GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The University of North Dakota women's hockey team kicked off its season tonight, defeating Manitoba 3-1 at Ralph Englestad Arena. Sara Dagenais, Stephanie Roy and Kelsey Ketcher scored goals for the Fighting Sioux, while Rachele Bosc scored for Manitoba.
The Sioux (1-0-0) came into the season knowing they had a logjam in net, which isn't necessarily a bad thing as they have three capable goaltenders going into the season. All three goaltenders in senior Brittany Kirkham (Ottawa, Ontario), sophomore Stephanie Ney (100 Mile House, British Columbia) and redshirt freshman Jorid Dagfinrud (Sarpsborg, Norway) got a period of action tonight and all three made some key saves.
Sophomore Margot Miller (West Bloomfield, Mich.) was able to win a battle against the boards and free the puck back to Susanne Fellner (Fronhofen, Germany) just inside the blue line that led to the game and season's first goal. Fellner put a slapshot on net where Manitoba (1-3-0) backstop Stacey Corfield made the save, but gave up a rebound right in the slot to Dagenais who was waiting for the top-shelf goal.
Both teams had a power play in the period but came up unsuccessful on their respective attempts, with the Sioux outshooting the Bisons 7-2. The Sioux would finish the game 0-4 on the power play holding the Bisons 0-3.
The Sioux once again dominated shots on goal in the second stanza outshooting the Bison 8-4 but went into the second intermission still up only one goal. The Bison showed the most pressure they amounted in the game in the final couple minutes of the period but Kirkham was able to keep the shutout going.
The games first star and native of Grande-Digue, New Brunswick, scored the eventual game-winning goal at the 6:45 mark of the final stanza. Roy was able to steal the puck from a defender just outside the slot and deek Bisons goaltender Stacey Corfield and finish with a backhander.
Rachelle Bosc was able to make it a one-goal game again when she was able to find the puck in front of the Sioux net off some miscommunication between Ney and a UND defender for an easy open-net goal at 12:49.
Ketcher (Mound, Minn.) was able to seal the game with her first-career goal on an empty net with 1:17 remaining.
The Sioux finished the game outshooting Manitoba 27-10 with the two teams meeting again tomorrow at 4:07 p.m. in the series finale.