Women's hockey: Bulldogs' view from the top is short-sighted
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Duluth women's hockey coach Shannon Miller let her team enjoy its No. 1 ranking on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, Miller asked her team to forget the U.S. College Hockey Online poll position and the win and tie against...
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Duluth women's hockey coach Shannon Miller let her team enjoy its No. 1 ranking on Monday and Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Miller asked her team to forget the U.S. College Hockey Online poll position and the win and tie against then second-ranked Mercyhurst on Oct. 20-21. She needed the Bulldogs to focus on their upcoming Western Collegiate Hockey Association series against Minnesota.
"We began the season making strides," said Miller, whose team moved from No. 5 to No. 1 Monday after a 5-0-1 start. "We had a big high last weekend against Mercyhurst and the high of being No. 1, but we had a hangover."
Minnesota forward Bobbi Ross took advantage of that hangover by scoring two goals as the Gophers upset Minnesota Duluth 3-1 Friday night at Ridder Arena.
"When you're ranked No. 1, you have to play with confidence and play harder," said UMD goalie Kim Martin, who had a career-high 40 saves. "We didn't do that."
The 10th-ranked Gophers (4-2-1 overall, 2-2-1 WCHA) outshot UMD 43-20, including 16-5 in the third period while UMD killed 11 minutes of penalties.
"We took some really disappointing penalties," Miller said. "We were on penalty kill a lot, and when we weren't on penalty kill we were tired from being on it. It was the worst game we've played this year."
The Bulldogs (5-1-1, 4-1) trailed 2-1 through two periods after Minnesota goals from Ross and Rachael Drazen.
"We got chances on penalty kill and took advantages of opportunities," said Ross of her two short-handed goals. "Erica McKenzie made two [saves] and made a great pass to me [on the first goal]."
UMD's lone goal came from Emmanuelle Blais on a power play in the second period. In the final minute of the first period, UMD forward Elin Holmlov had a one-on-one opportunity, but her shot hit the pads of Minnesota goalie Jenny Lura. Iya Gavrilova's ensuing rebound attempt also hit Lura's pads.
"We certainly knew the danger of their team," Minnesota coach Brad Frost said. "We tried to take away their time and space [with the puck]. It was the best we've played all year."
In the third period, UMD had five meager shots and were without Gavrilova, who received a game misconduct penalty for checking from behind at 10:02.
"When one team is on penalty kill all night, they are not going to win," said Miller, whose team had eight penalties and tied a season low for goals. "It's pretty simple."
The series concludes at 3 p.m. today at Ridder Arena.
"You learn way more when you lose," Miller said. "Now, I have the team's attention."
Minnesota Duluth 0-1-0--1
First period -- no scoring. Penalties -- Erin Olson (slashing) 3:27.
Second period -- 1. M, Bobbi Ross (Erica McKenzie) 3:31. 2. UMD, Emmanuelle Blais (Saara Tuominen) 4:23. 3. Rachael Drazen (Bobbi Ross) 16:55. Penalties -- Whitney Graft, M, (high sticking) 2:17. Gigi Marvin, M, (holding) 4:18. Joss Lerocque, UMD, (interference) 9:05. Erica McKenzie, M (Slashing) 13:56. UMD (too many players on ice) 16:02. Kim Martin, UMD, (tripping) 18:25.
Third period -- 3. M, Ross (McKenzie) 19:28. Penalties -- Sara O'Toole (hooking) :42. Myriam Trepanier, UMD, (tripping) 8:51. Iya Gavrilova, UMD, (checking from behind) 10:02. Gavrilova, UMD, (game misconduct) 10:02. Brittany Francis (tripping) 17:43.
Shots on goal -- Minnesota 12-15-16--43, Minnesota Duluth 8-7-5--20. Goalies -- Kim Martin, UMD, 43 shots, 40 saves. Jenny Lura, M, 20 shots, 19 saves. Referee -- Dan Lick. Linesmen -- Ray Doocy, Liz Kellerman. A -- 1,067.
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 .