Live Blog: (3) Gophers women’s hockey vs. (2) Minnesota-Duluth

by John Hageman

Starting for the Gophers: #41 Noora Raty #22 Anne Schleper #20 Alexandra Zebro #17 Emily West #10 Brittany Francis #4 Sarah Erickson Gophers can’t pull off the comeback and fall to the new WCHA champion Minnesota-Duluth 3-2. 3rd period 18.1-Gophers pull Raty, faceoff coming. 55.5-Less than a minute remaining, Raty still in. 2:19-Gophers now on the power play. With time running out this would be a great time to get that goal. 3:37-UMD has another penalty called as Blais heads to the box. Keep in mind these teams combined for 22 penalties the last time they met. 4:29-Tempers flaring here again, Seeler and Wong head to the box for a little shoving after the whistle. Seeler gets the double-minor. 6:02-Bozek goes to the box on a questionable tripping call. 8:08-Both teams have not had many chances as off late, and we are still deadlocked at 3-2. 11:24-May almost gets on a breakaway, but the puck is knocked away from her in the top of the UMD zone. 15:42-Gophers kill the penalty, but Duluth had some chances to extend the lead. 17:42-Erickson is going to get called for crosschecking on a UMD rush. 2nd period A much more productive second period for Minnesota ends with the Bullldogs on top 3-2. Erickson’s two goals are keeping the Gophers in it, as well as some huge late-period saves from Raty. The Bulldogs are still outshooting Minnesota 24-14. The good news: The Gophers have a little momentum going for them heading into the final period. The Bad news: They are just 1-5-2 this season when trailing after the second. 3:32-Erickson snipes one over Harss’ left shoulder from the near circle. Duluth leads 3-2. 6:16-Bozek gets called for high-sticking. Now we’ll have some 4-on-3 hockey. 7:21-Tempers flaring here, as Blankenship and Rasmussen both head to the box. We will have 4-on-4 hockey for two minutes. 8:39-UMD’s Audrey Cournoyer knocks in the puck on a rush just in front of the Minnesota net. Duluth leads 3-1 10:16-Minnesota getting some chances here. One shot bounced up in the air and everyone lost sight of it, but it landed just over the UMD net. 13:14-Gina Dodge heads to the box and Minnesota will have another power play. 16:39-Minnesota goes on the power play as UMD’s Rasmussen trips up West 1st period After one, Duluth holds on to a 2-1 lead. The Gophers seemed to gain some steam with that goal late in the period. At one point, Minnesota was being outshot 9-2, and now the total stands at 13-5 in favor of the Bulldogs. Minnesota-Duluth came out flying and thoroughly outplayed the Gophers. Yesterday against Bemidji State, the Bulldogs’ top line had 14 points. That line, consisting of Fridfinnson, Wilson, and Blais, has one point today. Minnesota head coach Brad Frost talked after the game last night about curbing emotions and individual players not making the game harder for her team, but the Gophers have not done that so far. In the first two minutes, the Gophers had three penalties. Seeler’s elbowing call at 13:28 led to Duluth’s second goal. 53.0-Minnesota is starting to wake up here. Harss dropped the puck at the side of the net, and the Gophers were almost able to tip it in. 2:54-Gophers get on the board with a goal from Erickson. Francis sent the puck towards the net and Erickson was there for the tip-in. Duluth leads 2-1. 5:38-Duluth gets another goal. This one coming in a crowd from Blais on a power play. 6:32-Elbows are flying in the Minnesota zone, and Seeler will head to the box for another Gophers penalty. 8:10-Gophers get first shot on goal from May but bounces off Harss’ right pad. 10:00-Gophers cannot get anything going, and still don’t have a shot on goal. 14:01-Erickson lost control of the puck in the Minnesota zone, and Jessica Wong picks it up for the unassisted goal. 15:34-Gophers somehow kill the penalty. Duluth could not get much going in the Minnesota zone, with the Gophers consistently sending the puck to the other end. 18:05-That box is getting full, Francis gets called for crosschecking. 18:58-Schleper heads to the box for body checking. Not even the scorer’s table can keep up. 19:34-We already have a penalty, as Erickson and Emmanuelle Blais head to the box. You think these guys don’t like each other?

 Pregame: We have a little battle of the bands going on here, with Minnesota Duluth’s band playing opposite the Gophers’ band. They have been trading off songs here for a few minutes. I have to give the edge to the Bulldogs. Their band is not messing around. They have a lot of energy, tons of enthusiasm, and they are simply overpowering the Gophers. I was going to dock them points for playing "Crazy Train", but they even won me over on that one. Let’s see if this is any indication of how today’s game plays out.