Women travel to St. Cloud Friday, return Saturday

Minnesota looks to remain unbeaten this season.

John Hageman

The Gophers womenâÄôs hockey team will look to stay unbeaten as they take on St. Cloud State this weekend. The No. 2 Gophers head to St. Cloud on Friday for a 2 p.m. game and come back to Ridder Arena on Saturday for the second game at 4 p.m. Minnesota holds the top spot in the WCHA at 6-0-0 overall while St. Cloud State is coming off a bye week at 1-3-0 and sit last in the conference. Last weekend, the Gophers swept in-state rival No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth, a series where they allowed only one goal. Much of the success against the Bulldogs was due in part to freshman goalie Noora Räty , who had 29 saves in her first career shutout on Saturday and earned WCHA Defensive Player of the Week. âÄúShe has been absolutely unbelievable,âÄù sophomore Sarah Erickson said. âÄúThe things she does in practice baffle us and things she does in games are amazing too.âÄù Erickson has also been a major factor in the GophersâÄô unbeaten record with six goals already this year, leading the WCHA. The Gophers have had significant success against St. Cloud over the years, coming into the weekend with a 39-2-1 all-time record. Last year, Minnesota swept the Huskies in two series by combined scores of 18-4. Despite the history of success against St. Cloud, Gophers head coach Brad Frost is not taking this weekendâÄôs series lightly. âÄúThey are definitely a team that is very dangerous,âÄù Frost said. âÄúWeâÄôre going to need to go in and play very well.âÄù The Gophers will face one of the leagueâÄôs top scorers in senior Caitlin Hogan, who has six points in just four games. Minnesota junior forward Emily West said Minnesota will need to play hard for the entire game like it was any other. This hasnâÄôt been much of a problem for West, who leads the WCHA in scoring with nine points. The Gophers have outscored opponents 9-1 in the first period this year and have scored the first goal in every game. âÄúWe talk all the time about starting quickly âĦ especially at home,âÄù Frost said. âÄúWe have a great crowd, and we know that the more we can get them in it early, the better off weâÄôre going to be.âÄù Senior Alexandra Zebro will likely miss this weekendâÄôs series after suffering an injury in the first game against Ohio State two weeks ago. Despite the many individual standout performances, Frost said his team continues to prove how well they play together. âÄúOur players have been playing very much as a team, from our goalie to our defensemen to our forwards,âÄù Frost said. âÄúPeople donâÄôt care who gets credit as long as we get it done.âÄù