COLUMBUS, Ohio – Make that a 10-game unbeaten streak, the third-longest in the nation.
Minnesota Duluth swept No. 9 Ohio State with a 3-2 win Saturday, tying the Bulldogs with Wisconsin for second place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. Both UMD and the Badgers have 37 points, but Wisconsin has played two more games than the Bulldogs, who improve to 13-8-3 overall and 12-7-1, having won their past six games.
After a scoreless first period, UMD exploded for three consecutive goals in the second period. Jenna McParland kicked off the scoring, using Aleksandra Vafina as a decoy on a 2-on-1 before beating OSU goaltender Chelsea Knapp to the left of her stick side 2:28 into the period.
Zoe Hickel doubled the Bulldogs’ lead to 2-0 a mere 2:03 later, redirecting a shot top-shelf to cash in on a 5-on-3 power play at the 4:25 mark. Exactly five minutes after UMD had started its scoring spree, the Bulldogs wrapped it up with another power-play goal by Brienna Gillanders, whose connection on the loose puck was assisted by Katie Wilson and Hannah Bramm, and gave UMD a 3-0 lead after just 7:28 of the second period had been played.
OSU continued its power-play success on the weekend with 2:20 remaining in the second period to drop the Bulldogs’ lead to 3-1, and then struck again with the extra skater 4:42 into the third period to make it a contest at 3-2. UMD goaltender Kayla Black again was stellar in the net, however, and the Bulldogs hunkered down to stay undefeated in 2013.
Black made 28 saves, Knapp 26 and both squads went 2 of 5 on the power play.
In the series opener, Bridgette Lacquette recorded her first career hat trick and also added two assists, and Hickel, who had already dished two assists, scored the game-winner as Minnesota Duluth won 7-5.
UMD will take its 10-game unbeaten streak right to the mother of unbeaten streaks when it travels to Minneapolis to face No. 1 Minnesota and its NCAA-record 33-game unbeaten stand next weekend.