Minnesota gets shutout over Sioux

by Brian Deutsch

The Minnesota women’s hockey team picked up a much needed win Saturday afternoon, handing North Dakota a 4-0 loss.

Sophomore forward Gigi Marvin led the eighth-ranked Gophers with two assists and a goal in the series opener.

Marvin started the scoring eight minutes into the game as the forward picked up her 14th goal of the season to put the Gophers up 1-0.

“We played more as a team. We came out and knew what we were doing,” Marvin said. “A win is a win, and we’ll take it any day.”

Junior Erica McKenzie and sophomore Melanie Gagnon showed some impressive passing skills during the Minnesota power play to find Marvin just outside the goal crease.

Marvin then launched a wrist shot over Sioux freshman goaltender Brittany Kirkham before she could adjust for the shot.

The trio of McKenzie, Marvin and Gagnon struck again in the second period when McKenzie scored a power-play goal of her own. With 2:32 left to play in the period, the forward fired a one-timer past Kirkham.

Junior forward Bobbi Ross added another goal midway through the third period after she intercepted a North Dakota pass to Kirkham’s left and slipped her shot under the goalie’s glove.

While the Gophers’ penalty-kill lines were able to hold off the Sioux attacks, North Dakota wasn’t as successful.

Minnesota (16-8-1 overall, 13-7-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) scored three power-play goals on six opportunities, including the final goal of the game.

Seconds before a Sioux (3-21-2, 0-20-1 WCHA) penalty was about to expire, the Gophers added a fourth goal in the third period when junior forward Anya Miller rifled a shot from the blue line for her third goal of the season.

“The way our league is right now and our previous six games, we’re very excited to take two big points,” coach Laura Halldorson said. “Hopefully, this will get us moving in the right direction.”

In net for Minnesota, sophomore Kim Hanlon stopped 28 shots to earn her second shutout of the season. Hanlon was put to the test by the Sioux, who started slow but pieced together a number of scoring opportunities.

“It feels good (to earn the shutout), it makes the team more confident,” Hanlon said. “They know that they only need to score a few goals to get the win.”

Hanlon made quite possibly the save of the year in the second period when North Dakota controlled the puck behind the goal line to Hanlon’s right before a Sioux forward fired a cross-ice pass to an open teammate. A dead-on shot was only saved after Hanlon made a sprawling dive to snag the puck in her glove, preserving the shutout.

First Star: Gigi Marvin

Second Star: Erica McKenzie

Third Star: Kim Hanlon