Bulldogs don't respond to costly turnover, fall 3-1 to Minnesota
UMD saw its nine-game unbeaten streak snapped while the Gophers nabbed their 11th-straight victory.
DULUTH — Minnesota Duluth seized the momentum in the opening minute of the third period with a quick goal, but gave it right back via a costly own-zone turnover late in the period to fall 3-1 to Minnesota in WCHA play Friday at Amsoil Arena.
Redshirt sophomore wing Abbey Murphy had two third-period goals for No. 3 and league-leading Minnesota, including the game-winner with 12:04 to go in the game on a two-versus-none attack after fifth-year senior Grace Zumwinkle intercepted a UMD breakout pass in the slot.
The Gophers’ game-winner marked the second major momentum swing of the third period, one UMD fifth-year senior Taylor Anderson said UMD needs to respond better to.
“I wish we could have found a way to get out of that. I think that kind of took us into the end of the game,” said Anderson, whose No. 6-ranked Bulldogs host the Gophers again at 3 p.m. Saturday at Amsoil Arena. “For tomorrow, we got to be able to jump back when they score because they're a good team. They might score. We need to be able to respond to that and go put one in the net.”
The Bulldogs began the third scoring 37 seconds in when Anderson found senior defenseman Taylor Stewart wide open in the slot. Unchecked, Stewart fired a shot that Gophers sophomore goalie Skylar Vetter couldn’t properly glove.
“That’s a little Tay-and-Tay chemistry there,” Stewart said of Anderson finding her as she hit the offensive zone. “We spend every moment together, so it’s great timing. I just shot it and it went in.”
It was the only shot Vetter didn’t stop, as she finished with 31 saves. UMD fifth-year senior Emma Soderberg finished with 35 saves, getting beat by Gophers fifth-year senior wing Catie Skaja midway through the second period and then in the third by Murphy, who added an empty-net goal late.
UMD coach Maura Crowell and Anderson both used the word “amazing” to describe the play of Soderberg on Friday. That was especially true in the second period when Minnesota posted a 16-9 shots-on-goal advantage.
“She really kept us in that game,” Anderson said.
Crowell said her team — which had a nine-game unbeaten streak snapped — needs to be better in every facet of the game Saturday if it wants to end Minnesota’s 11-game winning streak. UMD needs better energy and physicality. It needs to respond better to the pace, and, as Anderson said, respond better to Gophers’ goals, Crowell said.
“Costly turnover in the D zone there, that's unfortunate, but we still had time to continue to push, and lots of 6-on-5 time to find the back of the net,” Crowell said. “They were better than us tonight and we need to be better tomorrow. We need to consistently play throughout the game, play hard, fast, read plays quicker.
“I know our team has more to give. We can put more pressure on those guys and that's our goal for tomorrow.”
The Bulldogs lost fifth-year senior center Kylie Hanley to injury with just over 3:30 to play in the first period Friday. Hanley, who has played every position this season for UMD but goaltender, pulled up after bumping Gophers fifth-year senior wing Grace Zumwinkle upon entering the UMD zone. Hanley then limped her way to the Bulldogs bench before being helped back to the locker room.
Crowell didn’t have any update on Hanley’s health after Friday’s game. Hanley has four goals and 10 assists in 27 games this season, with 22 goals and 31 assists in 149 career games — the latter stat ranking her eighth in career games played at UMD.
Matt’s Three Stars
3. UMD fifth-year senior goaltender Emma Soderberg — Her 35 saves Friday should have been enough for UMD to beat the Gophers.
2. Minnesota fifth-year senior wing Grace Zumwinkle — A couple big steals lead to a couple big assists in the third period.
1. Minnesota redshirt sophomore Abbey Murphy — Two goals in the third period give Minnesota its third win in three games against UMD this season.
Minnesota Duluth 0-0-1—1
1. MN, Catie Skaja (Madeline Wethington, Abigail Boreen), 10:46
2. UMD, Taylor Stewart (Taylor Anderson, Anneke Linser), 0:37
3. MN, Abbey Murphy (Grace Zumwinkle), 7:56
4. MN, Murphy (G. Zumwinkle), 18:39 (en)
Saves — Skylar Vetter, MN, 31; Emma Soderberg, UMD, 35.
Power play — MN 0-2; UMD 0-2. Penalties — MN 2-4; UMD 2-4.