College women's hockey: UMD, Rooney blank North Dakota
Goal production for No. 2-ranked Minnesota Duluth was slightly lacking Friday afternoon at Amsoil Arena. Good thing sophomore goaltender Maddie Rooney wasn't lacking. The native of Andover, Minn., made 24 saves for her second straight shutout and...
Goal production for No. 2-ranked Minnesota Duluth was slightly lacking Friday afternoon at Amsoil Arena.
Good thing sophomore goaltender Maddie Rooney wasn’t lacking. The native of Andover, Minn., made 24 saves for her second straight shutout and fifth of the season to backstop the Bulldogs to a 2-0 WCHA victory over North Dakota.
The victory runs UMD’s unbeaten streak to seven games (6-0-1) going into today’s 3:07 p.m. rematch with North Dakota in the annual “Cram the Am” event, where fans can get into Amsoil for $1, by donating a non-perishable food item or by showing a ticket to tonight’s UMD men’s game against Nebraska-Omaha.
“We know that we have (Rooney) back there, so we’re pretty confident in her,” UMD senior defenseman Sidney Morin said. “If we can keep people to the outside and get sticks (in the way), we know she is going to make the first save. Then it’s our job to take care of those rebounds and make sure she doesn’t have to make two Grade-A saves in a row.”
Rooney only saw nine shots in the opening 30 minutes, which was two fewer shots than she faced in the first 35 minutes of a 3-0 win over Ohio State last Saturday in Duluth.
While the Buckeyes rarely tested Rooney, that wasn’t the case against the Fighting Hawks, who finally tilted the Amsoil ice toward Rooney’s crease late in the second and early in the third.
Rooney said the flurry of shots she saw to start the third period was the biggest challenge she faced all afternoon. North Dakota finished with 10 shots on goal in the third despite being in the penalty box for most of the final eight minutes.
“The defense really helped me out with blocked shots and on the penalty kill in this game, and clearing the rebounds,” Rooney said. “It was a great game defensively, too.”
Senior wing Lara Stalder and Morin provided the Bulldogs with the only two goals they needed, both coming off solid special teams efforts.
Stalder’s goal appeared to be a result of a sneaky play drawn up for the end of a penalty kill by the UMD coaching staff, but coach Maura Crowell insists it wasn’t.
UMD was trapped in its own zone late in the first period at the end of an interference penalty on junior defenseman Jessica Healey. Instead of joining her teammates in the defensive zone, Healey was summoned from the penalty box across the ice to the bench for a change. Just as she was stepping onto the bench, junior wing Michelle Lowenhielm cleared the puck off the side boards, sending the puck to the UMD bench. There was Stalder, who hopped onto the ice to take the puck on a lonesome stroll toward the North Dakota crease.
A few shuffles between the forehand and backhand later, Stalder had UMD up 1-0 with her 18th goal of the season.
“We killed off the penalty and (Healey) was in the box. She came to the bench. We sent Stalder out and she got the breakaway out of it,” Crowell said. “We’re smart about who we put on the ice at the end of the kill, or course, but we’re also rolling into another line, so there is a lot going on. We’re selective of who is going out there.”
Morin clinched the win on a two-person advantage with 6:25 to play in regulation after the Hawks took interference and high-sticking penalties less than a minute apart. Morin put her seventh goal of the season to the short side of North Dakota goalie Lexie Shaw after taking a cross-zone pass from fellow captain Ashleigh Brykaliuk.
Brykaliuk’s assist extended the senior wing’s point streak to 18 games.
“It’s pretty cool, it’s fun playing with these guys,” Brykaliuk said. “We have an amazing team this year. All the points we’re getting are shared around. Everyone is helping each other out and luckily I have a few games here.”
North Dakota........................... 0-0-0-0
Minnesota Duluth.................... 1-0-1-2
First period - 1. UMD, Lara Stalder 18 (Michelle Lowenhielm), 16:46.
Second period - No scoring.
Third period - 2. UMD, Sidney Morin 7 (Ashleigh Brykaliuk, Katherine McGovern), 14:35 (pp).
Saves - Lexie Shaw, ND, 10-14-9-33; Maddie Rooney, UMD, 8-6-10-24.