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Redemption Song

10 February 2014

tUMD 3, No Names 4/tUMD 3 (SO), No Names 2

Now that tOSU has been swept by Wisconsin and tUMD has 2 points on the weekend, home ice is assured! The question of our opponent remains: will it be Bemidji or Ohio State? Does it matter? We will beat either, I am confident.

I missed Saturday’s game because I had to work, but of course I was checking in. It was so exciting to see the Dogs go up by 1, then 2, then 3. Captain Jamie Kenyon (who will play her final games at AMSoil Arena in the upcoming WCHA quarterfinals) had two goals and Sid the Kid had a PPG. Unfortunately, Denmark did not have an Olympic team and UND got to keep Josefine Jakobsen, who had the game-tying and game-winning goals as UND scored 4 without an answer from our Doggies.

Sunday was the opposite. I headed down to the game right on time… if it started at 3:37, which it did not. Stupid metric conversion. tUMD went down 1-0 on some kind of defensive breakdown or something. I don’t know, it was disappointing, especially since tUMD had just had a scoring chance of their own. UND scored again on a 5×3 PP that was complete BS. Well, the second penalty, to McParland, was BS. There was seriously no reason for the refs to call it, McParland was going for the puck. Very frustrating, and for awhile it felt like a 2 goal lead would be insurmountable. I worried about tUMD’s chances of scoring even one goal, given the lack of offensive flow. Ashleigh Brykaliuk had no such concerns, and scored a short-handed goal on the same penalty kill, beating Lexie Shaw and two UND defenders. She’s a real sharpshooter, and I love it.

The pace of the game really picked up in the third period, as did the physicality. I’d like to tell critics of women’s hockey that it is not officiated like pumpkin pushing. There is physical play, sometimes rather heated physical play (McParland and a UND player were in a bit of a shoving match in the corner at one point). It’s not like every puck battle is penalized if the players touch in any way. I promise it is possible to enjoy hockey without the Ben Marshalls of the world circling like sharks, looking for any chance they have to blindside an opponent with a shoulder to the head.

Hannah Bramm tied the game with four minutes remaining and the intensity ramped up from there. Each team had some great chances in overtime, but the goaltending and defense were sharp and yet again tUMD went to a shootout. tUMD has gone to overtime six times, and all six times have gone to a shootout. Look at me, whipping out stats like I’m writing a real gamer. Anyway, the first two shooters missed, then Brykaliuk scored a beauty, and then Andrea Dalen scored for the no-names. McParland scored on her attempt, and Black shut the door on Jakobsen, sealing the win for the Dogs!

After the game, tUMD honored seniors Madison Kolls and Jamie Kenyon. The bright side of having only two seniors is we get so many of our great players back. The down side is we’re still losing our captain and workhorse in Kenyon and a transfer student who showed great flexibility and promise in Kolls.

I also got to spend a little time with my friend Gabs, who gives excellent coverage of women’s college and international hockey. She recently moved to Grand Forks from New Jersey, which might seem puzzling to most, but not to an avid hockey fan. She attends UND and was traveling with the team in some sort of official capacity, so I was lucky to get an intermission break to hang out with her. Yay! Please read what she writes, it’s all very good.

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