Minnesota trounces Mavericks twice

Sophomore forward Dani Cameranesi scored four goals over the weekend.

Senior forward Rachael Bona controls the puck at Ridder Arena on Saturday evening.

Elizabeth Brumley

Senior forward Rachael Bona controls the puck at Ridder Arena on Saturday evening.

Sam Kraemer

Minnesota State-Mankato entered the weekend home-and-home series against the Gophers without a tally in their win column.

The Mavericks kept the losing streak going this weekend, as No. 2 Minnesota swept the team with a 5-1 victory in Mankato on Friday night, followed by a 4-0 shutout at Ridder Arena on Saturday.

The weekend series against MSU allowed the Gophers to spread out their playing time, particularly in the net.

All three goaltenders defended the net for two periods in the series, with junior Amanda Leveille and redshirt freshman Sidney Peters earning victories. Senior Shyler Sletta was in net for the third period both nights.

“[We] needed to get [Peters] some time,” Gophers head coach Brad Frost said. “Shyler’s someone who, as a senior, hasn’t played a lot but has earned what she’s gotten.”

Friday marked Leveille’s 50th career victory at Minnesota. She saved 14 of the 15 shots she faced.

But she also had plenty of help offensively, as sophomore forward Dani Cameranesi scored a hat trick to lead the Gophers on Friday night.

“I think we did a really good job this weekend of controlling the puck and creating cycles,” Cameranesi said. “We found a way to get the puck to the net this weekend, and that’s a huge asset for us.”

Junior defenseman Milica McMillen and junior forward Hannah Brandt each had a goal and an assist in Friday’s game, too.

On Saturday, the Gophers wasted no time picking up where they left off, scoring two goals in the game’s first three minutes.

Cameranesi and Brandt scored the first two goals for Minnesota. The tandem has been prolific on the Gophers’ top line this season.

“Honestly, a lot of the time, Hannah does the work and I just use my speed to try and get in open spaces,” Cameranesi said. “She has a way of finding me. … I’m lucky to be on a line with her this year.”

The linemates are both in the top 10 nationally for points — Brandt has 24 points, while Cameranesi has 20.

Brandt added another goal in the first period before senior forward Rachael Bona scored on the power play in the second.

Despite a 4-0 victory, the Gophers had opportunities to score more goals.

“We had a lot of chances — could have had a few more goals — but their goalie played awesome tonight and they block a lot of shots,” Brandt said.

The Gophers also limited themselves to just four penalties between the two games. Frost said he was happy with his team’s efforts to stay out of the box.

“We were taking too many dumb [penalties]. This weekend, I thought we just did a great job,” Frost said. “If we can limit it to one or two [penalties] each game, we’ll be in great shape.”

Minnesota dominated the Mavericks all weekend offensively, outshooting them 57-16 Friday and 52-13 Saturday.

The Gophers outplayed a younger Mankato team — 16 of the 23 players on the Mavericks roster are underclassmen.

“Unfortunately, they’re so young on the other side. They’ve got some skilled kids, but we were able to just overwhelm them there,” he said.