Gopher to Host Huskies in In-State Battle
Jan. 23, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS - Coming off a sweep of Minnesota State, No. 1 Minnesota (22-1-1, 16-1-1-0 WCHA) faces St. Cloud State (4-19-3, 3-15-2-1 WCHA) at home at Ridder Arena this weekend. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m. CT both Friday and Saturday nights. Live video, audio and stats are available at GopherSports.com.
ABOUT THE SERIES: GOPHERS VS. HUSKIES
Minnesota is 58-3-2 all-time against St. Cloud State, dating back to Nov. 15, 1997. The Gophers have won the last 16 meetings between the two teams. Minnesota swept St. Cloud State in early November, 4-1 and 4-3. The second game saw the Gophers score two goals in the final 2:02 in the come-from-behind 4-3 win.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: ST. CLOUD STATE HUSKIES
St. Cloud State (4-19-3, 3-15-2-1 WCHA) enters this weekend's series looking to end a three-game losing streak. Last weekend, the Huskies fell to No. 3/4 North Dakota on the road, 4-0 and 3-1. SCSU's three league wins so far this season came at Minnesota Duluth (4-1 on Nov. 1), against Minnesota State (6-2 on Dec. 6) and, most recently, at Bemidji State (3-1 on Jan. 10).
St. Cloud State was 9-24-3 overall last season, finishing seventh in the WCHA with a 5-21-2-1 mark in league play. The Huskies fell to Wisconsin in the first round of the WCHA postseason, 5-0 and 4-1, to end the 2012-13 season. SCSU was led by senior Alex Nelson (10g-12a) and junior Molli Mott (9g-13a); Mott currently leads SCSU with 18 points this season (10g-8a). Fellow senior forward Julia Gilbert has 17 points on seven goals and 10 assists, while junior forward Abby Ness has also posted double-digit points with 12 points (6g-6a).
Junior Julie Friend and sophomore Katie Fitzgerald have split time in net for the Huskies this season. Friend has appeared in 17 games with a .933 save percentage and a 2.52 goals against average, while Fitzgerald has a .914 save percentage and a 2.98 goals against average in 10 appearances.
WEEKEND REWIND: GOPHERS SWEEP MAVERICKS
Minnesota improved to 4-0-0 against Minnesota State this season, sweeping the Mavericks in the second home-and-home series between the two teams this season.
The Gophers defeated Minnesota State 4-0 in the Hockey City Classic outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium last Friday. Senior Sarah Davis led the Gophers with three points, and the Gophers received two points from junior Rachael Bona. Junior defenseman Jordyn Burns scored her first goal of the season as well. Sophomore goaltender Amanda Leveille made 19 saves in her seventh shutout of the year.
On Sunday, the Gophers scored four goals in the last 6:02 of the second period to blow open a 1-0 game and roll to a 5-0 win and series sweep over Minnesota State at All Seasons Arena. Senior Kelly Terry scored two goals, including the game-winner, and junior Rachel Ramsey recorded three assists. Leveille again made 19 saves for her second-consecutive shutout.
SEVEN GOPHERS TO COMPETE IN WINTER OLYMPICS
The Minnesota women's hockey program will have seven Golden Gophers representing their home countries in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, this February. Team Finland's roster includes former Gophers Mira Jalosuo and Noora Räty, while Team USA includes Minnesota alumni Megan Bozek, Gigi Marvin and Anne Schleper along with current student-athletes Amanda Kessel and Lee Stecklein. Among the seven Olympians, Räty and Marvin are the only two veterans; the remaining five athletes will make their Olympic debut this February. Minnesota's volunteer assistant coach Andy Kent will also be traveling to Sochi with Team Finland as the team's goaltending coach.
GOPHERS ON THE POWER PLAY
FOUR GOPHERS REACH 30-POINT MARK
Four Gophers have hit the 30-point mark this season. Hannah Brandt (14g-25a) leads the Gophers with 39 points, followed by Rachael Bona (14g-24a) with 38 points and Kelly Terry (14g-19a) and Sarah Davis (13g-20a) with 30 points each.
ROAD WINNING STREAK CONTINUES
With the Gophers' 5-0 road win over Minnesota State last Sunday, Minnesota extended its road winning streak to 40-straight road games, dating back to a 3-0 win over the Bulldogs on Jan. 14, 2012. Including neutral games, Minnesota has 43-consecutive victories when playing away from Ridder Arena spanning over more than the last two years.
ROOKIE SCORING LEADERS
Gopher freshmen have combined for 50 points (19g-31a) this season led by Dani Cameranesi (12g-8a) and Kate Schipper (2g-11a). Minnesota's freshman class is tied for fourth in the nation with 2.08 points per game.
LEVEILLE LOGS SHUTOUT MINUTES
Sophomore goaltender Amanda Leveille is currently riding 126:41 of shutout hockey, including 6:41 of the Gophers' 2-2 overtime tie with Ohio State last weekend, and back-to-back shutout victories over Minnesota State. Earlier this season, Leveille posted a stretch of 176:30 scoreless minutes in four games from Oct. 11-19, including 48:57 (Oct. 11), 60:00 (Oct. 12), 60:00 (Oct. 18) and 7:33 (Oct. 19). Leveille began her Gopher career by playing 281:34 without allowing a goal, a streak including action in eight games from Sept. 29, 2012 to Oct. 4, 2013. Leveille has six shutouts on the season.
GOPHERS RANK AMONG WCHA, NATIONAL STATISTICAL LEADERS
Hannah Brandt (14g-25a) leads the nation with 39 points and 1.62 points per game. Rachael Bona (14g-24a) is second in the nation with 1.58 points per game. Brandt and Bona also rank first and second nationally with 25 assists and 1.04 assists per game (Brandt) and 24 assists and 1.00 assists per game (Bona). Bona, Brandt and Terry share the team lead with 14 goals apiece on the season.
Sophomore goaltender Amanda Leveille ranks fourth in the nation (third among WCHA goaltenders nationally) with a 1.19 goals against average and fourth in the nation (third among WCHA goaltenders nationally) with a .948 save percentage. She leads the WCHA and is second in the NCAA with eight shutouts.
The Gophers lead the nation with a +3.62 scoring margin, led by the NCAA's top offense averaging 4.79 goals per game. Minnesota's defense is tied for third in the nation, allowing 1.17 goals per game in 24 games.
MINNESOTA REMAINS UNANIMOUS NO. 1
The Golden Gophers remained the unanimous No. 1 in both the USCHO.com and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national polls this week. Minnesota has been No. 1 in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national polls since the final poll of the 2011-12 season (March 19-20, 2012). This stretch includes 39-straight USCHO.com polls and 42-straight USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.
ON THE HORIZON
The Gophers travel to Grand Forks, N.D., next weekend to take on No. 3/4 North Dakota. Game time is 7:07 p.m. CT both Friday and Saturday nights at Ralph Engelstad Arena.