Women's hockey: Bulldogs knock Beavers from playoffs
Minnesota Duluth's second line isn't playing like an inferior group. With two players from the first line missing a combined 18 games in 2008, Haley Irwin, Emmanuelle Blais and Laura Fridfinnson have remained intact and are UMD's consistent scorers.
Minnesota Duluth's second line isn't playing like an inferior group.
With two players from the first line missing a combined 18 games in 2008, Haley Irwin, Emmanuelle Blais and Laura Fridfinnson have remained intact and are UMD's consistent scorers.
In eight series in 2008, the all-Canada line has scored 47 percent of the Bulldogs' 65 goals during a 13-1 run.
"They are probably one of the hottest lines in the country right now," UMD coach Shannon Miller said Friday. "I would be surprised if they are not."
Fridfinnson scored two goals and Irwin notched two assists to aid the Bulldogs in a 5-1 win over Bemidji State in Game 2 of a Western Collegiate Hockey Association first-round women's playoff series at the DECC.
The top-seeded Bulldogs (29-4-1) swept the series and will face St. Cloud State or Ohio State in the WCHA semifinals at 1:07 p.m. March 8 at the DECC, while Minnesota will play Wisconsin in the other semifinal at 4:07 p.m. The championship game will be 1:07 p.m. March 9.
Fifth-seeded Ohio State beat fourth-seeded St. Cloud State 3-0 Saturday to force Game 3 today.
Miller said the top six Division I teams also have second lines that could be their first.
"The one thing that [second] line has always had is speed," Miller said. "But now they have some poise with the puck and they are scoring some pretty nice goals."
The line scored half of UMD's goals in a 6-0 win Friday over Bemidji State.
On Saturday, Fridfinnson, a freshman from Arborg, Manitoba, was denied on two breakaways by Bemidji State goalie Emily Brookshaw.
With two freshmen on the line, Blais, a sophomore from Lasalle, Quebec, doesn't believe she needs to be a mentor.
"I don't think so because they are two talented players," Blais said Friday. "We just get along really well. We just try to help each other when someone is not having the best game."
Now Irwin, a freshman from Thunder Bay, Ontario, leads the team scoring chart with 49 points, with Fridfinnson and Blais in fifth and sixth place, respectively.
The Bulldogs took it to Bemidji State (4-29-3) from the start Saturday. UMD racked up 17 shots before the Beavers got one on UMD goalie Kim Martin after over 12 minutes in the first period.
UMD held a 1-0 lead after one period behind a rebound goal from junior winger Sara O'Toole at 1:20.
Joss Larocque and Fridfinnson added second-period goals for a 3-0 margin.
Blais and Fridfinnson's second goal were in the third period.
The Duluth News Tribune and the Bemidji Pioneer are both owned by Forum Communications Company.
Bemidji State 0-0-1--1
Minnesota Duluth 1-2-1--5
First period -- 1. UMD, Sara O'Toole (Elin Holmlov, Saara Tuominen) 1:20. Penalties -- Haley Irwin, UMD, (tripping) 4:30. Ashley Leopold, BSU, (holding) 9:08. Tara Gray, UMD, (cross checking) 17:40.
Second period -- 2. UMD, Joss Larocque (Myriam Trepanier, Sara O'Toole) 1:10. 3. UMD, Laura Fridfinnson (Heidi Pelttari, Haley Irwin) 5:22 (pp). Penalties -- Jaime Leduc, BSU, (high sticking) 4:51. Emmanuelle Blais, UMD, (roughing) 12:39. Jackie Robertson, BSU, (roughing) 12:39. Tara Gray, UMD, (body checking) 15:32.
Third period -- 4. UMD,Emmanuelle Blais (Haley Irwin, Heidi Pelttari) 12:18. 5. UMD, Laura Fridfinnson (Myriam Trepanier, Libby Guzzo) 13:08. 6. BSU, Lisa Kissick (Tara Hiscock) 19:19. Penalties -- Lisa Kissick, BSU, (tripping) 2:41. Joss Larocque, UMD, (interference) 4:24. UMD, (too many players) 15:01. Franny Dorr, BSU, (hooking) 18:01.
Shots on goal -- UMD 48, BSU 14. Goalies -- Kim Martin, UMD, 8 shots, 8 saves. Johanna Ellison, UMD, 2 shots, 2 saves. Amie Meyer, UMD, 4 shots, 3 saves. Emily Brookshaw, BSU, 48 shots, 43 saves.
Power Plays -- UMD 1-for-4, BSU 0-for-5. Referee -- Leah Wrazildo. Linesmen -- Tom Storey, Tom Jerome. A -- 536.