MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The line of Grace Zumwinkle, Taylor Wente, and Nicole Schammel combined for three goals and Emily Brown scored her third game-winning goal of the season as the No. 2 University of Minnesota women's hockey team won 6-1 over visiting Robert Morris on Friday night at Ridder Arena.
Minnesota (16-2-1, 9-2-1-0 WCHA) scored five unanswered goals en route to the team's 16th win of the season after Robert Morris (8-9-4, 6-1-1 CHA) tied the game at 1-1 early in the first period. Zumwinkle (1g-2a) and Wente (1g-2a) led the way with three points each while Amy Potomak and Taylor Williamson each registered a pair of assists and Nicole Schammel (1g-1a) had a two-point night for the Maroon & Gold.
Alex Gulstene made 20 saves in net for the Gophers as Minnesota outshot the Colonials, 27-21, for the game. On the other end of the ice, RMU's Lauren Bailey finished with 21 saves.
"Solid win tonight against a real good team," head coach Brad Frost said. "Getting those three goals in the first couple of minutes was a real momentum shift for us, and then to get a couple more in the second was great. Overall we played really well, the third period being a little uninspired by both teams, but overall I'm really happy for the win and excited about tomorrow."
Zumwinkle broke a scoreless tie at the 4:19 mark of the first period, triggering Minnesota's annual teddy bear toss, which benefits the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, and giving the Gophers the lead. Zumwinkle buried her team-leading 13th goal of the season off a feed from linemates Schammel and Wente.
"It was surreal feeling," Zumwinkle said of the teddy bears raining down after her goal. "It was cool to see the support that our fans give us, and it's great that the teddy bears are going to a good cause."
The Colonials responded with a goal from Jaycee Gebhard just 1:06 later, but the Maroon & Gold quickly regained the lead beginning with Brown's eventual game-winner at the 13:34 mark. The Gophers netted two more quick goals as Wente scored at 14:34 and Kelly Pannek added her 10th of the season 1:07 later and Minnesota took a commanding 4-1 lead into the first intermission.
Schammel and Alex Woken found the back of the net in the second period, and the Gophers cruised to their ninth-consecutive win.
"We feel pretty confident in what we're doing, but the main focus is to not get too comfortable when that happens, and to keep doing all the right things," Schammel said. "Today we did a really good job of that."
Both teams were scoreless on one power play opportunity each.
The teams face off in game two of this week's non-conference series at 1:07 p.m. CT Saturday afternoon at Ridder Arena. Minnesota is set to host its annual Skate with the Gophers event following Saturday's game.