Minneapolis, Minn. -- The No. 3 Golden Gopher women's hockey team moved on to the championship game of the Smashville Showcase with a 4-0 victory over Mercyhurst on Friday afternoon at the Ford Ice Center.
Minnesota (12-3-0) earned its 11th straight win behind a pair of goals from Taylor Heise and Catie Skaja. After defeating Mercyhurst (11-5-2), the Gophers move to 5-0-0 in non-conference games this season. Taylor Heise opened the scoring for the fourth time in the last five games and scored or assisted on every Gophers goal. Minnesota's top line continued their exceptional play, combining for all four goals and 10 points. The Gophers outshot the Lakers 39-28 in Friday's contest.
Senior Lauren Bench earned her third shutout in a Minnesota sweater after stopping all 28 Laker shots.
"Fun game here tonight in Nashville," said head coach Brad Frost. "It's a great tournament to be a part of, but really happy to pick up a 4-0 win. Lauren Bench was really, really good tonight. We ended up winning the overall special teams battle, which was important. Excited about that and looking forward to playing in the championship game tomorrow. It should be another great atmosphere and a great event."
The Gophers move to 11-1-0 all-time against Mercyhurst. Taylor Heise extended her point streak to 13 games while notching her 11th multi-point game and 3rd multi-goal game. Catie Skaja becomes the fourth Gopher this season to record a multi-goal game.
The Gophers move on to the Smashville Showcase championship game against No. 8/8 Colgate at 4:30 pm on Saturday. The Gophers swept Colgate in Hamilton, N.Y. earlier this season.