Minnesota grinds out a win

No. 1 Minnesota beat Bemidji State 4-1 in the first game in a best-of-three series. Tomorrow the two teams will face off at 4:07p.m. The Gophers (28-3-3 overall, 23-2-3-2 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) came out slow but notched the first goal eight minutes into the game when sophomore Jen Schoullis poked in a loose puck. Coach Brad Frost said he is looking forward to showing up tomorrow with more energy and excitement and that his players know they can give more. In the second period, at the end of a Bemidji State penalty kill, first-year Monique Lamoureux scored to give the Gophers a 2-0 lead. Junior Jaimie Horton kept the scoring going by tipping first-year Kelly SeelerâÄôs shot into the net. Horton said itâÄôs not easy standing in front of a Seeler shot and she just stuck her stick out. Gigi Marvin took an uncharacteristic penalty and Kelly Seeler joined her, giving Bemidji a five-on-three advantage for one minute in the second. The Beavers took advantage of it and scored their only goal of the game. The Gophers started the third period on a power play but that was squashed when Gigi Marvin hit Bemidji’s goaltender’s stick while it was on the ice for an interference call. The Gophers were able to kill that off. Bemidji State (6-23-5, 3-22-3-2) took their turn in the penalty box and for 17 second the Gophers had a five-on-three advantage. Sarah Erickson passed the puck to Jen Schoullis who had an open net but was unable to finish. Jocelyne Lamoureux also had an open net but shot the puck too high. The intensity seemed to pick up as the third period went on. The Gophers took control of the period as of late and have peppered shots on Bemidji’s goalie. Emily West capitalized on one of those shots as Bemidji’s goalie was down. West lifted the puck to make the score 4-1. The Gophers stayed out of the box for the entire first period; this is the first time they havenâÄôt had a penalty kill in a period since Feb. 7 against Wisconsin. This streak was broken by junior Michelle Maunu in the second period. Minnesota proceeded to get three penalties in the second and four in the third. Frost said his team took too many penalties and those kept Bemidji in the game.