MINNEAPOLIS -- Emily Oden scored her first two career goals as a Golden Gopher to lead the No. 3 University of Minnesota women's hockey team to a 4-1 win over St. Cloud State at Ridder Arena on Sunday evening. With the win, the Maroon & Gold secured a WCHA sweep in the home-and-home series after posting a 6-2 win in game one in St. Cloud, Minn., on Friday.
Minnesota (5-0-1, 3-0-1-0 WCHA) was led by Oden's two-goal effort and also received goals from Amy Potomak and Grace Zumwinkle. Sydney Scobee earned the win in net, tallying five saves as the Gophers outshot the Huskies, 45-6.
"It was a solid victory tonight, a real complete game in all facets," head coach Brad Frost said. "From our fore-checking and taking away their time and space, we did a great job of back-pressuring the puck, and we were able to score enough goals there to put it away. In the third, with it being 3-1, having Oden get her second of the game was pretty special. Overall, a great weekend for us -- I'm really pleased with how we're playing, and we're looking forward to next weekend."
For the second-straight game, the Gophers jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one period of play. Amy Potomak put the Gophers on the board just 2:10 into the game when she converted on a two-on-one with Sarah Potomak. Oden scored her first collegiate goal, the eventual game-winner, at the 11:00 mark of the opening frame, and Zumwinkle tapped in a pass from Nicole Schammel with 7:08 remaining in the first period to give the Gophers the three-goal lead heading into the first intermission.
"To get the first one out of the way relieves a little stress," Oden said of scoring her first career goal. "Our team was playing so well offensively, just controlling the game, so obviously feeding off the team, I was able to put one away. Then you know, you get one and work hard to get another."
The second period saw St. Cloud State (2-4-0, 0-2-0-0 WCHA) spoil Scobee's shutout when Jenniina Nylund scored her second goal of the series, netting a power-play goal at the 16:55 mark of the middle stanza to make it 3-1.
Oden pushed the Gophers' lead back to three when she scored her second goal of the game off a feed from Catie Skaja at the 5:55 mark of the third period. Skaja carried the puck down low in the SCSU zone and found Oden at the top of the goal crease where she drove it past SCSU netminder Janine Alder on her stick side to put the Gophers up 4-1. Alder finished with 41 saves for the Huskies.
"It's awesome," Frost said of Oden's two-goal effort. "Some of the other freshmen have scored their first ones, so you start maybe pressing a little bit and wondering when yours is going to come. She did a great job staying in front on that rebound and firing it into the net and then a great drive on the second one."
Despite scoring only four goals, the Gophers received points and goals from all three of the team's top lines in the victory.
"It's one thing to say it, and it's another thing to actually have it happen," Frost said of the team's depth this season. "We trust all four of our lines and whoever is on what line is competing and playing -- and playing pretty free -- so it's pretty fun to watch."
The Gophers were 0-for-4 on the power play after scoring two power-play goals in game one while the Huskies went 1-for-3 with the skater advantage.
"Our conference is so strong this year, like it is every year, so being able to get the sweep this weekend is really big for us, especially coming off a tie from last weekend," Oden said.
Minnesota returns to Ridder Arena next weekend for a top-five match-up with No. 5 Ohio State. The Gophers and Buckeyes face off at 7:07 p.m. CT Friday, Oct. 19 and 4:07 p.m. CT Saturday, Oct. 20.
Friday at Ridder Arena is Faculty & Staff Day; University of Minnesota faculty and staff receive discounted tickets. Saturday is Youth Hockey Day at Ridder Arena. Help the Gophers grow the game and attend Saturday's game alongside fellow youth hockey players. Fans can take part in a design-your-own goalie mask station on the concourse during the game. Saturday's game is also a Cub Family 4-Pack game; get four tickets, four hot dogs, four popcorns, four sodas, and $5 off $50 at Cub Foods with the ticket package.