UMD women’s hockey concedes 3 unanswered goals, drops season opener to Clarkson 4-2

The UMD women’s hockey team lines up pre-game for introduction of the starting line up. (Photo: Brett Sharp)

The UMD women’s hockey team lines up pre-game for introduction of the starting line up. (Photo: Brett Sharp)

DULUTH, MN -- The No. 10 ranked Bulldog women’s hockey team came up short in their season opener Friday night at Amsoil Arena, falling to the No. 3 Clarkson Golden Knights 4-2. With the loss, UMD (0-1-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) falls to 0-3 all-time against Clarkson (3-0-0, 0-0-0 ECAC).

The dogs came out with energy, looking nothing like a team who had only played one exhibition on the young season. UMD scored two goals in the first 12 minutes of the game, split in the middle by a Clarkson tally. Despite the fast start and advantage on both the scoreboard and shot clock after one period, the Bulldogs couldn’t find the back of the net from there forward, while Clarkson rattled off three unanswered goals to take the victory. 

"I thought we kept right up with them,” UMD coach, Maura Crowell said. “I think we could of beat them if we cleaned up certain areas. It looked like game one for us at certain points and at others it looked like we had been playing a lot so I'm encouraged by our team."

Sophomore forward Gabbie Hughes got the Bulldogs on the board quickly, gathering a rebound off the pads of Clarkson goaltender Amanda Zeglen before depositing it in the back of the net to put UMD up 1-0 just 31 seconds into the game. 

Clarkson responded just over two minutes later on a laser of a shot by defenseman Avery Mitchell. The shot, which beat Bulldog goaltender Maddie Rooney, tied the game at 1-1. 

The Bulldogs answered back though, once again utilizing good speed into the offensive zone to open up a shot for senior captain Sydney Brodt. Brodt appeared to catch the Clarkson netminder, Zeglen, off-guard with the shot, firing it through the five-hole to put UMD back up 2-1 with just over seven minutes left in the first period.

"I thought our speed was fantastic, we had some really nice entries,” Crowell said. “This line (top line of Hughes, Klein, and Brodt) in particular got some good looks at net."

To start the second period, it was once again the Bulldogs putting the pressure on early. UMD had possession of the puck for most of the first five minutes of the period, including a nearly two minute offensive zone stand that eventually culminated with Clarkson icing the puck. Clarkson coach, Matt Desrosiers decided to use his timeout and it appeared as though the Bulldogs were poised to take control of the game.

Although they were able to generate chances and keep the pressure on, UMD wasn’t able to get a shot past Zeglen, with many of them flying harmlessly wide of the net. Despite being hemmed in their own zone, the Clarkson defense did a good job of forcing shots to the outside.

"For long stints in the second period we just didn't find the back of the net,” Crowell said. “Our D took some nice shots missed by a little bit here and there, and so again, encouraged by the way we played."

Clarkson eventually began turning the tide back in their favor, breaking through to tie the game on a well-placed shot from the slot by forward Brooke McQuigge. The goal was McQuigge’s first in the NCAA and made the score 2-2 with 6:35 left in the period.

Clarkson took the lead just over 3 minutes later, capitalizing on a UMD turnover in their own zone. Forward Elizabeth Giguere took the puck up the boards and broke in alone on the Bulldog net. Rooney was able to stop Giguere’s initial chance, but forward Michaela Pejzlova gathered the rebound and put it past the Bulldog netminder to make it 3-2 Clarkson with 3:06 left to go in the second period. 

The Golden Knights added another goal by Giguere in the third period enroute to a 4-2 victory. With the victory Clarkson, who swept Syracuse last weekend, improves to 3-0 on the season, while UMD falls to 0-1.

The Bulldogs will look to go for the split in the second game of the series today at Amsoil Arena. Puck drop is set for 3:07 p.m. For live updates during the game follow along @thebarksports on twitter.