ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- Taylor Heise scored a hat trick, including the game-winner, as the No. 2 University of Minnesota women's hockey team skated to a 4-0 win over St. Cloud State at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on Sunday.
Minnesota (8-1-0, 8-1-0 WCHA) got out to one of its fastest starts of the season when Abbey Murphy found Heise, who converted to put the visitors on the board just 33 seconds into the game. Emily Oden picked up the second assist on the play. The linemates then doubled the Gophers' lead with four minutes remaining in the opening frame when Oden and Murphy again fed Heise on a scoring play.
The teams played a penalty-ridden second period, but both were perfect on the penalty kill as the Gophers held the Huskies scoreless on one power play but were also scoreless on three power plays of their own. Taylor Wente had a goal waived off with just under five minutes to play in the middle frame but capitalized the next shot she got when she solved SCSU goaltender Sanni Ahola off a feed from Catie Skaja and Abigail Boreen to put Minnesota up 3-0 after two periods.
Heise capped off her first collegiate hat trick and sealed the 4-0 win with her third goal of the game with 2:04 remaining. Oden and Murphy each picked up their third assists of the game on the play as well.
Lauren Bench made 16 saves in her second shutout of the season for the Maroon & Gold, and the Gophers had a 37-16 advantage in shots on goal. Ahola finished with 33 saves for St. Cloud State (2-7-0, 2-7-0 WCHA).
"It was a great win on the road, solid effort," head coach Brad Frost said. "Heise, Oden, and Murphy, their line was tremendous again tonight. Heise with the hat trick, Lauren on her angles all night and controlling rebounds -- all in all, it was a team win. We feel really good about these last three games. We're excited about the day off tomorrow and then heading out to Wisconsin and having another great matchup with them. Really excited to get out there again, and we're happy about the win today."
- Heise recorded her first multi-goal game of the season, and Murphy recorded her first multi-assist game of her career.
- Oden's three assists marked a new career high.
- The last Gopher to score a hat trick was Grace Zumwinkle, also against St. Cloud State (Feb. 29, 2020).
- Minnesota extended its winning streak to seven games.
- The Gophers are now 96-3-3 all-time against St. Cloud State.
The Border Battle series awaits the Gophers as Minnesota travels to Madison, Wis., for a road series with Wisconsin on Friday, Jan. 15 and Saturday, Jan. 16 at LaBahn Arena. Both games are scheduled for 2:07 p.m. CT and will be streamed online via BTN+.