There’s no place like home

Vilma Tanskanen chases the puck during Saturdays game against Minnesota State Mankato at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Dakota Student / Nicholas Nelson

Vilma Tanskanen chases the puck during Saturday’s game against Minnesota State Mankato at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Allyson Bento, Sports Editor

UND sweeps MSU at the Ralph for home opener last weekend

Fans at the Ralph had plenty to cheer about this weekend as the UND women’s hockey team swept their opponents, the Minnesota State Mavericks. It was a weekend for young talent as UND put on a strong offensive showing with 10 goals against the Mavericks in the series.

Game one was a night of career firsts, starting off the night with a goal from sophomore Charly Dahlquist.

Dahlquist nabbed two in the 6-0 defeat and although it wasn’t her first career goal, it most certainly felt like it.

“My two other goals, one was a shootout and the other an empty net goal,” Dahlquist said. “It actually felt like a real goal.”

Before the feeling of goal number one could sink in, freshman Abbey Stanley had already found the back of the net, marking her first career goal. The goal came unassisted nearly 30 seconds after Dahlquist opened the teams scoring.

“I was overwhelmed with excitement, I just threw my arms up and I could not stop smiling,” Stanley said.  “I could feel it all the way through my body. “

UND kept rolling, after the 2-0 finish in the first Dahlquist’s second goal of the game in the second as they headed into the third with a 3-0 lead.

The Hawks underclassmen wasted no time grabbing their career firsts, as freshman Emma Nuutinen joined Dahlquist and grabbed her first and second career goal as a Fighting Hawk.

Nuutinen was a key contributor for the weekend, grabbing two goals in game one and an assist as well as the overtime game-winner in game two.

For a break between Nuutinen’s goals, sophomore forward Rebekah Kolstad finally got the chip off her back and the puck in the net, a special goal to say the least.

Kolstad, a native of Mankato, played the weekend against friends and former teammates this weekend and finding her first goal against the Mavericks could not have played out any better.

“I know quite a few girls on the team,” Kolstad said.  “It’s always fun to play them.”

Along with the outstanding offensive performance, the goaltending for UND provided by Lexie Shaw was perfect.

Shaw grabbed her second shutout of the season, after her first came from a tough battle against St. Cloud the weekend before.

“She’s definitely solid for us,” Kolstad said. “It’s always good knowing you have confidence in your goalie.”

Game two saw a different side of Shaw, as she allowed three goals throughout regulation play. The switch from game one to game two was like day and night, but the offense was able to keep up with the Mavericks.

The senior class stepped up in game two, defensemen Gracen Hirschy lit up the lamp in the first followed by a second period goal by forward Kayla Gardner.

As MSU responded to all of UND’s goals, overtime was required. In the final minutes of overtime, Nuutinen came in for the save and claimed the overtime winner with a set-up from fellow freshman Ryleigh Houston and senior Jordan Hampton for a 4-3 final.

The Hawks will remain at home for the next two series starting with Wisconsin, Oct. 22-23. Puck drop for both games is scheduled for 2:07 p.m.

AllysonBento is the sports editor for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]