Live Blog: (2) Gophers women’s hockey vs. North Dakota

by John Hageman

 The (2) Gophers (17-3-4, 13-2-3 WCHA) take on North Dakota (5-13-4, 4-12-2 WCHA), a team at the bottom of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, at Ridder Arena tonight. 

Gophers hold on to win 3-0. Tomorrow’s game is set for 4:07 p.m. 17:50-Gophers ice the game with an open-net goal from Chelsey Jones. 16:25-May has reentered the game, but Mira Jalosuo was just shaken up and left the ice under her own power. 8:36-Erickson puts the Gophers up 2-0 on a rebound just in front of the North Dakota net on the power play. After the play, May needed to be helped off the ice, and it does not look like she will return. 6:36-UND’s Allison Parizek will head to the box, giving the Gophers a chance to extend their lead. Minnesota heads will go into the final period holding on to a 1-0 lead. The Sioux were able to challenge Minnesota in their zone, creating some one-on-one opportunities, but had no luck putting the puck in the net. Raty continues to play strong, taking the shutout into the third. If she holds off North Dakota in the final period, it would be her sixth shutout this season, which would put her in a tie for most in the nation. The Gophers are currently outshooting UND 26-14, holding the Sioux to seven shots a period. 17:05-The Gophers will get another crack at the power play as Candance Molle gets called for body checking after sending West to the ice. 11:02-The Gophers will get their first shot on the power play as UND’s Cassandra Flanagan gets called for interference. 8:05-The Gophers have got a couple lucky bounces on North Dakota rebounds, but still hold the lead 1-0. 3:01-The Sioux had a chance to tie it up on a breakaway, but missed the net completely on a backhand. Still 1-0. The Gophers will head into the locker room with the 1-0 lead. It took almost an entire half of a period for North Dakota to tally a shot on goal, and now they trail Minnesota 14-7 in that department. The Gophers have taken the trip to the sin bin twice in the first, and North Dakota will begin the first 1:14 of the second with an advantage. Terra Rasmussen was called for hooking twice for the only penalties of the game. The Gophers came out strong, as North Dakota was unable to keep the puck out of their zone. 11:53-Gophers back to full strength with no harm done, still lead 1-0. North Dakota has had some good looks, but still trails in shots on goal at 4-11 in favor of the Gophers. 8:31-The Sioux just recorded their first shot on goal. Gophers still lead 1-0. 3:58-Laura May puts the Gophers on the board first for her sixth goal of the season. May intercepted a pass and brought it up into the Sioux zone herself for the unassisted goal.

The Gophers will look to maintain their seven-point lead in the WCHA standings with a couple of weekends at home, with the Sioux visiting this weekend and Minnesota-State Mankato coming to Ridder next weekend. Holding the second place spot in the standings is Minnesota-Duluth, who will be in Mankato to visit the Mavericks tonight.

The Gophers have two records on the line tonight, with their undefeated record at home this season and their undefeated record against North Dakota in history. Minnesota is the only WCHA team the Sioux are still looking for a win against, with the all-time record set at 26-0-0 in favor of the Gophers.

Last weekend, the Gophers escaped Bemidji with four points in the standings, but not without two shootout victories. The Gophers also faced Team USA in exhibition play last Tuesday, which Minnesota head coach Brad Frost said may have had to do with their flat play in the first period against the Beavers. Frost said he gave the players a day off on Tuesday to rest from the extra hockey the team played. Starting for the Gophers: #41 Noora Raty #22 Anne Schleper #20 Alexandra Zebro #17 Emily West #10 Brittany Francis #4 Sarah Erickson