Bulldogs use another big second period to beat Beavers, sweep series
UMD finishes the regular season fourth in the WCHA, will host fifth-place St. Cloud State next weekend at Amsoil Arena in the WCHA quarterfinals.
BEMIDJI — Minnesota Duluth wrapped up the regular season on Saturday with a 5-1 victory over Bemidji State in WCHA play at the Sanford Center, scoring a trio of goals in the second period to break away from the league’s last-place Beavers.
The Bulldogs, ranked No. 8 in the country heading into the weekend, finish the regular season fourth in the WCHA and will host fifth-place St. Cloud State in a best-of-three WCHA quarterfinal series at Amsoil Arena. Game 1 is set for at 3 p.m. Friday, Game 2 is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday and, if necessary, there will be a Game 3 at 3 p.m. Sunday.
UMD (23-8-3 overall, 17-8-3 WCHA) took five out of six points in a series with SCSU two weeks ago in Duluth, tying 1-1 and winning the shootout on Friday before blanking the Huskies 2-0 the next day.
UMD coach Maura Crowell, who picked up her 150th win as head coach of the Bulldogs, said she’s excited to get postseason play underway next week following the sweep of BSU that included a 6-0 win Friday.
“Putting up 11 goals this weekend was just what the doctor ordered,” said Crowell, who is now in her eighth season at UMD. “Five of them today at 5-on-5 was also helpful. Our players are understanding that now it's showtime, and we're excited for the playoffs. We talk about our experience a lot and I expect that they'll make sure our team is ready to roll next weekend.”
Fifth-year senior wing Taylor Anderson scored a pair of goals in the second period Saturday and fifth-year senior center Gabbie Hughes got the other to turn a 1-1 game into a three-goal advantage heading into the third.
Have a game, Taylor Anderson, have a game! pic.twitter.com/DCd22of0BE— UMD Women's Hockey (@UMDWHockey) February 18, 2023
Senior center Mannon McMahon tied the game 12:05 into the first period after Bemidji State’s Reece Hunt scored on her team's first shot of the game, 34 seconds in. UMD freshman defenseman Tova Henderson scored her first collegiate goal late in the third.
Hughes finished with a goal and two assists. Fifth-year senior defensemen Ashton Bell and Maggie Flaherty also had a pair of assists. Freshman goaltender Hailey MacLeod made 14 saves.
Just can't leave Gabbie Hughes home alone. Ever. pic.twitter.com/yfNQIIhskC— UMD Women's Hockey (@UMDWHockey) February 18, 2023
Eight of UMD’s 11 goals this weekend came in the second period, with three of the five on Friday scored during a major power play. Crowell said there is a lot of momentum to be grabbed in second periods, and UMD did just that both days.
“I’m really happy with the way we played our seconds this weekend,” Crowell said. “It definitely tilted the games in our direction pretty heavily both days. I’m proud to see our group understand how that can work and get rewarded for it, too.”