PROVIDENCE, R.I. — In the season opener for both teams, top-ranked Minnesota-Duluth began defense of its national title by defeating Providence 6-4 Saturday.
The defending champions wasted little time taking control of the game, jumping out to a 3-0 first period lead on goals by Maria Rooth at 8:58, Erika Holst at 9:54 and Jenny Potter at 12:04.
The Bulldogs continued to pressure the Friars in the second period with two consecutive tallies to open the period.
Holst netted her second goal of the game at 1:04 and Michelle McAteer registered Duluth’s fifth goal at 8:35. After McAteer’s goal, the Friars replaced starting goaltender Amy Quinlan with freshman Jana Bugden.
Bugden seemed to energize the Friars, who scored three consecutive goals to close the period. Sophomore Christina Redmond scored on a breakaway to open the scoring for PC. Junior Darlene Stephenson and senior Danielle Culgin also scored for Providence in the second period.
But the Bulldogs scored their sixth goal at 4:41 of the first period when Krista McArthur shot low through a screen past Bugden to increase Minnesota-Duluth’s lead to 6-3.
The Friars again cut the lead to two goals on a tally by junior Meredith Roth at 5:21. However, the Friars could not get any closer despite outshooting the Bulldogs 14-8 over the final period.
The Friars and the Bulldogs conclude the weekend series Sunday at 2 p.m.