MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The No. 7 University of Minnesota started the 2011 year with a 4-0 win over Minnesota State University, Mankato, tonight, at Ridder Arena. The Golden Gophers received scoring from four different individuals and notched two power-play goals en route to the win. The victory also moved the Gophers (14-6-0 overall, 9-6-0 in the WCHA) into third place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings with 27 points. They trail No. 1 Wisconsin (39) and No. 5 Minnesota Duluth (31) in the conference standings and jumped over No. 8 North Dakota, who is tied for fourth with 26.
Minnesota opened the scoring with a goal from Sarah Davis at 12:02 in the first period. Davis put a shot on goal and the puck went off Emilia Andersson's stick and slide just inside the right post. Kelly Seeler added the single assist to Davis' goal. After trailing 4-1 in shots, the Gophers rebounded to post 13 shots on goal in the period to MSU's six.
Minnesota added to its lead when Sarah Erickson scored the Gophers' first power-play goal of the game just 36 seconds into the second period. Jen Schoullis found Erickson at the right faceoff dot. She spun and fired a puck, five-hole, for the goal, her ninth of the season and fourth against MSU this year. The Gophers then tacked on their second power-play goal of the period when Amanda Kessel received a cross-ice pass from Anne Schleper at 12:19 in the second. Mira Jalosuo started the power-play goal and tallied the second assist.
Laura May netted her first goal of the season on an unassisted play at 2:15 in the third period. After posting 12 goals last year, May got the monkey off her back to score her 19th career goal. The May goal concluded the scoring the Gophers to put the game at the 4-0 final. The win also marked the 50th for the Gophers over the Mavericks. The all-time record now stands at 50-3-3 in favor of the Gophers.
The Davis goal would be all that starting goaltender Noora Raty would need to collect her seventh shutout of the season and 14th of her career. Raty had six saves in the first, seven in the second and five in the third for a three-period total of 18. It was Raty's second shutout against MSU this season. She now sits at 13-4-0 on the season and holds a 1.46 goals against average. Her seven shutouts this season already ties her rookie production last year.
Minnesota and Minnesota State will conclude the series tomorrow at 4 p.m. The game will also be televised live on the Big Ten Network.