 goals a skate.
Live Stats: http://www.sidearmstats.com/mnsu/whockey/scoreboard.aspx
Live Video: http://www3.mnsu.edu/athletics/
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