Minnesota women advance to championship

The Minnesota women’s hockey team did something they couldnâÄôt do last year: advance to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Face-off championship game. Minnesota beat Minnesota State 7-2 in the semifinals and will play either Wisconsin or Minnesota-Duluth tomorrow. Coach Brad Frost was quick to answer that he doesnâÄôt have a preference about MinnesotaâÄôs opponent for tomorrow. The Gopehrs opened the scoring when senior Gigi Marvin scored shorthanded on a backhand shot. Junior Brittany Francis followed up with a power play goal to expand MinnesotaâÄôs lead to two. Senior Rachel Drazan shot and Francis deflected the puck into the net. Minnesota State cut its deficit back to one when first-year Abby Williams scored her second goal of the season on a shot that beat first-year Alyssa Grogan. GroganâÄôs skill was tested all period as Minnesota State outshot the Gophers 5-3 at one point. Grogan said she got a good taste of what playoff goaltending will be like. âÄúTomorrow will be a much tougher game,âÄù she said. âÄúEveryone has to be on top of their game.âÄù In the second period, first-year Jocelyne Lamoureux got the puck from sophomore Jen Schoullis in the slot and put the puck top shelf to make the score 3-1. Minnesota got into some penalty trouble in the second, having three players in the box for 46 seconds. It took the Mavericks 36 seconds to score and bring the Gophers’ lead to one goal. Minnesota State still had a five-on-three advantage because Lamoureux and Seeler were still in the box. The Mavericks were able to get off seven shots on five power plays in the second period. Frost said he thinks his team started slow and took too many penalties that allowed the Mavericks to stay in the game. Two minutes into the third period, Minnesota got its shot at a five-on-three. Taking three shots, the Gophers were unable to score. However, first-year Monique Lamoureux scored about thirty seconds after the penalties expired to make the score 4-2 in favor of the Gophers. MinnesotaâÄôs fifth goal came after junior Kelli Blankenship took the puck into the MaverickâÄôs zone and was taken down. She slid into the goalie but the puck was picked up by sophomore Terra Rasmussen, who shot and scored. Minnesota started to put the game away when Jocelyne Lamoureux and Monique Lamoureux scored less than a minute apart to make the game 7-2. Monique Lamoureux broke the Gophers’ school record for points by a first-year but said the individual accomplishments donâÄôt matter as much as the teamâÄôs success. âÄúItâÄôs definitely about the points in the win column,âÄù she said.