DULUTH, Minn. — Any doubts about the state of UMD women’s hockey was put to rest by the end of the first period in tonight’s 8-0 win against the University of North Dakota. Three UMD players had two goal games and new captain Riitta Schaublin recorded her fifth shut out of the season.
“I don’t think it would have mattered who we played tonight, someone would have gotten some tough medicine,” said UMD coach Shannon Miller. “There was no focus on the opponent this week whatsoever. The focus was on ourselves and looking in the mirror. It was now or never, I’m telling you.”
The Bulldogs opened a 2-0 lead in the first eight minutes with freshman Tawni Mattila responding to the challenge. Her first goal came on a UMD power play when she cleaned up a rebound off a sharp shot by other new UMD captain, senior defender Krista McArthur. Less than two minutes later Mattila scored again when she took a shot from a sharp angle to UND goaltender Amber Hasbargen’s left side. The Sioux goalie seemed to have stopped the seeing-eye puck, until it found the smallest crack between her and the post.
“It was fun out there, we worked hard and worked as a team,” Mattila said. “I think it was a good start at a new point for our team. Hopefully we’ll carry this on to the next games and into the playoffs.”
Fourth year UND coach Shantel Rivard was hard up for words at the end of the game. She would not comment on the penalty disparity, as UND was called for 11 while UMD was only whistled five times.
“It looked like there was some stuff going on with their team, and it would have been good to catch them at a good time maybe to be taken,” Rivard said. “Our effort was decent, but we need to get a stick on a rebound. One step at a time.”
After UMD took the 2-0 lead, Margaret-Ann Hinkley was called on in net for UND. It made little difference for the Fighting Souix as she allowed the next six goals. Hasbargen went back in with 15 minutes left in the third.
It was that kind of night for the Bulldogs.
“It just shows that it’s not only lucky bounces but we were actually there,” Schaublin said. “The last few games were weren’t there on the rebounds and couldn’t have gotten them in, but tonight we were there.”
“We worked harder for our breaks tonight, we earned them,” McArthur said. “This game came to us because we worked harder.”
Miller added “This week our theme was ‘it’s a new beginning’ and there’s only one thing our players need to learn between now and the end of March and that’s to learn what respect is. It encompasses work ethic, pride and behavior.”