Gophers take first game of series against Mankato

After a slow start, the Gophers scored four goals in two periods.

The Gopher women's hockey team watches on as senior defenseman Sydney Baldwin brings the puck down the ice on Dec. 1, 2017 at Ridder Arena.

Max Ostenso, Daily File Photo

The Gopher women’s hockey team watches on as senior defenseman Sydney Baldwin brings the puck down the ice on Dec. 1, 2017 at Ridder Arena.

Max Biegert

The Gophers entered Friday night’s game having beaten the Mankato State-Mankato 48 straight times. 

No. 7 Minnesota (18-8-2, 11-6-2 WCHA) continued that streak, defeating the Mavericks (3-21-1, 1-16-0 WCHA) 4-2 on Friday night at Ridder Arena. The Gophers got scoring contributions from Sydney Baldwin, Grace Zumwinkle and Emily Brown to pull ahead in the second period. Taylor Wente scored an open-net goal in the final minute to seal the victory. Sidney Peters started in net and made 16 saves. 

Minnesota carried a 3-1 lead into the second period. But 12 minutes in, the Mavericks were able to pull within one after a goal by Tristen Truax. In the third period, the Mavericks were forced to pull their goaltender, and with a minute left Wente scored the open net goal. 

Minnesota began the second period down one goal, but that quickly changed when Baldwin scored just 26 seconds into the period. Zumwinkle scored her 13th goal of the year nine minutes into the second period and then Brown scored from the blue line off of a face-off to extend the Gophers lead. Mankato had some good chances, but Peters was able to stop them all.  

In the first period, the Mavericks’ Truax scored on the first shot of the game to put them on top with eight minutes to play in the first period. She received the pass from Rebekah Kolstad who was able to block Baldwin’s clearing attempt. 

Minnesota created a lot of chances, but could not find the net in the first. Through the first six games in 2018, the Gophers have only scored twice in the first period.