Junior forward Amanda Kessel posts two goals and two assists for Golden Gophers

Amanda Kessel had two goals and two assists for Minnesota

On a night when the University of Minnesota women's hockey team unveiled their 2012 National Championship banner, the Golden Gophers took a 3-0 lead over St. Cloud State in the first period en route to a 7-1 victory. The Maroon & Gold were led offensively by Amanda Kessel, who tallied two goals and two assists.

After a stalemate the first 10 minutes of the period, the Gophers got on the board when St. Cloud State sent two players to the penalty box. Minnesota pounded the goal before senior captain Megan Bozek centered the puck and passed to Kessel on the right side of the goal. Kessel would take a quick strike and pass the puck in front of the goal to Maryanne Menefee, who was standing near the backside of the goal and tapped in the first goal of the match.

Not even a minute later, Kelley Terry would rebound a Mira Jalosuo shot that bounced off the post. Terry then dished the puck off to fellow Canadian Sara Davis, who poked in the second power play goal to increase Minnesota's lead to 2-0.

The Gophers kept it rolling in the first period as Kessel would tally a score with just under five minutes remaining by blasting a shot over the Huskies goaltender's right shoulder. Bozek and freshman Hannah Brandt would be credited with assists on the power play score.

In the second period, it would take a while for the Maroon & Gold scored before Hannah Brandt tallied a unassisted score at 12:02.

With the Gophers leading 4-0, it seemed that the Huskies lay down, but SCSU would slip the puck in goal just minutes after to make it 4-1.

The Gophers took the lone goal scored to heart as they netted two goals late in the period to go up 6-1.

The first score came from Bozek, who rifled the puck from point and had it buzz over the keepers' shoulder.

The final score of the half came from senior Becky Kortum, who got a breakaway as time was trickling down. With a 2-on-1 advantage, the forward would fake a pass and slap a shot just inside the right post with 3.8 seconds remaining on the clock to give the Gophers a 6-1 lead at the end of the second.

Following the second, Minnesota pulled senior goalkeeper Noora Ršty to allow freshman Amanda Leveille to get some ice time. Ršty tallied eight saves in her two periods of work while allowing one goal.

The Maroon & Gold came out firing again in the third as Kessel tallied her second goal of the game just 5:21 into the period. The junior would skate down center ice towards goal with Brandt and Menefee beside her in a 3-on-1 opportunity. After a few passes between the three, Kessel got an open look and flicked a past the keeper.

The two foes would not score against the remainder of the period, and the game would end 7-1 in favor of the Gophers.

Minnesota held a distinct shot advantage over SCSU of 44-14, as well as capitalizing on 4-of-7 power play opportunities.

Minnesota returns to action against St. Cloud State tomorrow afternoon in Ridder Arena at 4 p.m.