This will be more of a live-blog instead of a game recap.
UMD faces New Hampshire at the top of the hour here at the DECC. Crowd is just a shade over 3,000. Not bad at all. Should swell for the final if UMD is in it, and I'm guessing we'll get a few more Wisconsin fans making the trip up.
Micaela Long - Jenn Wakefield - Steph Holmes
Kelly Paton - Courtney Birchard - Sam Faber
Jennifer Hitchcock - Sadie Wright-Ward - Leah Craig
Stefanie Marty - Shannon Sisk - Angela Taylor
Kacey Bellamy - Martine Garland
Maggie Joyce - Nicole Goguen
Julia Marty - Diana Saly
Kayley Herman - Lucy Schoedel
Laura Fridfinnson - Haley Irwin - Emmanuelle Blais
Karine Demeule - Elin Holmlov - Sara O'Toole
Jessica Hawkins - Tawni Mattila - Erin Olson
Jocelyne Larocque - Myriam Trepanier
Heidi Pelttari - Jaime Rasmussen
Tara Gray - Sarah Murray
Kim Martin - Johanna Ellison - Amie Meyer
First period, 15:00 left
UMD's Blais turned the puck over in front of her own net while trying to carry back deep into her zone to get away from a UNH forecheck. While in front of the net, Blais had the puck stolen by Wakefield, who one-timed the puck past UMD's Martin for a 1-0 lead at the 4:00 mark.
Shots are 6-0 New Hampshire as we pass the 5:00 mark.
First period, 10:00 left
UMD tied the game at the 9:01 mark off a scramble in front of Herman. O'Toole and Holmlov brought the puck into the UNH zone, and O'Toole made a great move around the defense in the high slot. Holmlov poked it towards Herman, and O'Toole eventually got it across the goal line for her eighth of the season. Holmlov got the single assist.
Shots are now 11-3 New Hampshire, but UMD has been playing much better since they got their first shot just past the 5:00 mark. Should mention that UMD star forward Saara Tuominen is out with a knee injury. UMD is skating just ten forwards in this game.
End of first period
UMD played much better in the second half of the period than they did in the first. There are easily 3,500 people here, marking the largest crowd (by far) UMD has played in front of this season. Perhaps some nerves took control for a bit, but once UMD got their first shot (after UNH had the game's first seven), they played more relaxed and more efficient hockey. It was a good up-and-down period of hockey, with solid chances both ways. UNH probably had the better of the scoring chances overall, but UMD's Martin is showing why she was such an accomplished goaltender in Sweden. 14 saves on 15 shots for the period, and UMD has the lead after one.
The official attendance is 3,161 at the DECC. Short of a sellout, but it sets the stage for hopefully a bigger crowd Saturday if UMD wins.
It's a fun atmosphere, with both teams' bands on hands and plenty of loud, boisterous fans for each team.
13:00 left, 2nd period
Each team had a power play chance early in the period. UNH took a penalty at 2:16, but Pelttari tripping penalty nullified UMD's third power play before it could get anything going. Not much happening either way so far, and UMD is playing much stronger in their own zone, even though UNH has the first three shots of the period.
It's clear why UNH's penalty kill has been so good all season long. They have a ton of speed all over the rink, and they make it very difficult for the power play to get established in the offensive zone.
Still 2-1 UMD. Shots for the game 18-9 UNH.
7:00 left, 2nd period
Honestly, still not much happening. UNH hit a pipe during their second power play, but they didn't have any shots on goal, and it's still 2-1.
Shots haven't changed for some time. Still 18-9 UNH.
You hate to see UMD go into a shell this early in the game, but they really haven't had any quality scoring chances, or anything remotely resembling a quality scoring chance.
Mattila just took a tripping penalty for UMD at 13:09 of the 2nd, so UNH gets their third power play of the period. And before I can finish, Craig bangs home a rebound off a point shot for UNH. They tie the game with a power-play goal.
2-2. Shots 20-9 UNH, and they have all five shots this period.
End of second period
Not a good period for UMD. Outshot 13-0 in the period, and amazingly, this game is only tied after two periods.
Martin was awesome for UMD, and she had to be. If UMD doesn't figure things out on offense, they'll get beat by default.
The Bulldogs are tied through two, despite being outshot by a 3-1 margin. I'd say that's not a terrible position to be in, though UMD has to start getting pucks on net. Doesn't matter where they come from.
12:00 left, 3rd period
Since about the 19:00 mark of the first period, UMD has 0 shots on goal. A couple chances, including two centering feeds going right through the crease, but nothing actually on goal.
UNH now outshooting UMD 30-9 for the game, and they're now on a power play. Power play came up empty, but produced three more shots. 33-9 now for shots. Incredible. But we're still tied.
7:00 left, third period
UMD has the lead. Really.
A UNH penalty led to the first two shots UMD had since the last minute of the first period. The second of those shots was a tip-in by Fridfinnson on a shot by Irwin from the top of the right circle. UMD is about to go on a 4-on-3 power play for about 90 seconds.
3:30 left, third period
Kim Martin is incredible.
End of third period
UMD wins. Martin is the best goaltender in the world. Period.
41 saves, including 15 in the third period. UMD wins despite being outshot 43-15.
Unreal. See you Saturday.
New Hampshire 1-1-0--2
UNH Wakefield 27, 4:00
UMD O'Toole 8 (Holmlov), 9:01
UMD Fridfinnson 21 (Pelttari, Rasmussen), 12:48 (PPG)
UNH Craig 13 (Garland, Faber), 13:19 (PPG)
UMD Fridfinnson 22 (Irwin, Pelttari), 10:27 (PPG)
New Hampshire 15-13-15--43
Herman, UNH 7-0-5--12
Martin, UMD, 14-12-15--41