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Top Bulldog players burn UND

UND coach Brian Idalski knew if his team shut down Minnesota Duluth's top line Saturday afternoon, the Fighting Hawks had a good shot at winning. But that line scored two goals in the span of 34 seconds, and that's all the Bulldogs needed to walk...

UND coach Brian Idalski knew if his team shut down Minnesota Duluth's top line Saturday afternoon, the Fighting Hawks had a good shot at winning.

But that line scored two goals in the span of 34 seconds, and that's all the Bulldogs needed to walk away with a 2-1 victory in Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Lara Stalder and Katerina Mrazova scored back-to-back goals in the first period with their linemate Ashleigh Brykaliuk assisting on both of them to extend Minnesota Duluth's unbeaten streak to five games.

"I thought their top line was as advertised," Idalski said. "A couple of mistakes in the first period and those guys made us pay. I thought they were pretty good all night long for them.

"Obviously, we have to try to control their top kids a little more than we did. I thought we didn't make their minutes very tough on them. I thought they had free reign. I thought they were able to play big minutes without having to exert themselves a lot."

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Stalder, Mrazova and Brykaliuk have combined for 39 points in 11 games this season for the Bulldogs, who improved to 7-2-2 overall and 6-2-1 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

"They are really skilled," UND captain and defenseman Halli Krzyzaniak said. "Any time they are on the ice, you have to know where they are and what they are doing. You have to really watch out for them."

Krzyzaniak scored the lone goal for UND, a third-period wrist shot from the high slot.

The Fighting Hawks (6-4-1 overall, 5-4 WCHA) pushed for the tying goal and had several Grade A chances to even it up, but couldn't get a second one past Bulldog goalie Maddie Rooney (24 saves).

UND goalie Lexie Shaw also was strong, stopping 19 of 21 shots.

"I thought we settled down (as the game went along)," Idalski said. "The third period is definitely the way we want to play. I thought it started with having the ability to play all four lines to kind of put a little more puck pressure and create more turnovers and create the style of game we want to play."

Special teams weren't much of a factor-UND spent just 12 seconds on the power play-while the Bulldogs had back-to-back second-period advantages with nothing to show.

"They were definitely letting us play in the third, that's for sure," Idalski said. "Our league, more than any other league, lets the players play and decide outcomes."

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UND and Minnesota Duluth conclude their two-game series at 2:07 p.m. today in Ralph Engelstad Arena. The Fighting Hawks will aim at a split after dropping the series opener.

"It's definitely a tough game to lose," Krzyzaniak said. "I think we played so well. Obviously, we made some mistakes at the beginning that cost us, but after that, I thought we really picked it up. If we can keep that going into tomorrow we'll be fine."

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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