Grand Forks, ND – “I thought we were a little sloppy and I thought we were way too cute and down the stretch we made some poor decision defensively that ending up costing us pretty big,” UND head coach Brian Idalski on tonight’s game.
Coming into this season, there is a lot of positive energy surrounding the UND women’s hockey team based on the personnel they have coming back and some of the new recruits they have coming in.
UND also raised expectations for this season with the success they experienced during last season’s post season run that included their first ever bid to the NCAA tourney. UND would go on to lose their quarterfinal game to Minnesota Gophers who would end up being the national champion.
UND has aspirations of hanging a banner of their own this season – “the ultimate goal is to put a national championship banner up in our rink,” Monique Lamoureux said during an interview on UND hockey media day.
While it’s probably too early to be about thinking about hanging banners and there is a lot of hockey to be played – the future for UND looks bright – UND will have to play more disciplined hockey if they’re going to be successful this season.
Tonight, UND came out of the gates with a lot of energy and definitely had the upper hand in play against the Mavericks during the first period taking a 1-0 lead in to the locker room after one period with a highlight reel goal by Jocelyn Lamoureux.
UND also led in the shots after one period of hockey outshooting the Mavericks 8-3 and could have had more goals but Mavericks Junior goalie Danielle Butters shut UND down.
UND took a 2-0 lead during the second period with a goal by Andrea Dalen at the 2:48 mark – that was all of the scoring that UND would get as Butters shut the door the rest of the way.
“Butters played well,” Idalski said. I thought for most of the night especially that second [period] we made her job real easy and she saw a lot of things and if she can see it she can save.”
One thing UND wanted to limit this season is the amount of penalties that they take as a team – unfortunately they started a parade to the penalty box during the second period when they took four minor for eight minutes in penalties.
That march to the penalty box continued during the third period as UND continued to take more undisciplined penalties and ended up squandering a 2 goal lead giving up three unanswered goals in about a 10 minute time period. Minnesota State senior Lauren Smith paced the Mavericks with two goals during the third period scoring on the power play and even strength.
While Butters paced the Mavericks with 16 saves – on the other end of the ice a rookie goalie Shelby Amsley-Benzie was making her first career start UND but wasn’t able to get the win for despite making 20 saves, many of them difficult and during the latter half of the game when the Mavericks were pressing.
When asked about his rookie goalie’s effort the head coach had this to say, “quite honestly I thought Shelby was going to get the shutout,” Idalski said.
“She was playing really well and she kind of held us in there through the second, unfortunately I thought she deserved a little fate than what we gave her down the stretch.”
UND captain Jocelyne Lamoureux agreed with the head coaches’ comments, “she played good and she made some big saves when it was 1-0.”
Mankato would score three unanswered goals in the third period to ice the game, spoiling UND’s home opener.
The same two teams play tomorrow at 2:07 PM