MINNEAPOLIS - Abigail Boreen, Crystalyn Hengler, and Amy Potomak scored goals to lead the No. 1 Golden Gopher women's hockey team to a 3-1 win over visiting Minnesota State at Ridder Arena Friday night.
Minnesota (26-4-1, 16-4-1-0 WCHA) took a three-goal lead before Minnesota State (9-16-5, 3-15-3-2 WCHA) got on the board in the third period, but the Gophers dominated the low-scoring game with a 39-11 advantage in shots on goal and an 81-23 lead in shot attempts.
Alex Gulstene improved to 17-2-0 on the season, making 10 saves on 11 shots faced. Meanwhile, Minnesota State's Abigail Levy kept is a close game with 36 saves.
Hengler scored the eventual game-winner for the Maroon & Gold in the opening period after Boreen gave the home team the lead. A. Potomak extended the lead to three on a power-play goal before MSU's Sofia Poinar spoiled the shutout just 20 seconds into the third period.
"A good solid team win tonight, I thought we played very well and defended well, only giving up 11 shots on the night," head coach Brad Frost said. "Our power play got us a goal there, and another one as time was expiring on the power play, but overall, just a really solid effort against a very good team. We're looking forward to another battle tomorrow."
Minnesota was one-for-seven on the power play as the teams combined for nine penalties in a physical game. The Mavericks were one-for-two with the skater advantage.
"When you look at percentages, sometimes it's a little misleading," Frost said of the Gophers' power play unit. "Hengler's goal, the game-winner, was right as time expired so it doesn't go down as a power-play goal but it theoretically was before they could get their fifth player on the ice. We had a lot of good chances and a lot of good possession, so I was pretty happy with how we looked there."
Boreen gave Minnesota the lead off a feed from Emily Oden with 13:39 remaining in the opening frame. Oden fed Boreen a pass, and Boreen was able to knock a bouncing puck past Levy after it hit both the pipe and Levy.
Hengler then doubled the Gophers' lead, scoring her second collegiate goal seconds after Minnesota's first power play of the game expired. Hengler caught a cross-ice pass from Grace Zumwinkle and fired it past Levy from inside the right faceoff circle.
The Gophers converted on their fifth power play of the game when A. Potomak solved Levy in the slot. Taylor Heise and Emily Brown picked up assists on the play, and Minnesota took a 3-0 lead into the second intermission after outshooting the Mavericks 20-4 in the middle frame and 32-7 over the first two periods.
With Zumwinkle in the penalty box after a collision with Levy late in the second period, the Mavericks got on the board just 20 seconds into the final stanza on Poinar's first goal of the season. However, the Gophers stifled any chance of a comeback and skated to the 3-1 win.
"Our possession in the offensive zone and the overall plays we were making, getting shots through and possessing it down low, using the D really well ... were some of our strengths tonight," Hengler said.
Minnesota and Minnesota State meet in game two of this weekend's series at 4:07 p.m. CT Saturday. The Gophers will celebrate their eight graduating seniors with a ceremony prior to puck drop, and Saturday is Fan Appreciation Day at Ridder Arena.