Women’s hockey sweeps Clarkson

Nate Gotlieb

Clarkson had an opportunity for revenge on the Gophers team that ended their season in the NCAA quarterfinals last season. The Gophers, however, would have none of that. The No. 4 Gophers outshot Clarkson 86-41 en route to a weekend sweep, winning 5-0 Friday and 3-0 Saturday. The actual journey out to Clarkson was half of the battle. The Gophers began their travels out east at 5 a.m. Thursday morning, with a flight to Detroit followed by a connecting flight to Syracuse. They then had a two-and-a-half hour bus ride from there to Potsdam, N.Y., only to find out that they didnâÄôt have a hotel in Potsdam. Though the Gophers stayed in townhomes 45 minutes away from the arena, their play remained unaffected. Junior Jen Schoullis scored her first goal of the season, also her first in over a year, and junior Sarah Erickson contributed three points Friday night. Freshman Amanda Kessel led the way with six points and got the Gophers on the board with a second-period goal Saturday afternoon. 11 players recorded a point over the weekend. âÄú[The team] played a really complete hockey game offensively and defensively,âÄù Coach Brad Frost said after SaturdayâÄôs 3-0 win. The Gophers played 120 minutes of hockey without giving up a goal to a No. 7 Clarkson team that outscored its opponents 104-69 last season. Sophomore Noora Raty and junior Alyssa Grogan combined to save 41 shots in the two games. Raty was a All-American for the Gophers last season and helped the Finnish national team win a bronze medal at the 2010 winter Olympics. Her counterpart, Grogan, led the WCHA in goals against average during the 2008-09 season and is the U.S. under-22 team goalie. Frost plans to have them split time in front of the net for now. âÄúBoth Noora and Alyssa played fantastic and made the saves they need to,âÄù Frost said. âÄúAs long as theyâÄôre both playing well, theyâÄôre both going to get time. Hopefully we can do that for quite a while here throughout the season.âÄù In front of the goalies, a sizeable defense, led by junior All-American Anne Schleper, kept the puck out of the Gophers defense zone and helped render ClarksonâÄôs offense ineffective. âÄúItâÄôs not just our defensemen, not just our goalies,âÄù Frost said. âÄúOur forwards are doing a nice job as well, and really all five people in front of our goal tenders are blocking shots keeping shots to the outside and really playing well in our D zone.âÄù While the series showed a major takeoff of Kessel, the teamâÄôs returning leading scorer, senior Emily West, had just one assist on the weekend. âÄúShe was quiet on the score sheet,âÄù Frost said. âÄúShe was far from quiet on the ice. She drew a lot of penalties, played very well and caused a lot of scoring chances for her line mates and herself,âÄù Neither of the Gillanders sisters, freshman Baylee for Minnesota and junior Kali for Clarkson, recorded a point in their first collegiate game against each other. Their family in attendance remained strictly neutral with respect toward the series outcome. The GillandersâÄô grandma went so far as to wear a half Clarkson, half Minnesota jersey. Related: – Women’s hockey completes sweep of Clarkson (blog) – Women’s hockey takes season opener 5-0 (blog) – Gillanders sisters square off in season opener (9/30)