Lewis scores game winner in ot; Wiebe sets new program record with five points
Courtesy: Derek Koenen, UND Athletic Media Relations
Release: 10/30/2009
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Courtesy: Emily Green,
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After scoring only seven goals through six games to open the year, the University of North Dakota women's hockey team explodes for five goals, which was just enough to squeak by St. Cloud State University 5-4 in an overtime thriller at the National Hockey Center tonight.

Junior captain Kelly Lewis (Forest Lake, Minn.) connected on a one-timer at 2:26 of overtime on the power play for her first goal of the season, while sophomore Alyssa Wiebe (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) set a new program high with a five-point night (two goals, three assists) looking a little bit like last years number 13 in Melissa Jaques (previously four points, eight times, most recently by Melissa Jaques, 11/04/08).

Wiebe switched her number to 13 after wearing 14 her freshman season. Thirteen was previously worn by Jaques who graduated last season as the all-time leading point scorer for the Sioux.

Wiebe wasn't the only Sioux with a huge point night as freshmen Mary Loken (Roseau, Minn.) and Megan Gilbert (Andover, Minn.) each collected three assists and Holly Perkins (Soldotha, Alaska) had a goal and an assist.

"I was happy with our energy," head coach Brian Idalski said. "We came out and were ready to play, ready to compete and we knew these were going to be big points for us and it is nice anytime you can get a win on the road."

Two of last seasons returning leading scorers, Wiebe and Lewis had been held to a combined two assists to start the season but came up big tonight.

"There is no doubt that those kids need to step up for us and those kids need to make plays and tonight they did that," Idalski said. "Tonight they rose to the challenge and that is what we need from them on a consistent basis for us to be successful."

UND was called for the first penalty of the night when Sara Dagenais (Montreal, Quebec) was sent to the penalty box for Interference leading to the games first goal. Felicia Nelson took advantage of knowing her home ice when Meaghan Pezon put a slapshot wide of net, but Nelson corralled the lively bounce off the boards and slid it in past Sioux backstop Brittany Kirkham (Ottawa, Ontario) for the early lead at 6:22.

The Huskies would be called for the next three penalties where the Sioux created plenty of opportunities but couldn't cash in until only 20 seconds remained in the first stanza. Lewis was able keep the puck in the opposing zone on a failed clear attempt and three crisp passes later Perkins lit the lamp with her first collegiate goal. Girlbert and Wiebe collected the helpers.

The Sioux would grab its first lead of the game when Gilbert and Loken combined passes to hit Wiebe on the fly for a breakaway attempt. Wiebe faked to her backhand that forced netminder Ashley Nixon to move and left the short side open for UND's returning leading scorers first goal of the season at 9:09 of the second period.

The lead was short lived though as Meaghan Pezon would score two goals at 11:20 and 14:33 (second on the power play) putting the Huskies back on top.

Idalski would make a goaltending change as sophomore Stephanie Ney (100 Mile House, British Columbia) entered the game after the third goal. Kirkham would leave after allowing three goals on 19 shots. Kirkham did tie the school record held by Amber Hasbargen (2002-06) of 86 games played by a goaltender.

It only took 13 seconds into the third period when Wiebe would even the game at three goals apiece, again with assists going to Gilbert and Loken.

After the Huskies started two-for-two on the power play, the Sioux came up with a big kill shortly after evening the game on a holding penalty on Gilbert. With the momentum gained from the kill and early goal the Sioux went right back down the ice and thought they had the lead at 4:30, but after review the goal was taken away from Loken for being in the crease.

The Sioux would however regain the lead when Dagenais would enter the Huskies zone one-on-one with a defender and from the middle of the slot use the defender as a screen and snipe a shot top-shelf at 7:17.

In a back-and-forth fast-paced period Idalski would call his timeout with 5:55 remaining to try to settle things down, but only one shift and 23 seconds later the were called for too many players giving the Huskies another attempt on the power play.

Halfway through the power play it was SCSU's turn to take a timeout and get things organized with 4:26 remaining. The Sioux would hold strong to kill the penalty but immediately give them another chance when only seven seconds at even strength Wiebe was called for tripping - this time equaling in a goal by Caitlin Hogan to even the game once again with only 1:43 left on the clock.

Holly Roberts was called for hooking 1:49 and Lewis blasted a slapshot past Nixon for the game-winner 2:24 into the extra period. Perkins and Wiebe assisted on the goal.

Ney would finish the game as the winning goaltender allowing one goal while making 21 saves in nearly 28 minutes of action.

The Sioux will return to the ice looking for the sweep over the Huskies with a 2:07 p.m. opening faceoff.

The fun starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 24.
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