Women’s hockey clamps down on defense

Last Friday, UND welcomed families, as their Women’s hockey team welcomed their first win during their exhibition game against the University of Manitoba.

With 1,527 in official attendance, the squad came out strong, outshooting the Bison right from the start with 19-2 in the first, even though they ended the first period scoreless. The first period brought the most physical plays of the game as both Becca Kohler (UND) and Karissa Kirkup (UM) each took early penalties for roughing at 00:06. University of Manitoba took the first power play of the game with  Shannon Kaiser taking a 2-minute penalty at 4:42 for tripping.  

UND’s senior goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie did not get much work in the first, as MB was only able to produce two shots on goal.  The Bison also went on the penalty kill twice in the first with their goalie Rachel Dyck robbing the Green and White of some of their best chances of the game.

The second period showed the most even action from both teams. Annie Chipman swapped places Amsley-Benzie in the second and she saw the most shots from the opponents.

“Chipman played a terrific game; she made a lot of point blank saves,” UND coach Brian Idalski. “She was really solid for us.”

North Dakota’s shots on goal were cut in half from the first period, but late in the second, freshman defenseman Anna Kilponen found the back of the net. The goal went unassisted as it was a result of the Manitoba defense tipping the puck in their own net.

Lexie Shaw played the third period in net for UND, and helped the team solidify their exhibition win by saving all six shots from the Bison for a regulation final of 1-0.

“I thought just what we knew, defensively we were pretty solid, goaltending was solid, and scoring and putting pucks in the net, it didn’t look very sharp offensively; I thought we were a little too cute,” Idalski said. “I thought overall, the young kids did a decent job. We got plenty of film, that’s going to be good coming up for the next weekend.”

After regulation, the teams played optional 5-minute overtime and a three-round shootout. Overtime went scoreless but rookie Rebekah Kolstad was able to slide one past Dyck for the only goal in the shootout.

“It was my first college shootout, so I was nervous going into it,” Kolstad said. “I shot upper glove side and thought she snagged it, but as I skated around the back of the net I saw the puck crossing the goal line.”

Amsley-Benzie took the third star for her first period appearance and efforts during the penalty kill. Lexie Shaw took second as she snagged three shots in the third and played the 5-minute OT and shootout to hold the Bison’s at bay to give the team the shut out. Annie Chipman took the first star because of her efforts in the second to stop nine shots also earned the win for her.  

UND season opener begins next weekend on the road against Rensselear Polytechnic Institute on Oct. 2nd and 3rd in Troy, N.Y.

Allyson Bento is a sports reporter for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]