The University of Minnesota women's hockey team won its first game of the postseason with a 6-1 victory over St. CloudState in the WCHA First Round best-of-three series. The Gophers had goals scored by six different players with 13 players earning scoring points in the game.
The Gophers got on the scoreboard early as sophomore Baylee Gillanders scored less than two minutes into the game on a shot from just inside the blue line. Sophomore Kelly Terry assisted on the goal. Freshman Rachael Bona gave Minnesota a two-goal lead four minutes later, getting a goal with assists from sophomore Amanda Kessel and senior Jen Schoullis. Before the period ended, the Gophers went ahead 3-0 with a goal by senior Emily West. West nearly lost the puck as she got near the net, but managed to slide it. Bona and senior Kelly Seeler had assists on the goal. The Gophers outshot the Huskies 13-5 in the opening period and were successful on two penalty kills.
Both teams were held scoreless through nearly 15 minutes of play in the second period before the Gophers got a goal from senior Nikki Ludwigson 14 minutes and 26 seconds into the period. The goal was Ludwigson's first this season. Kelly Terry and junior Mira Jalosuo had assists on the goal. Terry got a goal of her own a couple minutes later, with assists from junior Katie Frischmann and freshman Stephanie Anderson. St. CloudState got on the scoreboard with just 45 seconds remaining in the period, as Molli Mott got a goal, assisted by linemates Abby Ness and Brittany Toor. Minnesota again outshot the Huskies, but by a 16-11 margin in the second period. Neither team had a power play opportunity in the middle period.
Just one goal was scored in the third period, a power play goal from sophomore Bethany Brausen with just a minute and 19 seconds remaining in the game. Katie Frischmann and senior Anne Schleper had assists on the goal that gave Minnesota a 6-1 lead. With two assists in the game, Frischmann had her first career game with multiple points. Freshman goalie Shyler Sletta got some playing time, taking over for Noora Raty with seven and a half minutes left in the game. Raty was credited with the win, her 27th of the season.
The Gophers finished with 38 shots on goal, the Huskies had 20. With the win, Minnesota is 28-5-2 this season. St. CloudState's record moved to 5-28-2.
The second game of the best-of-three series will take place tomorrow afternoon at 4:07 p.m. If needed, a third game will be played on Sunday at 4:07 p.m.