Stephens’ hat trick leads women’s hockey to a weekend sweep

Kelly Stephens scored a hat trick to lead Minnesota’s women’s hockey team to a 4-3 win over the Oval X-Treme in Calgary, Alberta on Saturday.

The Gophers tacked on the first goal of the evening at 8:18 of the first period. Stephens scored after linemate Natalie Darwitz fed her the puck.

The Oval X-Treme tied the game, 1-1 at 6:20 in the second stanza when Sylvia Traversa netted a power-play goal. The Gophers, however, re-gained the lead at 13:33 when Stephens scored her second goal of the night on a cross-ice pass from Lyndsay Wall.

The Oval X-Treme took a short lead in the third period when they scored two goals, putting the game at 3-2. Traversa scored her second goal of the night at 2:02 in the third. The Oval X-Treme scored their second power play goal of the night when Danielle Ayeast fired a slap shot at 6:10, putting the puck past Minnesota goalie Brenda Reinen.

The Gophers would tie the game and score the game-winning goal within six minutes of each other. Stephens completed the natural hat trick at 11:31 with a single assist credited to Danielle Ashley. Andrea Nichols would scored the game-winner at 17:11, crediting Krissy Wendell with an assist.

On Friday, the Gophers defeated the Oval X-Treme 3-2.

The Oval X-Treme tacked on the first goal of the game when Jenna Barber scored on a two-on-one opportunity at 11:53 of the first period. Monica Dupuis was credited with the single assist. However, the Gophers tallied a goal of their own when Becky Wacker scored her third goal in two games at 15:21. Wacker’s linemates, Wendell and Kelsey Bills set up Wacker on the goal.

The Gophers added a second goal at 9:29 in the second stanza. Stephens shot a cross-ice pass to Danielle Ashley, who was waiting on the doorstep and fired the puck in the net.

The Oval X-Treme tied the game at 7:00 in the third by Oval’s Danielle Ayeast, but the tie would not last long. Chelsey Brodt scored on a slap shot at 11:48 and the eventual game-winner. Wendell tallied her second assist of the night, while the other assist was credited to Allie Sanchez.

Women’s cross country

Minnesota’s women’s cross country team placed four finishers in the top 10 in scoring 37 team points and winning the title of the UMD Pine Hill Invitational in Carlton, Minn., on Saturday. Minnesota-Duluth placed second with 69 points.

The Gophers rested their top runners in preparation for next week’s pre-NCAA meet. Coach Gary Wilson used the Pine Hills Invitational as an opportunity for his athletes to compete for the final three traveling positions for next week’s lineup.

Freshman Stacia Kalinoski finished third to pace the Gophers to the title. Kalinoski covered the 6-kilometer course in 23 minutes, 0.8 seconds.

Other top 10 finishers for the Gophers were Krista Anderson in fourth (23:03.7), Sarah Hesser in eighth (23:24.8) and JoEllen Arons in ninth (23:26.6).