Minnesota bounces back from big loss with shutout

After a 5-0 beating Saturday, the Gophers put up three goals to get a 3-0 win Sunday.

Nick Heronimus

Once again the Minnesota women’s hockey team showed resilience by battling back in the second game of a series to earn another split on the road against a top WCHA opponent.

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North Dakota
what: Women’s Hockey
when: 3 p.m., Saturday
where: Ridder Arena

This time Minnesota (7-4-1, 5-4-1 WCHA) rebounded against Minnesota-Duluth with a 3-0 victory on Sunday after falling to Duluth (8-3-1, 7-3-0 WCHA) 5-0 on Saturday.

Saturday the Bulldogs were too much to handle for the Gophers.

Specifically, sophomore goaltender Kim Martin, who had a record-setting performance, recording 50 saves.

“She played tremendous,” head coach Brad Frost said.

It was a career-high for Martin who also broke the school’s previous record held by UMD’s Riitta Schaublin last March when she recorded 44 saves.

Martin was performing so well that she already had tied the record by the end of the second period. She had 27 saves in that period to go with her 18 saves from the first and five more in the third.

The inability of Minnesota to get the puck past Martin combined with the Bulldogs offensive firepower equaled a tough outing for the Gophers.

“We didn’t bury the chances we had,” senior forward Whitney Graft said. “We didn’t shoot with a purpose.”

Early period goals by junior defense Myriam Trepanier and senior forward Karine Demeule gave Duluth an insurmountable lead with Martin in goal.

One of Minnesota’s best chances to score, however, came on junior forward Gigi Marvin’s penalty shot in the first period.

This was the first penalty shot for the Gophers since Bobbi Ross’ penalty shot in the NCAA semifinal game on March 24, 2006.

Marvin’s penalty shot shared the same fate as the other 49 shots by the Gophers, as Martin knocked it away.

Sunday’s affair had a motivated Gophers team on the ice.

“We came in (Sunday) and we knew we had to perform well,” senior forward Bobbi Ross said.

Minnesota started off their second-day charge in the first period by scoring their first goal of the game and series when Graft found the back of the net unassisted.

“The first goal we got was huge,” Frost said. “When you put up so many shots and not get rewarded, you start pressing.”

The second period had the most action, and it started off with a bang when senior forward Erica McKenzie scored only 41 seconds into the second period.

McKenzie’s goal came on a power-play opportunity and is her team-leading 10th goal of the season.

She was assisted by junior defense Rachael Drazan and Ross, who would tally two assists in the game.

Minnesota scored their final goal of the game when freshman forward Jen Schoullis knocked in a pass from Ross for her third goal of the season on a two-on-one opportunity.

Defense was the key against the Bulldogs as the Gophers killed all six of Duluth’s power-play chances. Junior goaltender Kim Hanlon was a big part of this as she stopped all of the Bulldogs’ shots to record 21 saves for the game.

The shutout was the 10th for Hanlon’s career and came in the first action she had seen since the Ohio State series Oct. 19-20.

The series split was the third split Minnesota has earned in as many chances. The Gophers have now split on the road with the Buckeyes, Badgers and now the Bulldogs.

“It would be great if we played perfect every game,” Frost said. “But the game is called hockey, not perfect.”