Gophers sweep rivals Duluth, extend win streak to four

Caitlin Reilly had a four-point weekend.

Senior forward Caitlin Reilly skates down the ice at Ridder Arena on Friday, Sept. 29.

Jack Rodgers, Daily File Photo

Senior forward Caitlin Reilly skates down the ice at Ridder Arena on Friday, Sept. 29.

by Max Biegert

The No. 7 Gophers stole six points this weekend in Duluth after sweeping the No. 8 Bulldogs and increasing their winning streak to four games.

The Gophers needed two goals in the third period Saturday to overcome a one-goal deficit on their way to sweeping the Bulldogs. Sophie Skarzynski tied it up with 4:45 left in the period, and shortly after, Caitlin Reilly netted the game-winner with 3:36 remaining. The Gophers moved to 5-2-1 and 4-0 in WCHA road games.

“It’s a tough place to play, a tough place to win and to come away with six points is huge for our team,” head coach Brad Frost told reporters. “Really proud of our team.”

Duluth scored with 13:36 left in the first period after Ashton Bell capitalized on a power play opportunity. The game remained at 1-0 all second period and for most of the third. Alex Gulstene started in net and recorded her career high in saves with 26. The Bulldogs outshot Minnesota 27-21.

Gophers defenseman Patti Marshall’s two shots late in the third period created goal-scoring opportunities for Skarzynski and Reilly. Skarzynski netted her third goal of the year and Marshall’s eighth assist. Reilly’s game-winning goal came off of the back wall from Marshall’s shot. Reilly tallied her fourth point of the weekend and her sixth goal of the year.

“It was a big goal from [Skarzynski], getting us a little momentum and then Reilly getting the back breaker was big for us,” Frost told reporters.

Peters helps Gophers win game one

The Gophers started the weekend against their rivals from the north on Friday night. The Gophers bested the Bulldogs 4-1 in the opener. Sidney Peters grabbed her third win a row after recording 35 saves. Reilly recorded three points in the win.

In the third period, Cara Piazza was penalized for checking-from-behind and received a game misconduct penalty. The Gophers held on for almost all of the five minutes of the power play until with just 22 seconds left to go in the power play, when Duluth scored their only goal of the game. Just a minute after the penalty kill, Reilly scored her second goal of the game and Taylor Wente added her third goal of the year.

In the first period, Reilly got the scoring going when she got a pass from Olivia Knowles and Nicole Schammel and buried the puck in the back of the net. Piazza added her second goal of the year midway through the first from a redirect off of a shot from Marshall. 

“That five-minute penalty kill, to kill off all, but 30 seconds of it was a big momentum shift for us,” Frost told reporters. “Lot of bending and not breaking and we were able to come out with three points.”