MINNEAPOLIS -- Grace Zumwinkle and Amy Potomak led the Golden Gophers with three points each and six different Gophers scored goals as the No. 2 University of Minnesota women's hockey team cruised to a 7-2 win over St. Cloud State in game two of this weekend's WCHA series at Ridder Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Minnesota (11-2-1, 9-2-1-0 WCHA) erupted for four first-period goals, taking a 4-0 lead before the Huskies got on the board in the final minute of the opening period. The teams traded goals in second period, and the Maroon & Gold added two third-period tallies to seal the 7-2 win and series sweep after earning a 4-3 overtime win in game one of the series on Saturday.
Along with three-point efforts from Zumwinkle (2g-1a) and A. Potomak (1g-2a), the Gophers received multilpe points from Nicole Schammel (1g-1a), Kelly Pannek (1g-1a), and Taylor Heise (2a) in the win as well.
Alex Gulstene made 15 saves on 17 shots faced as Minnesota outshot the Huskies, 52-17, for the game. St. Cloud State's Emma Polusny made 45 saves while Brooke Kudirka and Suvi Ollikainen netted the Huskies' goals.
"Solid effort tonight. Obviously scoring seven is a big deal, especially on such a good goaltender like Emma (Polusny)," head coach Brad Frost said. "It was just a great start for us right out of the gate, jumping up to that 4-0 lead in the first. Proud of our team, especially Zumwinkle, Wente, and Schammel for getting us going early, and it was good to see Amy Potomak getting on the board and Skaja. A lot of our freshman I thought played really well this weekend. Overall, great six points and looking forward to getting on the road and playing in the Windjammer Classic."
Zumwinkle put the Gophers on the board first, scoring her first of the day at the 4:38 mark of the opening period. Pannek dished the puck to Zumwinkle at neutral ice, and she moved through the Huskies' zone and beat Polusny to give Minnesota an early lead.
Schammel doubled the Gophers' lead when she scored her fourth goal of the season at 8:32 of the first period. She gained possession of the puck off a turnover by the Huskies in the SCSU zone and found Zumwinkle, who fired a shot on target down low. The rebound popped out to Schammel, and she buried it to put Minnesota up 2-0.
Less than 90 seconds later, Catie Skaja made it 3-0 Gophers. A. Potomak intercepted an SCSU clearing attempt and sent the puck to Skaja, who found Heise moving into the Huskies' zone. Heise then fed it back to Skaja on the doorstep, where she knocked it past Polusny. Zumwinkle scored her second of the game with 7:49 remaining in the period to extend the Gophers' lead to four.
"As a team, the biggest thing was finding chemistry and communication between lines, and it was awesome to see all of our lines contributing," Zumwinkle said.
St. Cloud State (4-11-1, 2-8-0 WCHA) got on the board with just 49 seconds remaining in the first period when Ollikainen snuck a shot through traffic past Gulstene. Katie Robinson blocked Ollikainen's first shot, but the puck bounced back out to Ollikainen and she capitalized to put the Huskies on the board.
The second period saw the teams exchange goals. SCSU cut the Gophers' lead to two on a goal by Kudirka before Pannek scored her second of the series, solving Polusny on the power play to put Minnesota back up by three heading into the final stanza.
"It was really easy to look at yesterday's game and think "wow, we have so much to fix", but today we just stuck with them really well and were able to get pucks to the net," Pannek said.
A. Potomak scored her third goal of the season at the 2:25 mark of the third period before Williamson scored her fifth of the year just 1:09 later to extend the Gophers' lead to five at 7-2.
For the game, Minnesota was 1-for-2 on the power play while holding the Huskies to 0-for-2 with the skater advantage.
Up next for the Gophers is a trip to Vermont for the the Windjammer Classic hosted by the Catamounts next weekend. Minnesota plays St. Lawrence on Friday, Nov. 23 and will face either Vermont or Syracuse on Saturday, Nov. 24.