MINNEAPOLIS -- Abbey Murphy scored twice and all four Gopher goals came in the first period as the University of Minnesota women's hockey team skated to a 4-1 win over visiting St. Cloud State at Ridder Arena on Saturday.
Minnesota (7-1-0, 7-1-0 WCHA) erupted for four first-period goals, its fastest start of the season, on the way to the win over the Huskies.
Catie Skaja opened the scoring, burying her second of the season at the four-minute mark of the opening period. Taylor Heise then doubled the lead midway through the first. Murphy extended the lead further before the end of the opening period, tallying back-to-back goals for her first two-goal game of her career.
Both teams changed goaltenders at the start of the second period as Makayla Pahl replaced Lauren Bench, who made three saves over the opening 20 minutes, while Sanni Ahola replaced Emma Polusny, who made 15 saves on 19 shots. The Gophers outshot the Huskies 19-3 in the first and 41-18 for the game. Pahl finished with 14 saves, and Ahola made 22 for the Huskies.
St. Cloud State (2-6-0, 2-6-0 WCHA) got its lone goal from Laura Kluge in the second period, and the teams played a scoreless third period.
Both teams were 0-for-3 on the power play.
"It was a really good win here tonight -- certainly the first period was the best period that we've maybe had all year," head coach Brad Frost said. "Really good job by our group really putting speed on and pressuring their defense. We got some good second and third-chance opportunities with some good shot selections, but overall it was really good. It was great to see Murphy get on the board there with a couple. She's been playing well these last couple games. Heise was real good. That line tonight was was really, really good for us. Makayla came in there in the second period and did a great job as well. It was just a great team win overall, and we're excited about game three tomorrow up in St. Cloud."
The Gophers and Huskies meet in the third and final game of this week's series at 3:07 p.m. CT Sunday in St. Cloud, Minn.