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  • Minnesota Verses North Dakota: Battle to the Shootout


    Friday night the Gophers were back in play this week facing the Fighting Hawks at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Of course Sidney Peters was in net for Minnesota, while North Dakota put in Lexie Shaw. Two minutes in the Gophers put the first official shot on goal. At 5:14 Megan Wolfe went to the box for checking Annelise Rice. On the resulting power play Amy Menke put a shot on goal, which Peters deflected, but Gracen Hirschy caught the rebound and put it in the backdoor at 6:30. Ryleigh Houston had the second assist.

    Not long after their first goal the North Dakota scored again. Differing accounts suggest the puck bounced off a Gopher into goal or it was loose and poked in from the slot, but in either case Vilma Tanskanen was the Hawk to score. Hirschy and Rebekah Kolstad assisted on the 8:45 goal. Lee Stecklein took a checking penalty at 11:06, but the Gophers were able to kill this penalty. Minnesota was not pushing very hard this period and even had their play described at almost timid later in the game. They weren’t able to record any shots on goal during their power play at 16:41 when Charly Dahlquist went for slashing. Then, just when Dahlquist was being released and the penalty box door was open Nicole Schammel, who was expecting to hit the boards, went into that empty space and went down. That could have been a nasty accident, but she was alright and continued to play.

    Shortly after second period started Sarah Potomak drew a hooking penalty that sent Dahlquist back to the box at 1:12. Patti Marshall nearly scored with a shot from the blue line, but Shaw warded off the shot. Alex Woken then put the puck on the goal line and thought it had crossed, but the ref blew the play dead and upon review it was determined it never crossed. Instead it was Dani Cameranesi to score on the backhand, after an across ice pass from Kelly Pannek, at 4:33.

    Then there was a weird six-second stretch. Peters caught a lineman’s arm going up and thought there was a penalty called on North Dakota. So she rushed off the ice for the extra skater when there was no delayed penalty in play. Ended up leaving Minnesota with an empty net for six seconds and when she returned to the ice, she immediately covered up the puck. This earned her a delay of game penalty at 6:23, which was severed by Kippin Keller.

    The penalty expired with North Dakota making a shot. Later Wolfe was tripped and knocked into goal without a call. As the period wound down Woken had another great chance on goal when Shaw was out of position, but she had to make the shot while falling and the puck went just over the cross bar. Then Hawk Anna Kilponen took an interference penalty at 18:15, which harmlessly expired early in the third period.

    Minnesota put a lot more shots on goal third period. Halli Krzyaniak sent Cameranesi crashing into her net, which left North Dakota killing an interference penalty at 3:14. On the resulting power play Pannek and Potomak collided, which left Potomak hurt, but she continued playing. At some point during the game Kelsey Cline was also injured, taking a hard shot to the head, and Minnesota benched her as a safety precaution.

    After several minutes of back and forth Menke accidentally turned the puck over to Potomak. Potomak sent the puck forward to Pannek, who passed to Cameranesi, and Cameranesi found the back of the net at 10:31, tying the game. Tanskanen then chopped Pannek’s shakes out from under her, which sent her to the box at 12:06 for tripping. Stecklein then earned a hooking penalty at 15:27, but neither penalty garnered either team any goals and regulation ended with Minnesota and North Dakota tied at 2-2.

    In overtime Pannk was obviously tripped without call, but when a Gopher was chopped down the refs had to call that, resulting in Tanskanen taking another tripping penalty at 4:12. Despite this last minute advantage the Gophers couldn’t break the tie and the game officially went into the record books as a tie. The ensuing shootout was simply for the extra point. The Fighting Hawks chose to go first. They pitted Houston, Menke, and Emma Nuutinen against Patti Marshall, Pannek, and Schammel in the best of three. None of them bested the goalie. In round four Hirschy missed her shot, but Stecklein scored, winning the shootout and the extra point for Minnesota.

    Saturday’s game saw the same goalies in net. It was a fairly quiet beginning with only a few direct shots on goal, mostly from Minnesota. Then Jordan Hampton fired on goal through traffic in front of the Gophers’ net and Nuutinen redirected it into goal, just inside the post at 6:18. Hallie Theodosopoulos had the second assist. Then Kolstad took a checking penalty at 7:33. On the resulting power play Wolfe scored off a pass from Potomak at 8:12 to tie the game, with Stecklein getting the second assist. Cameranesi took a boarding penalty at 16:03, which the Gophers killed. In the end first period ended with the teams tied 1-1.

    At 5:57 Cameranesi drew a penalty when Stanley pulled her down and went to the box for holding. Hawks were unable to convert on the power play, but Theodosopoulos scored with a snappy shot from the top of a circle half a minute after it expired at 8:30. Houston assisted. Then Dahlquist earned a tripping penalty at 13:05 and Woken had a great chance from the top of the crease on the power play, neither she nor the rest of the Gophers scored. The second line, Woken-Cara Piazza-Kate Schipper, especially keep making daring plays, while creating excellent scoring opportunities, but can’t seem to buy a goal despite all their efforts. Hopefully something will click for them soon.

    Late in the second Taylor Williamson took two for hooking at 19:15 and the penalty harmlessly expired in the third period. Then for the second game in a row a Fighting Hawk’s turn over, this time to Pannek at the blue line, allowed the Gophers to tie things up when Pannek carried it up the right side, then passed across the crease to Potomak for the goal at 2:38. Cameranesi went back to the box, this time for interference, at 3:10 and Minnesota wasted North Dakota’s entire power play. The checking penalty on Williamson at 11:49 was equally fruitless. By the end of the period neither team had yet best the other’s goaltender and so the game went to overtime, which made everything feel like a repeat of last night.

    The similarities continued as neither team could finish things in OT. This is despite the fact Minnesota used their time out at 3:56 and North Dakota used theirs with literally 10.9 seconds left on the clock.  Both did this in hopes of giving their top lines the rest they needed to get the jump on their opponents for the win. Instead they got another shootout and a regulation tie.

    Again, North Dakota chose to shoot first. In this game Krzyzaniak was pitted against Schammel for the first round and both beat the goalie. In the second round Sarah Lecavalier couldn’t get past Peters, but Pannek found a way around Shaw, so that when Menke missed in the third round the Gophers took the extra point in the same way as they had the night before. This means that in the last three games against North Dakota, Minnesota has fought them to a shoot out. It will be interesting to see if the pattern continues when the Gophers host the Fighting Hawks in February.

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