UMD continues dominance over Gophers in sweep

Nate Gotlieb

In their first chance to avenge a heart-breaking loss in last yearâÄôs NCAA semifinals, the Gophers again failed to crack Minnesota-Duluth this weekend. The Gophers couldnâÄôt overcome third-period deficits, being swept by scores of 3-2 and 4-2 as UMD extended its winning streak over the Gophers to six. The Gophers fell to 2-4 in WCHA play and are now 12 points behind Wisconsin with the top-ranked Badgers coming to town next weekend. âÄúIt wasnâÄôt the weekend we wanted, getting swept,âÄù head coach Brad Frost said. The Gophers were unable to do what the winning team in this rivalry has done the past seven out of eight games âÄî score the first goal. UMD took an early lead Friday as Jessica Wong converted a power play opportunity 5:11 into the first period. While Kelly Seeler tied the game late in the first and Sarah Davis gave the Gophers the lead with 26 seconds left in the second. That lead disappeared 40 seconds into the period as Elin Holmlov tied the game. The one-minute, six-second stretch was their only time spent in the lead all weekend. UMD scored the first three goals of the game Saturday night and took a 3-1 lead into the third period. During the second intermission, the Gophers vowed to make the third period their best of the weekend. âÄúWe just talked about, for 20 minutes, letâÄôs go out and give everything we have,âÄù Frost said. âÄú[We said] weâÄôre going to take everything in five-minute increments and see if we canâÄôt climb back into the hockey game and end up winning.âÄù The talk metabolized 20 seconds into the third as freshman Kelly Terry scored her fourth goal of the season. Down 3-2 in the third for the second night in a row, the Gophers developed a few scoring chances throughout the period, but they struggled to find the back of the net. âÄúI was surprised that we didnâÄôt tie it up,âÄù Frost said, âÄúJust that way that third period was going there, I just felt like that puck was going to find its way into the net.âÄù While the Gophers were outshot and gave up a late goal with an empty net, Frost was pleased with how the team responded in the final period. âÄúI thought we did a really good job,âÄù Frost said. âÄúIf we play the way we played in the third period for three periods in a hockey game, I think weâÄôre going to be really tough to beat.âÄù Haley IrwinâÄôs late goal gave her a hat trick on the night. UMDâÄôs first line of Irwin, Elin Holmlov and Pernilla Wilnberg scored six of UMDâÄôs seven goals. One last streak ended over the weekend, and it wasnâÄôt in MinnesotaâÄôs favor either: Goalie Noora RatyâÄôs 245 minutes, 11 seconds without allowing a goal ended in the first period Friday night. Raty had 59 saves on the weekend but allowed six goals in the two losses.