|2nd||4:16||MIN||1-0||EV||Maryanne Menefee (20)||Megan Wolfe/14, Lee Stecklein/21|
|2nd||5:59||MIN||2-0||EV GW||Maryanne Menefee (21)||-|
|2nd||16:12||MIN||3-0||EV||Kelly Pannek (13)||Kate Schipper/13, Brook Garzone/14|
|3rd||8:37||MIN||4-0||EV||Hannah Brandt (31)||Kelsey Cline/7, Dani Cameranesi/39|
|3rd||9:09||MIN||5-0||EV||Rachael Bona (14)||Megan Wolfe/15, Meghan Lorence/16|
|3rd||11:23||MNS||1-5||EV||Kathleen Rogan (4)||Nicole Schammel/11, Anna-Maria Fiegert/4|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Minnesota State (3-32-1)||0/2||1/2||0|
|Minnesota State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Erin Krichiver (L, 2-24-1)||60:00||5||3||19||9||31|
|Amanda Leveille (W, 25-2-3)||49:09||0||15||11||3||29|
MINNEAPOLIS - The No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gopher women's hockey team secured its 16th-straight WCHA FINAL FACEOFF appearance by sealing a series sweep over Minnesota State with a 5-1 victory Saturday at Ridder Arena.
Junior Maryanne Menefee (Lansing, Mich.) and sophomore Megan Wolfe (Eagan, Minn.) led Minnesota with two points each. Menefee scored two goals, and Wolfe recorded her third-straight three-assist game.
After securing a 10-0 win in game one of the series Friday night, the Gophers faced a tougher Minnesota State team in the second game. The game remained scoreless after one period and Minnesota State outshot Minnesota, 15-3, in the opening 20 minutes.
"Win and advance is kind of the theme as you get to the playoffs," head coach Brad Frost said. "Obviously, we had just a terrible start here. We really lacked energy, lacked jump, and on the flip side, Mankato played extremely hard, as any team would when their season is on the line. Certainly give credit to them."
In the second period, the Gophers jumped into gear with a pair of goals from Menefee. The first goal came at 4:16 of the middle frame and was assisted by Wolfe and fellow sophomore Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.). The second came less than two minutes later on a solo effort.
Freshman Kelly Pannek (Plymouth, Minn.) then scored her 13th goal of the season at 16:12 of the second period to give the Gophers a 3-0 lead at the second intermission. Sophomore Kate Schipper(Brooklyn Park, Minn.) and junior Brook Garzone(Sand Springs, Okla.) picked up the assists.
"Fortunately, we were able to turn it around in the second and get those three goals to get on the board and extend the lead," Frost said. "Overall it was a good night, and we're excited to get up to Grand Forks next week."
The Gophers did not let up in the third period as Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award finalist Hannah Brandt (Vadnais Heights, Minn.) scored her WCHA-leading 31st goal of the season at 8:37. Fellow Patty Kaz finalist Dani Cameranesi (Plymouth, Minn.) and Kelsey Cline (Bloomington, Minn.) assisted on the play.
Senior Rachael Bona (Coon Rapids, Minn.) notched the fifth goal of the night for the Gophers at 9:09, netting her 14th of the season. Fellow senior Meghan Lorence (Mounds View, Minn.) and Wolfe, who earned her second assist of the night, set up the goal.
Minnesota State (3-32-1) did not get on the board until midway through the third period. The Mavericks scored their first and only goal of the series when Kathleen Rogan found the back of the net at 11:23 of the third period.
Junior Amanda Leveille (Kingston, Ont.) made 29 saves on 29 shots over the first 49:09 of the game before seniorShyler Sletta (Elko New Market, Minn.) played the final 10:51 and made five saves on six shots. The goal against marked the only goal Sletta has allowed in her Gopher career.
With a career-high seven points on the weekend, Cameranesi now has 98 career points on 42 goals and 56 assists. Menefee had six points in the series (3g-3a), and Brandt finished the series with five points (4g-1a).
The series sweep sends Minnesota (31-2-4) on to the 2015 WCHA FINAL FACEOFF hosted by North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D., next weekend, March 7-8. The Gophers will face either fourth-seeded Minnesota Duluth or fifth-seeded Bemidji State. The Bulldogs and Beavers play game three of the WCHA best-of-three series Sunday.