Jump to content
Hockey Wilderness
  • Minnesota Takes Minnesota State by the Horns


    Despite the fact team captain Lee Stecklein was still missing due to national team obligations, the Gophers were in fine form Friday night. Ridder was noticeably quieter than usual, partly due to a smaller turn out than typical, but mostly due to the band being nowhere in ear shot. While it was a shame not to rock out to instrumental renditions of popular songs, it was nice to for once hear what the person next to me was saying between whistles.

    The game started with the teams chasing the puck back and forth across the ice for a few minutes. The Gophers had three great chances in a row on Minnesota State’s net, but couldn’t quite get the shots off. Then Lindsay Agnew made a shot from the right point and Nicole Shammel tipped it into goal past goaltender Katie Bidulka at 5:18. Caitlin Reilly had the second assist. This was Shammel’s first goal in maroon and gold, which interestingly enough came at the expense of her former team.

    Sarah Potomak went down in the left corner when a Maverick possibly tripped her. There was a mess at the Mankato net with Reilly grounded in the crease when the whistle finally blew. Then Mankato finally got back into Minnesota’s zone and generated a flurry of activity around the net. Sidney Peters tried to cover the puck, but had it knocked away from her as the Mavericks tried to find a crack in her defenses. Eventually the Gophers cleared the puck. Savannah Quandt took a hooking penalty at 13:05. On the resulting power play the Gophers cycled the puck around Mankoto’s zone until Kelly Pannek passed to Kate Schipper, who immediately shot from the slot. Bidulka deflected the puck to the left, whereupon Dani Cameranesi caught it and poked the puck into goal at 13:36. When first period ended goals were 2-0 and shots reasonably paced at 11-5, both in Minnesota’s favor.

    By the end of second period, the Gophers had piled on another 14 shots and Minnesota State only managed one. In other words, Minnesota dominated the period and spent minutes at a time buzzing around Mankato’s net with the puck. Early in the period Sydney Baldwin would have had a goal if she had only managed to lift the puck when she swiped her stick over Bidulka’s head. It was one of the many near goals the Gophers had second period. During one of the rare times play was in Minnesota’s zone, Katie Robinson battled Hannah Davidson for the puck along the boards and eventually took control when she knocked Davidson to the ice. Robinson sped toward Mankato’s zone and just as she was crossing their blue line Davidson tripped her, which sent the Maverick to the box at 6:16. The Gophers rained down shots, but they were unable to convert. Then Taylor Williamson earned a roughing penalty at 9:56 and the Gophers spent most of the penalty with the puck out of their zone.

    Megan Hinze took a penalty when she cross-checked Alex Woken into the Mankato right corner boards at 12:03. Minnesota State killed the penalty, but eight seconds later they were back on the PK, again for cross-checking, when Ann Fiegert smashed a Gopher into the crease to keep her from scoring. Pannek shot from the right circle and while Bidulka stopped the initial shot, Cameranesi was on her doorstep with the puck loose in the crease. The ensuing battle resulted in Bidulka on her back, and Cameranesi on her belly after she netted her second goal of the game at 14:50. Megan Wolfe had the second assist. Cameranesi completed her hat trick at 19:03 when she carried the puck up the right side and scored with a wrister from the circle. Pannek had the lone assist.

    The Gophers backed off third period, largely because the younger players were getting more ice time. This also translated into the Mavericks playing a cleaner game this period, since they were now getting into Minnesota’s zone and putting shots on goal. For example, Quandt and Corbin Boyd came in together and put a shot on Peters that she stopped, but resulted in her on her back with the puck loose behind the net. Overall Gopher passing was a lot better this game, the worst of it seeming to come in the third when they were experimenting with some unusual plays.

    As the period wound down, Shammel passed the puck off to Baldwin and she made a slap shot from the bottom of the left circle that went into goal top left corner at 15:38. Davidson and Emma Wittchow downed a Gopher along their sideboards, which sent Wittchow to the box for tripping at 16:44. However, the Mavericks killed the penalty and the game ended 5-0, Gopher’s win, with Peters tallying another shutout.

