Dec. 4, 2008

 

GOPHERS CLOSE OUT 2008 AT NORTH DAKOTA The No. 2 University of Minnesota women’s hockey team will close out the 2008 calendar year as it travels to Grand Forks, N.D. to face North Dakota, Friday and Saturday night. Friday’s game is scheduled for a 7:07 p.m. start, while Saturday’s game is at 4:07 p.m. Live statistics and video will be available for the games (for Gold Zone members) along with gophersports.com providing a running game blog of all of the events happening at the Ralph Engelstad Arena this weekend.

THE SERIES This weekend marks the 21st and 22nd times Minnesota and North Dakota have faced each other since November of 2003. Minnesota has held a 20-0-0 record against UND, including two wins last February and March to help the Gophers advance to the WCHA Final Faceoff. Minnesota squeaked by a series sweep last year at the Ralph Engelstad Arena, winning 4-1 and 2-1 on January 18-19.

ABOUT NORTH DAKOTA In 14 games played this season, North Dakota enters the series with an 8-5-1 overall record and a 5-4-1 mark in the WCHA. In WCHA action alone, UND swept St. Cloud State (10/10-11), tied and lost to Minnesota State (10/17-18) and fell to Wisconsin, Nov. 15-16. UND’s most notable win came in its last competition when it shut out defending national champions, Minnesota Duluth, 4-0 on Nov. 23. North Dakota will be well rested for the Minnesota series after being idle from competition last weekend.

Leading the scoring charge for UND is senior forward Melissa Jaques with eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points. Following Jaques is Stephanie Roy with 12 points and Sara Dagenais with 11. Brittany Kirkham and Stephanie Ney have split time in net for North Dakota. Kirkham has played in eight games and holds a 4-3-1 record, while Ney, the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week for shutting out UMD, has played in six games and holds a 4-2-0 record.

DID YOU KNOW? The North Dakota series marks the return of Gopher freshmen and Grand Forks, N.D. natives Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux to their hometown. The duo has strong University of North Dakota connections. Their father, Jean-Pierre was UND’s starting goaltender for two of their national championships. Their brother, Mario, plays for North Dakota’s current team and their brother, Jean-Philippe, was UND’s goaltender in his junior and senior years before graduating last season.

GOALIE ASSIST Jenny Lura recorded her first assist of her career when she stopped the puck and gave it to Rachel Drazan on a power-play opportunity last Saturday. With Lura’s assist, she became the first goaltender to earn an assist since former Gopher Brenda Reinen accomplished the feat on February 29, 2004. ON THE DOCKET Following the UND series, Minnesota will have nearly a month off from competition. The Gophers resume action on Jan. 3-4 when they travel to Niagara to face the Purple Eagles. Minnesota will then return to conference action on Jan. 9-10 when it travels to Ohio State. Minnesota’s next home competition comes on Jan. 16-17 when Bemidji State visits Ridder Arena.