BURLINGTON, Vt. - Four different Gopher freshmen scored goals and Kelly Pannek netted her fourth goal of the tournament to lead the No. 2 University of Minnesota women's hockey team to a 6-2 win over Vermont to capture the Windjammer Classic title at Gutterson Fieldhouse on Saturday night.
Taylor Heise (1g-2a), Amy Potomak (1g-1a), Emily Oden (1g-1a), Catie Skaja (1g-1a), and Pannek (1g-1a) recorded multiple points to lead Minnesota (13-2-1, 9-2-1-0 WCHA) in the win, and Katie Robinson also added a goal.
Alex Gulstene made 19 saves in the win, improving to 10-0-0 on the season, as Minnesota outshot Vermont (3-8-4, 2-6-2 Hockey East) 39-21 for the game.
Skaja opened the scoring just 1:13 into the game when she deflected a shot by Emily Brown past UVM netminder Melissa Black. Pannek picked up the second assist on the play.
The Catamounts countered, evening the score at 1-1 at the 12:51 mark of the first period with a goal by Kristina Shanahan. However, Heise regained the Minnesota lead before the end of the period, scoring her fifth goal of the season off a feed from Nicole Schammel with 1:02 remaining in the opening frame.
The second period saw A. Potomak score her fourth of the season to extend the Gophers' lead to two at 3-1. Linemates Heise and Oden picked up assists on the play, and the trio combined for another goal with 5:20 remaining in the middle frame when Oden poked the puck past Black to make it 4-1 heading into the second intermission.
Vermont made it a two-goal game when Alyssa Gorecki scored an unassisted goal at the 6:44 mark of the third period, but Pannek responded with her fourth goal of the tournament to put Minnesota back on top by three with 10:11 remaining. Robinson then rounded out the scoring for the Gophers, burying a feed from Skaja with 1:53 remaining.
Pannek, Heise, and Gulstene were named to the Windjammer Classic all-tournament team, and Pannek was selected as tournament MVP after finishing the weekend with six points (4g-2a).
The Gophers remain on the road for a series at Yale on Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1 before returning home to wrap up the first half of the season by hosting Robert Morris on Friday, Dec. 7 and Saturday, Dec. 8.