Friday night Minnesota faced Minnesota State for the first time this season at the Verizon Center in Mankato. Alex Gulstene started for Minnesota, while MSU went with freshman starter Abigail Levy in goal. It looked like the Gophers would get on the board early in the first when Catie Skaja put the puck past Levy at 1:17, but the goal was immediately waved off due to Kelly Pannek being in the crease. Both teams piled up attempts, but little was actually reaching the net for either side. At 7:30 Minnesota State was caught with too many skaters on the ice, which Taylor Gulenchyn served for the team. The Mavericks killed the penalty without allowing the Gophers a single shot on goal.
Minnesota continued to press in MSU’s zone as they started getting more shots directly on goal. Emily Oden fed Abigail Boreen the puck for a breakaway attempt that Levy denied. However, Levy couldn’t stop what she couldn’t see, which was why a Gopher screen allowed Patti Marshall to 5-hole the puck from the blue line at 10:55. Boreen and Taylor Heise assisted on this goal. Much later Heise carried the puck into Mankato’s zone along the left side and then passed to Oden for the goal at 18:15. The final minute was an absolute assault by Minnesota on goal, but Levy kept the gap from widening to three in the first period.
Rebekah Kolstad earned a penalty for interfering with Grace Zumwinkle at 1:08 of second period. The power play ended when Amy Potomak scored by putting away Emily Brown’s weak shot on goal at 1:40. Pannek had the second assist. The game got more physical this period, as Alex Woken took out Corbin Boyd’s skates as she came down the side and then later Brittyn Fleming took out Boreen without calls on either action. However, Anna Wilgren was caught tripping Heise, which sent her to the box at 11:28. Jordan McLaughlin had a shortie attempt after a Minneosta turnover in an otherwise quiet power play. The Gophers spent the rest of the period on the attack, putting Levy through her paces, but didn’t score again.
Nicole Schammel’s shot bounced off Levy and onto Taylor Wente’s stick and she banged the puck home just 10 seconds into third period. Grace Ostertag had the second assist. Soon after Sarah Potomak earned a minor for hooking Sophia Poinar at 1:28. The Mavericks created some chances on Gulstene, but were unable to convert on the power play. Later Brooke Bryant stole the puck from Woken, passed the puck back and forth with Emily Antony before scoring at 7:31 to break the shutout. Claire Butorac then put the puck through Gulstene’s 5-hole, but Minnesota somehow managed to clear the puck before it crossed the goal line.
As Nicole Schammel went to the bench she accidentally interfered with a Maverick and wound up in the box instead at 10:50. This penalty was somewhat nullified when Tristen Truax went for tripping a Potomak at 12:00. Neither team was able to make use of the opened ice. The intensity on the ice didn’t increase when both teams went back to full strength and were in fact skating like the game’s outcome was a forgone conclusion. MSU used their timeout at 17:28. Olivia Knowles fed the puck to Pannek for a shot which Levy block, but less than a minute later Knowles scored at 18:11 thanks to a Gopher screen. Sarah Potomak had the lone assist. Amy Potomak slashed Gulenchyn at 19:15, which left Minnesota down a skater for the rest of the game, but that didn’t change the final outcome: a 5-1 Gopher victory after they out shot the Mavericks 33-19. They finish the series tomorrow.