FARGO, N.D. --- The University of North Dakota women's hockey team concluded the Women's Hockey Weekend in Fargo, N.D., with a 2-0 loss to Wisconsin earning a series and regular season split in four games.
"I thought Wisconsin responded like we knew they would," Idalski said. "They are a good club and made some adjustments, but we left it all out there. We had a chance there at the end to grab some points but it just didn't work out. I was happy with the effort."
After winning its first-ever game against Wisconsin earlier this season and the series opener this weekend the Sioux feel they are beyond having to prove themselves to the elite teams.
"I think we are beyond trying to prove something," Idalski said. "That is something we talked about a couple of weeks ago. I think we are now at a point where things are starting to click, our kids are starting to understand and starting to play disciplined and with a purpose. I am excited for them. I think it is going to continue to build and we can kind of role this into next weekend and the weekend after that."
Brooke Ammerman gave the Badgers the early lead scoring only 6:07 into the game on their third shot as she was able to beat Sioux netminder Jorid Dagfinrud (Sarpsborg, Norway) from the near faceoff circle. Dagfinrud was screened on the play.
The score would hold entering the first break with Wisconsin edging the Sioux in shots, 13-12.
During the middle frame, the Sioux had a great opportunity going on a five-on-three advantage for 29 seconds and a full two-minute power play but for the fourth time on the night the Badgers were able to kill their penalties.
Ten minutes into the second period all Sioux shots (three) had came in the power play and would finish the period being outshot 13-6, but more importantly held of the rush entering the final regulation period still trailing by only one goal.
The Badgers would end the period with 13 seconds of their own five-on-three advantage but this time the Sioux held the initial onslaught, but would have 1:38 remaining on Wiebe's penalty for checking to open the third period.
On that power play the Badgers thought they had taken a two goal lead but it was ruled no goal for goalie interference.
The Sioux would have one more power play midway through the period and then would pull Dagfinrud with 1:06 remaining to no luck as the Badgers were able to hold off the late Sioux attack and score an empty-net goal.
In a game that only saw two goals both teams pushed to the puck with numerous scoring opportunities on both ends of the ice that saw each goaltender shine. The Badgers concluded the game outshooting the Sioux 39-26 while neither team converted on the power play in five UND attempts and four for UW.
"We talk about elite teams being able to play possession hockey and be able to skate and make plays and that is where we are at," Idalski said. "It is starting to come easier for the kids and they are making plays. It is nice to see."
Dagfinrud made 37 saves in the game allowing only one goal in the losing effort while Becca Ruegsegger made all 26 saves for the shutout win.
"I saw out of Jorid what we expect out of Jorid," Idalski said. "What we always saw in Jorid is a kid that is very athletic, has the ability to make big saves yet was poised enough to make the simple ones. She was able to manage the game and control the flow. Now she has to take that ability and string it into consecutive weekends."
UND returns to the Ralph Englestad Arena next weekend for the first time in 2010 with a home series against WCHA rival St. Cloud State.
"The Huskies are a few points ahead of us and those are big points," Idalski said. "They are big games and I am looking forward to it. I can't wait. It is too bad we have to wait another five days to get back after it but hopefully we can keep the momentum we have built this weekend and roll it into next weekend."