WCHA Final Face-off: Minnesota vs MSU: Gophers win 7-2

Heidi Hanse

Final: Minnesota started the period full strength and it was the Mavericks that took the penalties. Two minutes into the third period, Minnesota got its shot at a five-on-three. Taking three shot, the Gophers were unable to score. However, first-year Monique Lamoureux scored about thirty seconds after the penalties expired to make the score 4-2 in favor of the Gophers. Minnesota’s fifth goal came after junior Kelli Blankenship took the puck into the Maverick’s zone and was taken down. She slid into the goalie but the puck was picked up by sophomore Terra Rasmussen, who shot and scored. Minnesota started to put the game away when first-year Jocelyne Lamoureux went down and scored to make the score 6-2. Less than a minute later, her sister put the puck in Minnesota will play either Wisconsin or Minnesota-Duluth tomorrow at 1:07p.m. in the championship game. After the second: The game’s pace seemed to pick up about halfway through the period. First-year Jocelyne Lamoureux got the puck from sophomore Jen Schoullis in the slot and put the puck top shelf to make the score 3-1. Minnesota State than put in another goal to make the game 3-2. Minnesota got into some penalty trouble, having three players in the box for 46 seconds. Sophomore Emily West, Jocelyne Lamoureux and first-year Kelly Seeler all took a seat in the box. It only took the Mavericks 36 seconds to score and bring the Gopher’s lead to one goal. However, Minnesota State still had a five-on-three advantage because Lamoureux and Seeler was still left in the box. The Mavericks were able to get off seven shots on five power plays in the second period while Minnesota took four shots on three power plays. The game is now faster and more physical. We will see how both teams respond to the one goal lead since both teams want to play in the championship tomorrow. After first period: Minnesota started strong but was out shot all period until about the end of the period, tying MSU’s shot count of nine. The first period has featured a lot of special team work. Minnesota opened the scoring when senior Gigi Marvin scored shorthanded on a backhand shot. Junior Brittany Francis followed up with a power play goal to expand Minnesota’s lead. Senior Rachel Drazan shot and Franics deflected the puck into the net. Minnesota State didn’t stay scoreless for long after that when first-year Abby Williams scored her second goal of the season to pull the Mavericks within one of Minnesota.

Pre-game:

There isn’t much new to say about Minnesota. They play Minnesota State today and must win in order to have the oppotunity to win another banner. Mankato has been on a roll lately, winning four of their last five games, including a higher-seeded St. Cloud State to advance to the WCHA Final Face-off for the first time ever.

Lately, Minnesota has had a tough time starting their games, coming out slow and sloppy. The positive is that they always find a way to finish them. Here’s a look at Brad Frost’s line-up, the same as the last couple games:

Forwards:
West-Schoullis-Marvin
Francis-J. Lamoureux-M. Lamoureux
Rasmussen-Erickson-Blankenship
May-Horton-Jones
Defense:
Gagnon-Seeler
Drazan-Maunu
Schleper-Willey
In net: Alyssa Grogan

It’s been an intersteing week around Minnesota’s locker room this week. Monique Lamoureux and Gigi Marvin were named top ten finalists for the Patty Kazmaier award for the top DI NCCA women’s hockey player. That was on Tuesday. On Thursday, another fluery of awards came to the team. Even though Wisconsin’s Hilary Knight garnered the WCHA player of the year, Minnesota took home the other six individual awards. Here’s a summary:

2008-09 WCHA Player of the Year Hilary Knight, Sophomore, Forward, Wisconsin

2008-09 Turfer WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year Gigi Marvin, Senior, Forward, Minnesota

2008-09 WCHA Defensive Player of the Year Melanie Gagnon, Senior, Defenseman, Minnesota

2008-09 WCHA Rookie of the Year Monique Lamoureux, Freshman, Forward, Minnesota

2008-09 WCHA Co-Coach of the Year Brad Frost, Head Coach, Minnesota and Mark Johnson, Head Coach, Wisconsin

2008-09 WCHA Scoring Champion Monique Lamoureux, Freshman, Forward, Minnesota

2008-09 WCHA Goaltending Champion Alyssa Grogan, Freshman, Goaltender, Minnesota

Other honors for Minnesota include members on the All-WCHA First team, Second team and Rookie team:

2008-09 All-WCHA First Team

Forwards Hilary Knight, So., F, Wisconsin (Hanover, NH)
  Monique Lamoureux, Fr., F, Minnesota (Grand Forks, ND)
  Jocelyne Lamoureux, Fr., F, Minnesota (Grand Forks, ND)
Defense Melanie Gagnon, Sr., D, Minnesota (St. Adolphe, MB)
  Jocelyne Larocque, So., D, Minnesota Duluth (Winnipeg, MB)
Goaltender Jessie Vetter, Sr., G, Wisconsin (Cottage Grove, WI)

2008-09 All-WCHA Second Team

Forwards Gigi Marvin, Sr., F, Minnesota (Warroad, MN)
  Erika Lawler, Sr., F, Wisconsin (Fitchburg, MA)
  Elin Holmlov, Jr., F, Minnesota Duluth (Knivsta, Sweden)
Defense Rachael Drazan, Sr., D, Minnesota (Orono, MN)
  Anne Schleper, Fr., D, Minnesota (St. Cloud, MN)
Goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova, Fr., Bemidji State (Bratislava, Slovakia)

2008-09 All-WCHA Third Team

Forwards Meghan Duggan, Jr., F, Wisconsin (Danvers, MA)
  Haley Irwin, So., F, Minnesota Duluth (Thunder Bay, ON)
  Brooke Ammerman, Fr., F, Wisconsin (River Vale, NJ)
Defense Alycia Matthews, Sr., F, Wisconsin (Castlegar, BC)
  Jaime Rasmussen, Jr., F, Minnesota Duluth (Garden Grove, CA)
Goaltender Kim Martin, Jr., G, Minnesota Duluth (Stockholm, Sweden)

2008-09 All-WCHA Rookie Team

Forwards Monique Lamoureux, Fr., F, Minnesota (Grand Forks, ND)
  Jocelyne Lamoureux, Fr, F, Minnesota (Grand Forks, ND)
  Brooke Ammerman, Fr., F, Wisconsin (River Vale, NJ)
Defense Anne Schleper, Fr., D, Minnesota (St. Cloud, MN)
  Brittany Haverstock, Fr., D, Wisconsin (Halifax, NS)
Goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova, Fr., G, Bemidji State (Bratislava, Slovakia)