Last weekend, the UND women’s hockey team ended Minnesota’s 62-game win streak. Despite falling 6-1 Saturday, Sunday’s game was a 3-2 win that ended in celebration.
“I really thought the way we bounced back was tremendous,” UND coach Brian Idalski said. “I was very excited about the fact that we could be so poor and really embarrassed the first night and come back, make some adjustments and play to a higher level and do what we need to do to win a hockey game.
“So, that’s the biggest thing was just our bounce back. We knew we didn’t perform well the night before and to be able to shrug that off and come back and play at a high level, that’s pretty good.”
North Dakota went in with a positive mindset, and saw contributions from many freshmen in the lineup as they scored all three of North Dakota’s goals Sunday.
“We were pretty confident coming in that we are a good hockey club,” Idalski said. “We went in with a mindset that we expected to win and we figured that the worse we were getting a split out of that weekend. That’s the way we talked. That’s the way we prepared.”
The team gained a learning experience from the games against Minnesota that it can take into its upcoming games against Wisconsin.
“It was for sure positive,” UND forward Andrea Dalen said “We didn’t come out very well Saturday, but on Sunday we showed that we have character in this team and that we can face adversity, come back from that and we play a really good game on Sunday — in the first and third period especially. I believe in our team this year looks good.”
While the team had its time to celebrate, the new week brought new preparations for the Wisconsin series this weekend.
“We talked about it immediately,” Idalski said. “Enjoy it. Enjoy it in the locker room; enjoy it on the bus — once we pull back into Grand Forks, it’s Wisconsin. They’ve probably had the best of us as much as anybody in recent memory, probably even more than Minnesota to be honest with you.
“These are games we have to be on our toes, we’ve got to win, take points and definitely need the sweep at home, and we’re looking forward to a couple more great games in the WCHA.”
The team switched its focus to Wisconsin as soon as they stepped off the bus back in Grand Forks after Sunday’s win.
“I think that everyone has already forgotten, and we just have to take good stuff from that,” UND forward Susanna Tapani said. “It’s a new weekend, and we have to focus on that.”
Tapani recently was named the WCHA rookie of the week for the second time this season.
North Dakota will face off against Wisconsin Friday and Saturday at 7:07 p.m. in Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Mariah Holland is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]