Women’s hockey team sweeps Saints

Brett Angel

With two victories against St. Lawrence over the weekend, Minnesota’s top-ranked women’s hockey team extended its unbeaten streak to 14 games, tying the team’s longest mark from a year ago.

The Gophers (13-0-1, 7-0-1 WCHA) steamrolled the fifth-ranked Saints at Appleton Arena in Canton, N.Y., winning 5-2 Friday and 7-2 Saturday.

“These were two big wins for us,” Minnesota coach Laura Halldorson said. “We played with a lot of confidence.”

St. Lawrence (6-2-2, 2-0-0 ECAC), who hadn’t given up a first-period goal in eight contests this season, was ambushed by a Minnesota attack that netted seven scores in the opening 20 minutes of play.

Minnesota forward Natalie Darwitz scored three goals in an eight-minute span Saturday to record her third hat trick of the season and second in three games, as the Gophers jumped out to a 5-1 first-period lead. Minnesota led 2-1, entering the first intermission Friday.

Gopher goalie Jody Horak collected 31 saves Friday and improved her season record to 11-0-0. Brenda Reinen made her third start of the season in net Saturday for Minnesota.

Saturday’s game against the Saints was the fourth consecutive non-conference game for the Gophers, who return to WCHA play this weekend when two-time defending national champion Minnesota-Duluth comes to Ridder Arena.

Men’s cross country

junior Andrew Carlson was named NCAA Midwest Region Runner of the Year for his first place finish at the NCAA Midwest Region meet on Nov. 16.

Carlson enjoyed the most successful season of his career this year. He was the Gophers top finisher in four of five meets. He won two individual titles and posted two other top-ten finishes. His time of 29:56.82 at the Midwest Regionals was the third-fastest time in school history.

Minnesota finished second at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships, extending its streak of consecutive NCAA championship appearances to six.

The 27th-ranked Gophers will conclude their season Monday when they travel to Terre Haute, Ind., to compete in their sixth-straight NCAA Championships. The race is set to begin at 12:15 p.m.