Laura May scored twice to lead the No. 7 University of Minnesota women's hockey team to a 5-1 win over Minnesota State University, Mankato, this afternoon at Ridder Arena. With the win, the Golden Gophers improve to 15-6-0 on the season and 10-6-0 within Western Collegiate Hockey Association play. With the series sweep over the Mavericks, Minnesota earned six points in the conference standings.
The Gophers jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first period when Amanda Kessel and Jen Schoullis each netted a goal. Kessel placed the puck far side at 9:51 in the first for her eighth goal of the season. Jen Schoullis was credited with a single assist. Schoullis scored a goal of her own at 14:28 in the first with Kessel and Sarah Erickson on the assists.
MSU scored its first goal of the weekend when Moira O'Conner scored at 7:35 in the second period to cut the Gopher lead to one. O'Conner scored when she fired off a shot. It went off of Baylee Gillanders' skate and past starting goaltender Noora Raty and the far post. Laura May, however, put the game back to a two-goal lead when she scored her first of two goals at 12:09 in the second. Bethany Brausen was behind the goal line and fed May the puck, who was all alone in the slot. May notched her second goal of the game and third of the weekend at 16:01 in the second when she tipped in a Sam Downey shot. Brausen won the faceoff and passed it back to Downey at the point, where she wound up for the shot and the eventual tip-in by May.
Kelly Terry netted her ninth goal of the year when she received a great pass from Sarah Davis at 18:00 in the third period. Davis won the faceoff and picked it up behind the MSU center. She passed the puck in front of the crease to Terry, who was waiting at the backdoor for a nearly open net.
In all, eight players tallied points in the win. May, Kessel, Schoullis and Brausen all tallied two points, while Downey, Erickson, Davis and Terry tallied one. Raty finished the game with 26 saves and was the third star of the game. She made some key saves in the third period to keep the Mavericks to the lone goal. She had 11 saves in the first, eight in the second and eight in the third for a three-period total of 33.
The Gophers will host in-state rival Minnesota Duluth next weekend. Friday's game is set for 7 p.m., followed by a 4 p.m. turnaround Saturday. The Gophers and Bulldogs rank second and third in the conference by one point. UMD is currently in second place with 31 points, while Minnesota is third with 30. Bemidji State is also looking to crack into the top three. With a series sweep over St. Cloud State, the Beavers have 29 points.