|1st||6:59||MIN||1-0||EV||Caitlin Reilly (5)||Megan Wolfe/14, Lee Stecklein/17|
|2nd||11:32||MIN||2-0||EV||Katie Robinson (2)||Kate Schipper/14|
|2nd||18:55||NDK||1-2||EV||Hallie Theodosopoulos (4)||-|
|3rd||18:25||MIN||3-1||EV EN GW||Kelly Pannek (17)||Sarah Potomak/29|
|3rd||19:05||NDK||2-3||PP EA||Rebekah Kolstad (5)||Emma Nuutinen/7, Ryleigh Houston/15|
|3rd||19:58||MIN||4-2||EV EN||Kate Schipper (12)||Lee Stecklein/18|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|North Dakota (13-12-6)||1/3||2/4||0|
|North Dakota Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Lexie Shaw (L, 12-10-6)||58:30||2||11||7||7||25|
|Sidney Peters (W, 21-5-2)||60:00||2||8||7||4||19|
MINNEAPOLIS - The No. 5 Golden Gopher women's hockey team skated to a 4-2 win over visiting North Dakota in game one of this weekend's WCHA series in front of 2,458 fans at Ridder Arena Friday night.
Minnesota (22-5-3, 18-4-3-2 WCHA) received goals from Caitlin Reilly and Katie Robinson before Kelly Pannek and Kate Schipper sealed the win with a pair of empty-net goals. Lee Stecklein recorded a multi-point game with two assists, and Schipper had one goal and one assist.
North Dakota (13-12-6, 10-10-5-3 WCHA) was led by netminder Lexie Shaw's 25 save-effort along with goals from Hallie Theodosopoulos and Rebekah Kolstad.
The Gophers held a 2-1 lead before the teams combined for three goals in the game's final 1:35. UND pulled Shaw for the extra attacker, and Minnesota made it 3-1 with 1:35 remaining. However, the Fighting Hawks again pulled Shaw and capitalized with the extra attacker on a goal by Kolstad 40 seconds later, but Schipper iced the 4-2 victory with Minnesota's second empty-net goal with two seconds remaining.
"It was just a really good effort here tonight," head coach Brad Frost said. "I thought really from the drop of the puck we were in control, generating chances -- it was a great goal there by Reilly to get things going, then Katie with a nice goal, but towards the end there, getting two empty-netters was just a battle. Blocking shots and paying the price, things that we need this time of year as we are getting into the playoffs. Kids were willing to lay it out there and as a coach and a program that's all we can ask. So, really happy about the three points and looking forward to tomorrow."
"I'm really happy with how our team approached the game," Pannek said. "They're a physical team, and they love to bring that, especially at our home rink. Just the mentality we had and the composure, not really giving into the trap, using our feet, and using our speed. I'm really happy with the compete level and tenacity our team brought. We just played three solid periods I thought."
The Gophers got on the board first with a goal by Reilly at the 6:59 mark of the first period. Stecklein fed a cross-ice pass to Megan Wolfe in the Gophers end, and Wolfe carried the puck all the way through the neutral zone and into the UND end on a rush. She then fed Reilly as she moved through the slot and put a shot on net from along the goal line. UND's Shaw got a piece of the puck, but it bounced off her pad and flipped up over her shoulder into the net.
Minnesota doubled its lead midway through the second period when Robinson scored her second career goal. Schipper fed a cross-ice pass to Robinson at the point, where she ripped a shot through traffic past Shaw to make it 2-0. UND responded with a goal by Theodosopoulos with 1:05 remaining in the period to cut the Gophers' lead to one late in the middle frame.
It looked like Minnesota would skate away with a 2-1 win before North Dakota put on pressure with the extra attacker, pulling Shaw with 1:53 remaining. Pannek blocked a shot by Emma Nuutinen just inside the Gopher blue line, and Nuutinen ripped a second shot blocked by Potomak. Pannek then got her stick on the puck while on her knees and shoveled it the length of the ice for the empty-net tally to make it 3-1 with 1:35 to go.
With Reilly in the box for tripping in the game's final minute, North Dakota responded with Kolstad's extra-attacker goal with a 6-on-4 advantage to again cut the Gophers' lead to one, but Schipper's empty-netter sealed the win.
"I think you probably would have hoped not to have to get that second one," Pannek said. "We finished the game strong, and that's all we can really ask for. The way we got the first empty net goal and gave up a goal, then we got another one, that just showed the story of our game I thought. I was just trying to clear the zone (on my empty net goal). It was just weird."
Sidney Peters finished with 19 saves for the Gophers, including robbing UND's Amy Menke with a glove save on a short-handed breakaway in the second period, as Minnesota outshot North Dakota, 29-21. UND was 1-for-3 on the power play while the Gophers were 0-for-1.
The Gophers and Fighting Hawks return to the ice at Ridder Arena for game two of this weekend's series at 4:07 p.m. CT Saturday afternoon.