COLUMBUS, Ohio --- The University of North Dakota women's hockey team had been talking about responding and dealing with situations where things don't go exactly their way. After suffering a string of "tough luck" games with one the previous night, losing 2-1 in overtime, the Sioux clearly responded with a 7-2 win over The Ohio State Buckeyes today.
Since joining the WCHA in 2004-05, the seven goals scored is the most put up and the five-goal differential is the biggest spread in a league game for the Sioux and is more goals scored in one game then they had put up in their last eight outings.
The Sioux (6-18-4, 5-17-2-0 WCHA) had 10 players factor in scoring in the game with four multiple-point scorers while Stephanie Ney (100 Mile House, British Columbia) made 39 saves while allowing two goals. Three of UND's seven goals game from defensemen which is the first time since 2002-03 and first time ever three different defensemen scored.
"It is nice to see us finally get rewarded for doing some good work," head coach Brian Idalski said. "(The goals) were all different. Fellner did a nice job walking and shooting with a purpose, Holmes jumped into a seem and Jordan jumped up into the play late so I thought they did a nice job with their gap, shooting with a purpose and being aggressive. It was a nice night for them."
With six different goal scorers, freshman Holly Perkins (Soldotha, Alaska) led the way with two goals (2-1-3) while senior Susanne Fellner (Fronhofen, Germany) sophomores Sara Dagenais (Montreal, Quebec), Ashley Holmes (Miltona, Minn.) and Margot Miller (West Bloomfield, Mich.) and freshman Jordan Slavin (Erie, Colo.) added goals.
The Buckeyes (14-12-4, 12-12-2-0 WCHA) would score first with a goal by Rachel Davis who one-timed a shot, pinching in from the blue line, at 10:51 of the opening period.
But the Sioux would respond with what would be the first of three straight goals when Dagenais found the back of the net from just inside the near face-off circle only 1:22 later. Perkins and freshman Ashley Furia (Sedalia, Colo.) would pick up assists on the goal.
Miller would give the Sioux the lead they wouldn't relinquish with another first period goal off a nice pass from Alyssa Wiebe at 16:43. Wiebe would pick up her first of three assists in the game.
"We have always seen Wiebe as a playmaker," Idalski said. "She moves the puck well and creates offense every game for us and that is what we need."
Perkins would score first in the second frame as the Sioux finally converted on a breakaway opportunity. Molle and Wiebe combined to quickly clear the puck out of the Sioux zone and find Perkins on the fly who beat Chelsea Knapp glove side at 4:22.
Hokey Langan would answer for OSU with her 19th goal of her freshman campaign to cut the lead to one, scoring at 12:07 of the second stanza. After giving up the games first goal, then having their two goal lead cut in half the Sioux did not show any sign of feeling the pressure of their recent nail-biting losses as they would then go on to score four more unanswered goals.
"We talked about it last week about not responding well and losing in overtime," Idalski said. "Knowing that we can play with them, coming out with energy, focusing on the little things and doing the little things right. We got some bounces today and made some plays. Things just seemed to go from there. We played with a lot of confidence and played that way the whole game."
Fellner converted the series lone power-play goal regaining the two goal lead at 15:51 and her d-partner Holmes would close out the second period scoring at 17:10.
Perkins took advantage of another Sioux breakaway as Dagenais brought the puck in on Knapp, fired low and Perkins was trailing and cashed in on the rebound for an early third period goal at 3:18. She would nearly complete the first Sioux hat trick since 2005 but this time couldn't find a way past Knapp on another breakaway with about three minutes remaining.
"That is part of the reason we pulled the redshirt off of her," Idalski said. "Offensively, in practice, she was doing a lot of good things. The has been a slasher and cuts hard to the net opening things up. She has more of a scorers touch so we could see that and her development has been exciting."
Slavin would score with only three seconds remaining to make it a touchdown on the scoreboard for the Sioux.
Ney would finish with nearly identical numbers as her netminding partner Jorid Dagfinrud (Sarpsborg, Norway) did the previous night, although it being with better results, making 39 saves on 41 shots faced. Dagfinrud made 38 saves on 40 shots in the overtime 2-1 loss.
"We always expected (goaltending) to be a strength," Idalski said. "I would like to split those kids the rest of the year and ride the hot hand into the playoffs."
The Sioux will now have Bemidji State on the schedule in a home-and-home series next weekend before closing out the regular season at Minnesota State. The Sioux are now currently tied with the Mavericks in the conference standings who host St. Cloud State tomorrow afternoon.
"We have been playing well for weeks," Idalski said. "It is finally nice to have us break through. We have got to stay focused on what we have been doing and keep playing at that kind of level, working hard and good things will happen for us."
Notes: This was UND's first win in Columbus where it was previously 0-9-1 ... Before this season you have to go back to 2003-04, UND's first year as a program, since it defeated a team by five goals ... It happened three times that season against Vermont (8-2), Quinnipiac (7-2), and Wayne State (7-2) before twice this season (also 5-0 win at Union on Jan. 2) ... Cassandra Flanagan became UND's all-time penalty minutes leader (now at 266) in a career passing Jessica Kovacevich's (2002-06) 262 ... Alyssa Wiebe now has 19 assists and 27 points which trails the program's single-season record for assists by one and points by 11.