Gophers dominate in sweep of Mavericks

Minnesota moved to 10-0-0 this year with a pair of wins over the weekend.

Minnesota forward Kelly Terry controls the puck against Minnesota State-Mankato on Friday at Ridder Arena.

Juliet Farmer

Minnesota forward Kelly Terry controls the puck against Minnesota State-Mankato on Friday at Ridder Arena.

by Dane Mizutani

After a rough series with Bemidji State last weekend, Minnesota head coach Brad Frost said he wanted his team to play with more passion.

His squad responded with a dominant series sweep against Minnesota State-Mankato this weekend.

The Gophers won 4-1 Friday night and followed it up with a 7-0 win Saturday afternoon. They improved to 10-0-0 with the pair of victories.

“I thought that this was one of our best weekends all season,” Frost said. “I look at our whole team as a group that’s stepping up right now.”

Senior assistant captain Kelly Terry led all scorers with seven points in the series and recorded a hat trick in Saturday’s win. She deferred credit to her teammates for her hat trick and said she was impressed with the way they rebounded this

“We really needed to pick it up from last weekend, and on Friday night, we thought we had one of our best games,” Terry said. “We really wanted to carry that over, and instead of making it one of our best games, make it one of our best weekends. And I think we did just that.”

Minnesota was originally scheduled to host both games in the series. But with the addition of January’s outdoor game, the teams decided to implement a home-and-home series. The Gophers played the first game of the series at home and the second on the road.

Terry said the setup was a little different but said she knew the home-and-home series was for a good cause.

“We’re super excited for the outdoor game, so if we had to sacrifice a strange weekend for that, we’re definitely willing to do that,” she said. 

Still, that strange setup didn’t appear to have much effect on Minnesota.

The Gophers held a massive advantage in the shots column over the weekend and outshot the Mavericks 99-38.

“We were really focused on shooting a lot this weekend, and we did that,” sophomore center Hannah Brandt said. “And they were quality shots. We weren’t just throwing them on net to get shots.”

Those shots led to a bevy of scoring chances, and Minnesota capitalized all across the board. It got points from 11 different players in Saturday’s contest, which Brandt said was a good sign moving forward.

“That’s huge because teams can’t really focus on one line, and when everyone is scoring, we just feed off of each other in games,” she said.

Brandt poured in four points on the weekend and appears to be hitting her stride at this point in the season.

The Gophers didn’t trail in the series and were clearly the far superior team.

Frost seemed very pleased with his team’s efforts over the weekend but said he wants it to focus on consistency as the season progresses.

Terry said she saw few areas in which her team could improve, but she said the weekend was a success overall.

“Nothing is too broken on our team right now,” she said. “But we can always continue to get better even if it’s not broken. And we’re going to continue to do that.”