Friday night Minnesota hosted Minnesota State for the start of their final home series this season. Alex Gulstene tended the Gophers’ crease for this match, while Abigail Levy stood between the pipes at the opposite end and immediately had to fend off a couple of shots once the game had started. Brittyn Fleming came down the left side and shot into Gulstene and kicked off several minutes of the Mavericks in their offensive zone, but it didn’t translate into many actual attempts on goal. Emily Oden made a slot shot that hit slide through a Maverick’s skates onto Abigail Boreen’s stick and she tapped it into Levy’s back, whereupon the puck bounced into goal at 6:21.
The puck soon landed on Grace Zumwinkle’s stick and she tore through MSU’s zone before shooting into Levy’s glove. Minnesota continued generating solid chances on goal, which were only improved by Brooke Bryant taking a roughing penalty at 12:48. Just after the penalty expired Zumwinkle laterally passed to Crystalyn Hengler in the right circle and she made a low shot through traffic into the back of the net at 14:56. Nicole Schammel had the second assist. Gulstene saw a little more action near the end of the period and then nearly left the ice when Mariah Gardner took a slightly delayed penalty for hooking at 19:05. This penalty carried over to second period before harmlessly expiring.
At 2:21 Rebekah Kolstad took Zumwinkle off her skates and pretty much rolled her over her back, which sent Kolstad to the box for tripping. Gophers didn’t do much with the power play, but they soon had another chance, as Leila Kilduff put her hand on Alex Woken’s chest, pushed her to the ice, and earned an interference penalty at 4:45. This time Minnesota dusted off their puck cycling and took a lot of shots, but were unable to convert. Gophers remained on the attack and a Taylor Williamson drop pass to Kelly Pannek nearly resulted in a goal, but they couldn’t poke the puck past Levy.
Jordan McLaughlin harried Sophie Skarzynski as she carried the puck around the back of Gulstene’s net and then a couple moments later McLaughlin was serving time for a hooking minor at 9:00. Halfway through the power play Emily Brown passed to Taylor Heise at the bottom of the left circle and Heise passed back to Amy Potomak in the slot, resulting in a top shelf goal at 9:59. After that Minnesota finally wound up on the penalty kill at 15:06 when Alex Woken took an interference penalty in front of her team’s bench. This was killed and the Gophers continued to control everything about the game up until the final seconds of the period.
That was when Levy came out of her crease to cover up Oden’s shot and Zumwinkle ultimately ran her over, though she might have been pushed by a Maverick into doing so. In any case Zumwinkle went for interference at 19:57 and the Gophers started third period down a skater. They didn’t stay that way for long, as Fleming made a ppassed from the bottom of the left circle to Sofia Poinar as she flew into the slot and she scored high, rather similarly to the Potomak goal, 20 seconds into the period. Megan Hinze had the second assist.
Play went fairly quiet after that with both teams getting little bursts of offensive attempts in between a lot of puck chasing. Tristen Truax made a shot from the top of the left circle, which Gulstene stopped, but Bryant kept coming at her like she didn’t care Gulstene had the puck pressed into her jersey logo. Gardner earned an interference penalty at 10:24 and Brown nearly scored on an otherwise unremarkable power play. Gulstene gloved down a Bryant shot from midair and then Madison Oelkers went for cross-checking at 15:08. This was another penalty that expired two minutes later. When the final buzzer had sounded the Gophers won 3-1 after outshooting the Mavericks 39-11. They finish the series Saturday afternoon.