Women’s Hockey: WCHA first round, Game 2: Gophers win 5-1

Heidi Hanse

3rd Period: Minnesota came out and scored three minutes into the third period. Gigi Marvin walked out of the corner and took a shot that beat the goaltender. Bemidji looked like they weren’t going to back down and after Alexandra Zebro took a penalty, Bemidji found their opening. The puck hit Gopher goaltender Jenny Lura in the face mask and bounced around in the crease before Bemidji shoved it in. Jocelyne Lamoureux found her chance at 14:37 when she had the puck at the crease and lifted it over the goaltender to make the score 5-1. The Gophers will advance to the WCHA Final Face-off next weekend at Ridder Arena. After the 2nd: Minnesota came out faster this period and looked to have stepped up their intensity. Four minutes into the period, Monique Lamoureux took a shot and put her own rebound in the back of the net to put the Gophers on the board. With Chelsey Jones in the penalty box, the Gophers were on the penalty kill. Jocelyne picked up the puck in the Gopher’s defensive zone and passed up center ice to her sister Monique who was waiting at Bemidji’s blue line. Monique went in on a breakaway and scored a shorthanded goal to open Minnesota’s lead. Ten minutes later, Monique Lamoureux was open in front of the net and received a pass from Jocelyne, deked the defensemen and took a backhand shot that hit the crossbar and went in. Those goals seemed to have charged the Gophers but some small errors still occurred. Minnesota looks a lot better than they did during the first period. Minnesota went to the penalty box twice this period. After the 1st: Minnesota looked like they were going to come out strong but settled in the middle of the period. The biggest thing I noticed was their passing. The Gophers passes aren’t tape-to-tape. Bemidji has been picking up the loose pucks. Minnesota has shown signs of taking control of the game and than a small error will allow Bemidji to gain control for a couple minutes. The best scoring chance for the Gophers came with two minutes left in the first. A puck was thrown down the center of the ice towards Bemidji’s goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova. With Gophers Kelli Blankenship and Terra Rasmussen heading towards the puck, Tomcikova skated out to the tops of the circles to clear it. Rasmussen got a hold of the puck and shot it toward the open net. It hit the post and bounced to the corner. This is very symbolic of how things have been going for the Gophers. Tomcikova has lost her stick a couple times and still been able to make the save. She is keeping Bemidji in this game. The Gophers have stayed out of the penalty box. Sarah Erickson is the only one to step foot in the box so far. Her penalty came during a Gopher power play and those were the type of penalties Frost said were giving Bemidji momentum. Instead of having to kill of a Minnesota power play, Bemidji was skating four-on-four. The Gophers have taken 15 shots and countless others have been deflected off Bemidji pads. Minnesota needs to keep taking shots and crashing the net.

Pre-game:

The Gophers look to finish off Bemidji State today in game 2 of the best-of-three series. Last night all four top seeds won their games. No. 2 Wisconsin beat No. 7 Ohio 7-0. Duluth, the third seed, beat the six seed of North Dakota, 7-0, and fourth-seeded St. Cloud beat the five seed of Minnesota State, 2-1.

In order to win this game, Minnesota has to stay out of the box. Yea, they won last night even with all of those penalties, but it only keeps Bemidji in the game. Bemidji showed that they aren’t to be taken lightly last night and if the Gophers come out slow or keep the penalty box a revolving door, the Beavers might gain some momentum. Minnesota took no penalties in the first, but took six and eight in the following periods. Bemidji’s lone goal came on a power play last night, right before the Gophers were done killing a five-on-three.

Brad Frost’s line-up looks the same as last night, with one small change. Laura May is out and Alexandra Zebro is in as a seventh defensemen. I’m curious as to why Frost did this. Zebro has played once in the last six games while May has skated in the last nine. Zebro can play the forward position so she might be skating on both sides today.

Forwards:

West-Schoullis-Marvin
Francis-J. Lamoureux-M. Lamoureux
Rasmussen-Erickson-Blankenship
Horton-Jones

Defense:
Gagnon-Seeler
Drazan-Maunu
Schleper-Willey- Zebro