ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- Taylor Heise scored the game-winning goal 2:57 into overtime to lead the No. 2 University of Minnesota women's hockey team to a 4-3 win over St. Cloud State in game one of this weekend's WCHA series on the road at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on Saturday afternoon.
Minnesota (10-2-1, 8-2-1-0 WCHA) received goals in regulation from Kelly Pannek, Abigail Boreen, and Sarah Potomak as the Golden Gophers came back from a 2-1 third-period deficit but needed overtime to put the game away. Pannek (1g-1a) and Emily Brown (2a) led the Gophers with multiple points, and Alex Gulstene made 15 saves in net for the Maroon & Gold.
Brooke Kudirka, Jenniina Nylund, and Hannah Potrykus scored goals for St. Cloud State (4-10-1, 2-7-0 WCHA), and the Huskies got 43 saves from goaltender Emma Polusny as Minnesota outshot the home team, 47-18.
Pannek gave the Gophers an early 1-0 lead when she scored a shorthanded goal just 2:32 into the contest. With Alex Woken in the penalty box for interference, Pannek got through on a breakaway. Her initial shot rang off the pipe, but she gained possession of the rebound and solved Polusny, netting Minnesota's first short-handed goal of the season. The Gophers had a 17-7 advantage in shots on goal after the opening period and took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The second period saw the Huskies tie the game at 1-1 on a goal by Kudirka when she stole the puck in the Minnesota end and fired an unassisted shot on target. The Gophers got their lone power play of the game in the middle frame but could not convert.
The teams combined for four third-period goals. The Huskies took a 2-1 lead at the 1:48 mark with a goal by Nylund, but Boreen tied the game at 2-2 when she scored her first collegiate goal midway through the period.
S. Potomak scored the go-ahead goal for Minnesota with 5:45 remaining, but the Huskies capitalized on a 6-on-4 advantage to tie the score at 3-3. With Brown in the box for the team's second power play of the game, the Huskies pulled Polusny and Potrykus scored to send the game to overtime.
Heise then sealed the 4-3 win for the Gophers when she scored her fourth goal of the season with 2:03 remaining in the extra time. Minnesota outshot SCSU, 2-0, in overtime and possessed the puck in the Husky zone nearly the full 2:57 as the Maroon & Gold secured its 10th win of the season.
The Gophers and Huskies meet in game two of this weekend's series at 2:07 p.m. CT Sunday at Ridder Arena.
Sunday's game is featured in this year's Love Your Melon ticket packages. For $30, fans receive one ticket to Sunday's game an an exclusive Gophers Love Your Melon beanie. This weekend is also Roseville Community Weekend and White Bear Lake Community Weekend.