Sophomore forward Meghan Dufault led the University of North Dakota women's hockey team scoring a hat trick in a 6-2 win against Bemidji State on Friday afternoon.
The win was also the 100th win at UND for head coach Brian Idalski.
"We talked from the start that we liked our depth, and obviously there will be some ups and downs and transitions to the college game from our freshmen, but we saw some players step up and some other players grow into other roles with missing some players," Idalski said.
Dufault earned her hat trick with a higher degree of difficulty than most hat tricks, scoring twice shorthanded.
"When you talk about the absence of a couple players and someone needing to step up, Dufault embraced that and was dominant," Idalski commented. "I think she was our best player on the ice today, making plays and finishing things off. That's the type of great player she can be. She's just a sophomore and she's starting to understand how dynamic and what a difference maker she can be speaks volumes for her future."
The sophomore opened the game's scoring halfway through the first period, after creating a turnover at center ice while on the penalty kill. On the ensuing breakaway, Dufault scored while being tripped which additionally drew a penalty and ended the UND penalty kill.
Less than four minutes later, Dufault and Josefine Jakobsen broke through center ice for a two-on-one rush while on the PK. Jakobsen got the puck up to Dufault who broke free of the BSU defenseman. She then crashed the net knocking in the rebound for her second shorthanded goal.
North Dakota's special team's play was the highlight of the first period, as Sam LaShomb also added a power-play tally in between Dufault's goals. LaShomb received the puck from Gracen Hirschy and Jakobsen before firing a shot from the top of the left face-off circle. The shot beat BSU goaltender Brittni Mowat five hole and trickled in for the LaShomb's second goal of the season.
The second period was much of the same for UND, as North Dakota outshot BSU 17-5. However, Bemidji State scored their first goal of the game, coming off a redirection by Whitney Wivoda.
Before the Bemidji State tally, Dufault scored the game's first even-strength goal to record her second career hat trick.
After recording two assists on four goals for UND, Jakobsen scored her own goal with 30 seconds remaining in the second period. After a scramble in front of the BSU goal, Jakobsen found the loose puck to net her sixth goal of the season.
BSU's Janessa Philipczyk scored Bemidji State's second and final goal of the game at 5:49 mark of the third period.
However, Andrea Dalen gave UND back its four goal lead, scoring with less than three minutes remaining in the game. Dalen scored in similar fashion to Jakobsen, getting to a loose puck off a scramble in front of the BSU net.
Sophomore goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie made 16 saves for her sixth win of the season. Bemidji State's Mowat started the game and picked up the loss after letting in three goals on 10 shots. Jessica Havel finished the final two periods for BSU, making 24 saves on 27 shots.
North Dakota finishes the weekend series with Bemidji State tomorrow afternoon at 2:07 p.m.