GRAND FORKS, N.D. --- The University of North Dakota women's hockey team defeated top-ranked Minnesota Duluth this afternoon at the Ralph Engelstad Arena, 4-2, in front of 1,469 fans. The Sioux rebounded from a 4-0 loss on Friday to split its second-consecutive series against higher-ranked opponents to open the season.
"We weren't too happy with the way we played on Friday and I think it showed that we wanted to come out (strong) and we wanted to win this game," said Grand Forks native sophomore Monique Lamoureux-Kolls. "We were rolling, we got scoring from all of the lines and it was just a great win and a great atmosphere with a great crowd today."
Decorated in pink tape honoring breast cancer awareness, the Fighting Sioux took an early 1-0 lead 24 seconds into the first period when Jocelyne Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.) pulled out a fancy toe-drag move past the defender to snipe top shelf on UMD netminder Kim Martin. The goal ties the school record for fastest goal to start a game set by Stasia Bakhit against Boston College (10/26/02).
Named the game's first star, junior Stephanie Ney (100 Mile House, British Columbia) made her first start of the year after returning from an injury. She was tested early as the Bulldogs outshot the Sioux for the majority of the period and the game. The Bulldogs finally cracked Ney when Haley Irwin tied the game at 8:42 in the first period.
"I was excited and was looking forward to it," Ney said. "It was a long time coming. Ever since last year and I just wanted to get back into it and it was a nice start."
"I just wanted to keep everything simple. Steer pucks to the corner, keep rebound control going good and just see every shot, keep talking to the (defense) and our players did great. The defense did a good job of clearing shots and we got the puck out when we needed to."
Alison Parizek (Minot, N.D.) scored her first goal of the season off a nifty two-on-one pass from Lamoureux-Kolls on the power play to regain the lead the Sioux wouldn't relinquish at 13:46 of the second frame.
"Parizek had a solid weekend," Idalski said. "She did a nice job and definitely was a difference maker for us. Hopefully she can continue that for us so hopefully she can continue to put games back-to-back and weekends back-to-back and continue building some confidence."
Shortly after, Sara Dagenais (Montreal, Quebec) also scored her first goal of the season to put the Sioux up 3-1 at 16:15 of the second stanza. Dagenais' goal would hold on to be the game-winning goal.
Trailing nearly the entire game, the Bulldogs were able to outshoot the Sioux 32-19 as they attempted to get back into the game.
"I thought we did the little things good," said Lamoureux-Kolls. "We got shots on net and we won the battles on the lines. I still think we can do a little bit better at that, but we came away with a win today and I thought everybody played good. When you got everybody rolling it's great for the team."
The Sioux were able to increase their lead by three when Lamoreux-Kolls scored her third goal of the season on a 5-on-3 power play. Haley Irwin was called for two minor penalties and a 10-minute unsportsmanlike conduct that kept her in the penalty box for a majority of the third period. Jessica Wong gave the Sioux the two-man advantage only 12 seconds later when called for checking.
Lamoureux-Kolls' goal completed the "hat trick" by the Sioux top line as the North Dakota native trio of Lamoureux, Lamoureux-Kolls and Parizek all scored in the game.
The Bulldogs started their attempt towards a comeback with a power-play goal at 12:57 in the third period from Vanessa Thibault, but were unable to finish their climb to the top as Ney and the Sioux defense shut down their last efforts.
In a complete team win, the Sioux had 19 shots from 11 different players and no skater had a negative plus/minus including returning points leader, sophomore Alyssa Wiebe (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) getting her first points of the season with two assists.
"It was a solid performance," Idalski said. "I thought as a team we did a good job of not turning the puck over in the grey areas and making solid decisions in managing the game. I was pleased. Top-to-bottom it was a good effort and definitely capitalized on our opportunities."
This win marks the second time in the past two seasons that the Sioux have beaten a number one ranked team. The first time was against Wisconsin in 2009. This win also marks the first time that the Sioux have beaten the Bulldogs at home and only the third win against them ever.
The Sioux will be on the road next weekend for a highly anticipated match up against the Lamoureux's former team and currently fourth-ranked University of Minnesota Gophers.
"We are going to enjoy it tonight and get ready for Minnesota on Tuesday," Ney said.