Home-and-home series a win-and-win

Minnesota’s women’s hockey team swept a home-and-home series against St. Cloud State on Friday and Saturday.

The sixth-ranked Gophers (15-6-1, 10-5-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) won 2-0 in St. Cloud on Friday and followed that with a 5-0 win on Saturday at Ridder Arena.

Sophomore forward Erica McKenzie tallied points on all five Minnesota goals in Saturday’s contest. McKenzie ” who collected a hat trick and two assists ” opened the scoring with 18:01 elapsed in the first period. It was all the support freshman goaltender Brittony Chartier would need.

Chartier recorded a shutout in her first start since December, stopping all 20 shots she saw. Chartier missed the Gophers series last weekend against Bemidji State because she was playing on the Canadian National Under-22 team.

First-year forward Gigi Marvin notched four points on two goals and two assists. The win also marked coach Laura Halldorson’s 300th career victory.

On Friday night, freshman goalie Kim Hanlon defended the net and recorded a shutout on 21 shots. Junior forward Andrea Nichols scored both of the Minnesota goals.

She opened the scoring at 8:08 of the second period, assisted by Ashley Albrecht. Nichols capped the scoring at 4:02 of the third period.

The wins kept Minnesota at third place in the WCHA with 21 points.

Next weekend, the Gophers travel to co-WCHA leader Duluth for a two-game series on Friday and Saturday. The Bulldogs are tied for first in the conference with Wisconsin. Each team has 29 points.