Ridder is once again friendly to Minnesota

The Gophers improved to 8-0-1 when playing on their home ice.

The Minnesota women’s hockey team swept Bemidji State this weekend, preserving their undefeated record in Ridder Arena.

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minnesota State
what: Women’s hockey
when: 7 p.m., Friday
where: Mankato

The Gophers (11-4-1, 9-4-1 WCHA) beat the Beavers 5-0 Friday night and completed the sweep by defeating them 1-0 Sunday afternoon. Minnesota outshot Bemidji 85 to 33 and they kept the puck in the Beaver zone for large portions of the game to attain their sweep.

Junior forward Gigi Marvin was the star of Friday’s game.

Marvin recorded four points with two goals and two assists. The four points put her career total at 100, making her the 15th player in Minnesota school history to reach the triple digit mark.

“Hopefully the points keep coming and we just keep winning these games,” Marvin said.

Senior forward Erica McKenzie scored her league-leading 12th goal of the season on a power play to open things up and Minnesota put the game out of the reach in the second period with Marvin’s first of two goals.

“The net was there and I knew she (Bemidji State goalie) would come real quickly so I just had to shoot it as hard as I could,” Marvin said.

The Gophers pounded the net with shots throughout the game and Bemidji’s defense struggled to get the puck out of their own zone. At some points during the game it seemed like Minnesota was on a perpetual power play.

The mass amount of offensive pressure the Gophers applied forced the Beavers to desperately work to clear the puck and then many times be in no position to put a serious offensive threat of their own on Gophers junior goaltender Kim Hanlon.

“This year we have two lines that have been putting the puck in the net consistently,” head coach Brad Frost said.

Senior forward Bobbi Ross and junior defense Melanie Gagnon also added goals to the Minnesota cause.

Saturday’s performance followed the same script as Bemidji’s tie with Wisconsin, but the plot was slightly twisted in the third period.

Ross changed a tightly played contest in the final period when she scored the game-winning goal for the Gophers.

Minnesota put 38 shots on net before Ross’ goal, many of which were wildly launched at the net.

The Gophers did not always move the puck as a team and instead would have one of their players attempt to attack the Bemidji defense alone which was not successful against the stellar play of Beavers senior goaltender Emily Brookshaw.

“Brookshaw was absolutely outstanding, and they blocked a lot of shots,” Frost said.

That all changed when the Gophers put together a nice display of passing that allowed Ross to get an easy look at the net for her game winning goal.

McKenzie had the first pass when she hit Rachael Drazan skating toward the net. Then Drazan flipped a backhanded pass to Ross who one-timed the puck past Brookshaw for the game winner.

“I was lucky enough to be standing in the spot where I got to cash in on the hard work of the people around me,” Ross said.

McKenzie had a chance early in the first period to give Minnesota a lead with a penalty shot, but she did not convert as her shot sailed high.

Gophers’ freshman goaltender Jenny Lura earned her first career shut-out in the game and stopped 16 shots.

With Minnesota’s win they solidified their second place standing in the WCHA, but were not able to gain any ground on first place Minnesota-Duluth as they swept Wisconsin.