    Sunday the band was back and playing. The game started with a little back and forth across the ice. Maverick Steph Keryluk had a break away that put her one-on-one with Peters, however her shot went wide and she crashed into the boards after sliding through the crease. Taylor Williamson took a checking penalty at 9:47. The only significant activity during the Gophers’ penalty kill was when Potomak broke away with the puck and made a falling shot on Mankato’s net, but couldn’t penetrate Bidulka’s defenses. The Mavericks were entering Minnesota’s zone with the puck this period, but every time they crossed that blue line a Gopher came along and took possession, neutralizing them. Keryluk earned an interference penalty at 17:02, but the Gophers were unable to convert on the power play.

    In the last minute of the period Leila Kilduff charged down the ice and then painfully crashed into Minnesota’s backboards. Patti Marshall was skating right behind her, but not touching, and seemed confused when the referee signaled a penalty. However, it turned out to be on Shammel for holding back in Mankato’s zone and she went to the box at 19:30. The penalty carried over into second period whereupon Baldwin had a break away down the left, shot into Bidulka, and was then clobbered by a Maverick. As they hit the ice, the puck popped out of Bidulka’s grasp and seemed to cross the goal line, but it was declared invalid, much to the crowd’s disappointment.

    A couple minutes later Pannek won a face off to the right of Mankato’s net and knocked the puck back to the corner, where Cameranesi corralled it, and carried it toward goal. She passed the puck forward to Potomak at the top of the crease and Potomak scored at 4:18. However, this Gopher lead didn’t last long, as Amanda Conway shot the puck past Peters from just to the right of the crease at 6:15 to tie the game. Jordan McLaughlin assisted.

    This sent Minnesota buzzing around Bidulka on the attack. Kippin Keller took a hooking penalty at 9:43, putting Minnesota State on the power play, but the Gophers didn’t go on the defensive. Instead, Pannek soared down the center and scored an unassisted short-handed goal from the top of the crease at 10:01. After that the Gophers were back in the Mavericks’ zone, despite the penalty, and Lena Duesterhoft took Pannek down in the left circle because she must have thought Pannek was about to make another shortie, which sent her to the box for interference at 11:08. Keller’s penalty expired shortly thereafter and then Pannek scored again with a low shot from the right circle at 12:02. Potomak and Cameranesi assist.

    Like sharks with blood in the water the Gophers attacked. Bidulka gave up at least three rebounds before Cameranesi banged the puck home from left corner of the crease at 12:39, Pannek and Potomak assisting. Minnesota State immediately called a time out to try and get their game under control. However it didn’t help, as a few minutes later Pannek swooped down the center and when a Maverick impeeded her ability to score, she made a quick pass to the right, allowing Cameranesi to tip it in at 16:41. Potomak had the second assist. The Gophers weren’t done with the period just yet, as Shammel curved along the top of the left circle and then flipped the puck into goal as she skated past the crease. Agnew had the lone assist on the goal, which came at 18:07.

    At the start of third period Minnesota State replaced Bidulka in goal with Chloe Crosby. Peters gloved the puck out of mid air and then action was back in Mankato’s zone. Williamson put a couple of nice shots on goal from the left circle. Then Sophie Skarzynski put a shot through traffic into Crosby’s center mass. At 6:18 Minnesota replaced Peters with Serena D’Angelo. Then Conway went to the box for checking Paige Haley at 7:05. On the power play Woken pulled the puck off Mankato’s backboards and passed forward to Shammel, who was sitting just left of the crease, and she scored at 9:11. Marshall had the second assist. At 16:27 Williamson finally gets her second goal of the season, with a low shot from bottom of the right circle, Schipper and Baldwin assisting. In the final minutes of the game Woken and Agnew both made valiant attempts on goal, but eight goals was all the Mavericks were giving up for the day. Minnesota won 8-1, sweeping Minnesota State.

    Also of note, Wisconsin finished their Bemidji sweep Sunday with both games being shutouts (5-0 and then 6-0). That means Ann-Renée Desbiens recorded her 44th career shutout, breaking former Gopher Noora Räty’s NCAA record of 43 career shutouts. Congratulations to Desbiens for setting a new NCAA record and also to Badger Sarah Nurse for recording her 100th career point.

    Think you could write a story like this? Hockey Wilderness wants you to develop your voice, find an audience, and we'll pay you to do it. Just fill out this form.

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...