A pair of shorthanded goals in the first period guided the top-ranked University of Minnesota women’s hockey team to a 6-0 win over St. Lawrence. The victory caps off the Golden Gophers’ third-straight sweep of the season and keeps the Maroon & Gold 6-0 on the year.
After winning 5-0 the night before, the Gophers decided to carry their scoring frenzy over from the night before as they netted three goals in the first period and never looked back.
Hannah Brandt got the Maroon & Gold on the board just 4:26 into the period on a SLU power play. Minnesota changed lines, and Brandt was late getting on the ice. By the time she reached the center of the rink, Baylee Gillanders had outlet a pass to Amanda Kessel. The junior forward then slipped the puck to Brandt, who was all alone in the neutral zone. The freshman phenom then attacked Carmen Macdonald, who was the Saints’ goaltender, and backhanded inside the left post.
The shorthanded goal would be one of Minnesota’s two on the day along with being 1-of-4 on the weekend against St. Lawrence.
About halfway through the first period, the Gophers found the back of the net again when Milica McMillen blasted a shot from the right side of the blue line to give them a 2-0 lead. The freshman defenseman’s goal was setup by junior Kelly Terry and senior Mira Jalosuo, who passed the puck from behind the night and around the left side to McMillen on the right.
Minnesota capped off the period with another goal at 19:23 during a St. Lawrence power play.
The Gophers initially would intend to clear the puck, but Kessel sped by the SLU defensemen to control the puck. After deking the goalie back and forth, the Madison, Wis. native flicked a shot inside the right pipe for another shorthanded goal.
The second period posed to be more difficult for Minnesota to notch a goal, but after skating for 8:59, the Maroon and Gold were able to take advantage of a power play of their own when Terry slipped her first goal of the season. Jalosuo and Bona helped keep the Gophers streak of scoring a power play goal in six-straight games and were credited with assists.
With a commanding 4-0 lead, Minnesota pulled senior goaltender Noora Räty and put in freshman Amanda Leveille. Räty recorded 21 saves in her two periods and still received the win.
With Leveille in net, the Gophers continued to hold the shutout of the Saints while countering with two goals. Senior Becky Kortum slapped a shot in from the backside of the goal at 15:03, and later, Sarah Davis tallied an empty net goal with under two minutes remaining in the game.
Minnesota’s 6-0 victory garnered the Gophers their third-straight sweep to begin the 2012-13 season, including their fifth sweep in six games.
The No. 1-ranked Maroon & Gold return to WCHA play next weekend as they host No. 10 Ohio State, who has been a surprise thus far this season. The Buckeyes are 5-1-0 on the year and are coming off their lone loss of their season, which came at the hands of North Dakota. The first game is slated for 7:07 p.m. on Friday at Ridder Arena, and Saturday’s contest is set for 1:07 p.m.