TOP-RANKED MINNESOTA USES STRONG THIRD PERIOD TO OVERCOME NO. 10 BULLDOGS
Saturday, February 2, 2013
The No. 10 University of Minnesota Duluth used the early part of the third period to pull even with the No. 1 University of Minnesota, but the Gophers used the final eight minutes of the game to put it away.
UMD lost the grip on a 2-2 tie over a 1:45 span to drop a 6-2 decision to Minnesota, who with the win, earns the first ever regular season sweep between the two programs. Prior to that 1:45 lapse, the Bulldogs had played even hockey with the best team in the nation, including owning a lead for over 18 minutes over a squad that had only trailed for 27 minutes the entire season before the start of the game.
Saturday afternoon at Ridder Arena was a stark contrast to Friday's contest, including a UMD squad that struck first 9:56 into the first period. Senior forward Pernilla Winberg redirected a shot from freshman defenseman Jordan Krause to give the Bulldogs the rink-hushing 1-0 lead.
UMD held that lead until Minnesota's Hannah Brandt tipped the power play equalizer past Bulldog netminder Kayla Black to tie the game 8:17 into the second period. The Gophers took advantage of another power play to take the 2-1 reigns at the 17:03 mark in the same stanza.
Trailing 2-1 into the third period, sophomore winger Jenna McParland stunned the Minnesota faithful, swiping the puck and skating in on Gopher netminder Noora Raty. McParland's shorthanded snipe high and glove-side of Raty was not only dazzling, but drew the Bulldogs even with the nation's top team.
Both sides skated about round until Minnesota's Amanda Kessel got in behind UMD's defensive line and beat Black -- who played brilliantly all game -- five-hole at 12:15 to push the Gophers back into a 3-2 lead. Just 48 seconds later, Minnesota struck again and before UMD could even repair its weakside cover, the Gophers had blown open the game with three goals 1:45 apart and a stunning 5-2 advantage. Minnesota added a goal with 45 seconds left in the skate and the accuraccy of the final 6-2 score could only be debated by those in attendance.
The Gophers shelled the Bulldogs 34-18, but Black made 28 stops in the skate. Raty had 18 saves to help keep Minnesota's 36-game winning streak intact.
The Bulldogs (13-10-3 overall and 12-9-1 in the WCHA) will skate at AMSOIL Arena next week against Minnesota State University, with the Saturday and Sunday series set with 3:07pm start times both afternoon.
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