College women's hockey: Mercyhurst series brings back memories for UMD
Many Minnesota Duluth women's hockey players cite the win over Mercyhurst in last season's NCAA quarterfinals as one of their most memorable games. The 3-2 win propelled the Bulldogs to the Frozen Four, but it was the come-from-behind overtime pe...
Many Minnesota Duluth women's hockey players cite the win over Mercyhurst in last season's NCAA quarterfinals as one of their most memorable games.
The 3-2 win propelled the Bulldogs to the Frozen Four, but it was the come-from-behind overtime performance before a packed and hostile arena that instilled it in their memories.
"Everyone remembers that game," said Jessica Koizumi, who scored the game-tying and winning goals as a senior forward. "We were down 2-0, and coach [Shannon Miller] was a big believer in the seniors. She told us not to quit."
UMD's Michaela Lanzl scored to narrow the deficit to 2-1 in the second period. Koizumi, now a UMD administrative assistant, then tied the game at 18:16 in the third period. Later, her overtime goal ended the Erie, Pa., school's season in front of its home fans. The Bulldogs beat Boston College 4-3 in the semifinals and lost to Wisconsin 4-1 in the national championship game.
"[Mercyhurst] had a big crowd with [1,350] fans to our five and had very loud noisemakers," Miller said. "It intimidated our goalie and a few of our players. At 2-0, it was gut-check time. I asked them, 'Do we have what it takes?' Last year's team had what it took."
UMD (4-0) will play Mercyhurst of College Hockey America for the first time in the regular season at 3:07 p.m. today and 1:07 p.m. Sunday.
"They start with [forward Meghan] Agosta," Miller said. "They have six players on the Canadian national team with Agosta on the Olympic team. They are loaded with talent."
Mercyhurst (5-0) is off to its best start in school history with Agosta leading the scoring list with nine points.
"She has unbelievable speed," said Caroline Ouellette, a UMD assistant coach and Agosta's teammate on the Canadian Olympic team. "She is one of the fastest players in the world. She is really skilled with the puck, and to do that with speed is dangerous."
The Lakers, the second-ranked team in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll, have outscored their opponents 22-6 in five games this season, while UMD, the fifth-ranked team, has four shutout wins for a 16-0 scoring advantage.
Four Nations teams named
Koizumi and Jenny Potter, former UMD players, and UMD assistant coach Julie Chu were named to the U.S. women's select team for the Women's Four Nations Cup being held in Leksand, Sweden, from Nov. 7-11.
Other UMD players competing in the event are Saara Tuominen and Heidi Pelttari for Finland, Elin Holmlov and Kim Martin for Sweden, and assistant coach Ouellette for Canada.
The Bulldogs will play North Dakota on Nov. 3-4 without those players and coaches, who will be preparing for the tournament.
ANDY GREDER covers UMD women's hockey for the News Tribune. He can be reached at (218) 723-5315 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org