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College women's hockey: UMD gets taste of new OT but not win

Bulldogs experience 3-on-3 overtime for first time in 2-2 exhibition tie with Minnesota Whitecaps

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Minnesota Duluth forward Ryleigh Houston (28) scores in the second period with Minnesota Whitecaps defenseman Winny Brodt Brown (5) trailing behind her at Amsoil Arena Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (Tyler Schank / tschank@duluthnews.com)
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Minnesota Duluth failed to get its first taste of victory Saturday in a season-opening exhibition against the Minnesota Whitecaps at Amsoil Arena.

The Bulldogs didn’t have to stomach that first bite of defeat either, battling the reigning National Women’s Hockey League Isobel Cup champions to a 2-2 tie before a crowd of 943.

What UMD did get Saturday was its first helping of 3-on-3 overtime, which will be used to break ties in WCHA play this season.

The verdict from the Bulldogs players: Delicious.

“I thought it was really exciting,” UMD senior wing Ryleigh Houston said. “There is going to be a lot more scoring opportunities, a lot more time with the puck. That’s really exciting and I think good for our team. We love to possess the puck and be creative with it”

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During the regular season, 3-on-3 overtimes will only be used during WCHA play, and it will come after the NCAA mandated five minutes of 5-on-5. If a game is still tied after 70 minutes, a sudden-death shootout will be used to decide who gets the extra point in the league standings.

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Minnesota Duluth forward Anna Klein (19) makes one last shot on goal around Minnesota Whitecaps forward Nicole Schammel (26) in overtime at Amsoil Arena Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (Tyler Schank / tschank@duluthnews.com)

Results from 3-on-3 and shootouts will not count toward a team’s overall record when deciding which make the NCAA tournament. It’s the same format the UMD men have been playing under in the NCHC since the 2015-16 season.

With Saturday’s game being an exhibition, the Bulldogs and Whitecaps skipped playing the five minutes of 5-on-5 and they passed on the shootout, too.

According to Bulldogs sophomore wing Gabbie Hughes, it’s about time 3-on-3 — which is also used in the NHL to break ties — came to the women’s game. The WCHA is the only league settling ties in all of NCAA Division I women’s hockey.

“I love 3-on-3,” said Hughes, the team’s leading returning scorer. “There is so much space, so much time to control the puck and a lot of movement, too. I was working with (senior wing) Syd (Brodt) on 3-on-3 and it was a good time. I think it’s good for the game and good for women’s hockey to get into that.”

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Minnesota Duluth forward Anna Klein (19) scores on Minnesota Whitecaps goaltender Allie Morse (32) in the second period at Amsoil Arena Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (Tyler Schank / tschank@duluthnews.com)

Houston and junior wing Anna Klein scored go-ahead goals for the Bulldogs in the second period Saturday, giving UMD a 2-1 lead going into the third period.

The Whitecaps got equalizers from former Boston College wing Allie Thunstrom in the second and former Maine center Audra Richards with 7:30 remaining in the third.

Former Providence goaltender Allie Morse made 48 saves for the Whitecaps, while senior Maddie Rooney, sophomore Emma Soderberg and junior Hanna Markel combined for 27 saves, playing a period each.

Rooney played the scoreless first period, making nine saves, before coming back on to stop two shots in the 3-on-3 period, which was scheduled to be played no matter the result after 60 minutes on Saturday as preparation for the season.

While 3-on-3 is generally a fun time for players, that’s not always the case for goaltenders.

Rooney, however, considers herself a fan of 3-on-3, even after going 4-0 in shootouts last season, and after shutting down Canada in a shootout in 2018 for Olympic gold.

“I personally like 3-on-3,” Rooney said. “I like shootouts too, but they are so individual while 3-on-3 is more team play. I like that and it’s fun to see.”

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Minnesota Whitecaps 0-1-1-0—2
Minnesota Duluth 0-2-0-0—2

First period — No scoring.
Second period — 1. UMD, Ryleigh Houston, 5:32; 2. MW, Allie Thunstrom, 8:13; 3. UMD, Anna Klein (Maggie Flaherty, Gabbie Hughes), 17:06.
Third period — 4. MW, Audra Richards (Nicole Schammel, Jonna Curtis), 13:30.
3-on-3 — No scoring.
Saves — Allie Morse, MW, 6-17-22-3—48; Maddie Rooney, UMD, 9-X-X-2—11; Emma Soderberg, UMD, X-6-X-X—6; Hanna Markel, UMD, X-X-10-X—10.

Co-host of the Bulldog Insider Podcast and college hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune and The Rink Live covering the Minnesota Duluth men's and women's hockey programs.
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