Women’s hockey vs. Duluth: Gophers lose 4-2

Heidi Hanse

The Gophers lost their first game in 16 games. There was no scoring in the third amidst many mental errors for the Gophers. Second: Duluth tied the game with Haley Irwin scored on a breakaway. Things on the ice started to get physical as Monique Lamoureux layed a big open-ice hit on Irwin and received a penalty. Once it was over, Jaimie Horton back-handed her third goal of the year on her second shift of the game at 13:49. After a Gopher penalty, Duluth’s Irwin put her second of the game to make the score 2-2. With the Gophers on a power play, Duluth got the puck at center ice and earned another breakaway. Goalie Alyssa Grogan hesistated on the challenged but retreated back to the crease but eventually was beat to make the score 3-2. Ninety-seven seconds later, Duluth knocked in a power play to end the period up 4-2. The Gophers have kept the speed up but have allowed many odd-man rushes and breakaways, resulting in two goals. It’s not the defense unable to hold the blue line, but just fluent passing and player awareness of the Bulldogs. Ten penalties have been assessed in the second, with six going to the Gophers and two resulting in goals. With two tripping and checking penalties, the Gophers have been forced to play a little more defense than they have been used to in the last three weekends. First: The Gophers head to the locker room up one goal after the first period. Marvin hasn’t shown any signs of injury as she scored the only goal of the game with a quick shot over the Bulldog’s goalie. Minnesota out shot Duluth 13-5 with three shots on the power play. The game has had a quick pace so far with no signs of it slowing down. Minnesota has taken only one trip to the box while the Bulldogs have been there twice. Duluth is without their top goalie Kim Martin due to injury and looks to be out for a couple weeks. That isn’t the only injuries on the Bulldog’s roster. Sophomore Jocelyne Larocque, Melanie Gagnon’s cousin, suffered a concussion on Monday’s practice and Junior Emmanuelle Blais is skating limited time as she is coming back from a stress fracture. However, Martin is the only skater that isn’t playing. This could be a positive thing for the Gophers, as Martin is Duluth’s top goaltender.

Pre-game:

The warm-ups for the game showed the No.1 Gophers at a high pace. The No.3 Bulldogs seemed to match. But that was warm-ups. What matters is what the Gophers can do during the first five to ten minutes in the game.

Gigi Marvin is in the lineup as a right wing on the first line, not letting her recent injury keep her out. The same can be said about Rachael Drazan. She recently nursed an injury, but is back.

The lineup for the Gophers looks similar to ones in the past. A couple noticable changes are Marvin at right wing with Jen Schoullis centering the first line. Alexandra Zebro is seeing ice time with the Lamoureux sisters, a role that was filled last weekend by Terra Rasmussen, who is on the fourth line.

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This weekend is a big one for the Gophers. No.2 Wisconsin is two points behind them in the WCHA and Duluth is ten behind. Wisconsin plays St. Cloud State this weekend, beating the Huskies 7-0 and 6-2 in the last match-up. Wins for Wisconsin will put pressure on the Gophers and create tension for the Badger-Gopher series coming in two weeks, as if there wouldn’t be any otherwise.