DULUTH, Minn. --- The University of North Dakota women's hockey team tied Minnesota Duluth Saturday at the Amsoil Arena and dropped the ensuing shootout 3-2 in four rounds as the Bulldogs collected the extra point in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings that proved pivotal.
North Dakota knew what it had to do to claim its highest finish in the WCHA standings in program history, as with Wisconsin's win earlier in the day meant it need to defeat the Bulldogs in regulation, overtime or in a shootout.
The road team knew it wouldn't come easy however as it was facing a Bulldogs squad that also had plenty of motivation. UMD need at least two points tonight to avoid going on the road for the first round of the playoffs for its first time in program history.
In both the game and the shootout UND jumped out to 2-0 leads but the Bulldogs were able to come from behind.
Returning to the lineup tonight after missing yesterday's game, UMD's goaltender Kayla Black proved to be the difference and essentially stole the game for the Bulldogs.
North Dakota outshot the Bulldogs 48-15 throughout regulation and overtime but Black made 46 saves to prove the difference.
In regulation, UND weathered the storm in the first 10 minutes with a great defensive effort as UMD seemed to have a little extra jump.
North Dakota didn't get a shot on goal until over 11 minutes into the period, but finished the frame with an 8-5 advantage in scoreless opening frame.
Best chance of the first period came late in the first period when Monique Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.) was robbed on a one-timer as Black sprawled across the crease to just get a piece with her leg pad and made a secondary save on a rebound attempt by Dufault.
There were four goals scored in the middle frame but we ended the second period, just like the first period, knotted at two goals apiece.
North Dakota jumped all over the Bulldogs as Michelle Karvinen (Rodovre, Denmark) tipped a shot by Jakobsen into the back of the net and Sam LaShomb (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) sniped a wrister into the corner of the goaltender's glove side at 3:44 and 4:59, respectively.
The Bulldogs closed out the period with the next two goals coming from Katie Wilson and Jamie Kenyon to send us into the second intermission tied 2-2.
The third period, like the first period, went scoreless, but this time it was all UND as it outshot the home team 20-5.
With 2:37 remaining in regulation, Meghan Dufault (Winnipeg, Manitoba) nearly was awarded a penalty shot, but did earn a power-play chance for UND as she was hauled down by Jessica Wong on a partial breakaway. UND failed to convert although getting plenty of shots on net and the game would go to extra time.
UND continued its pressure into the extra period with nine shots on goal and did not allow a shot, but Black was perfect and gave the Bulldogs its opportunity at the extra point in the shootout.
Jocelyne Lamoureux opened the shootout with a spin-o-rama goal and Karvinen sniped a corner to give UND another two-goal lead -- this time in the shootout.
But after missing its first attempt, the Bulldogs scored on three consecutive chances to claim the shootout win and snap UND's nine-game winning streak. North Dakota will conclude the regular season with a 23-10-1 record and 18-9-1 in league play.
North Dakota will face Minnesota State in the best-of-three series at the Ralph Engelstad Arena next Friday-Sunday with all games starting at 2:07 p.m.