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Outstanding weekend for women’s hockey against Minn. State

Two Gophers receive WCHA weekly honors as Minnesota dominates the series and outscores their opponent 20-4.
Image by Ethan Fine
Forward Audrey Wethington drives the puck down the ice during Minnesota’s game against St. Cloud, Feb. 11, 2022.

Oct. 14: at Minnesota State

Gophers women’s hockey faced Minnesota State in Mankato on Friday for their second Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) series.

Roughly five and a half minutes into the game, Minnesota State’s Brooke Bryant committed a minor infraction to give Minnesota their first powerplay of the afternoon. Grace Zumwinkle walked past the top of the circle where she fired a shot far-side past Mavericks goaltender Lauren Barbro.

Zumwinkle’s goal opened the floodgates as the Gophers would score a whopping ten more times – including five goals in the third period. The Gophers recorded their second largest margin of victory this season with this 11-0 victory.

There were eight unique goal scorers aside from Zumwinkle, who tallied a hat trick, including Catie Skaja, Taylor Heise, Abbey Murphy, Ella Huber and Savannah Norcross.

Newcomers Nelli Laitinen and Madison Kaiser also scored their first collegiate goals against Mankato. Laitinen’s goal came just seven seconds after Zumwinkle scored her third of the game for a 6-0 score. Kaiser scored the penultimate goal as she fended off Minnesota State’s Whitney Tuttle and ripped it past Barbro.

Oct. 15: vs. Minnesota State

The following day the Gophers took on the Mavericks at Ridder Arena. Similar to Friday’s game, Minnesota scored three straight goals in the first period. Freshman Josefin Bouveng scored the first goal, which was her first collegiate goal.

Minnesota State’s Alexis Paddington would cut their deficit to one goal early in the second period.

The two teams then traded goals to set the score at 4-3 in favor of the Gophers. Bouveng scored yet again to extend Minnesota’s lead to two goals before entering the third period.

Early in the third period, the Gophers held a 6-4 lead over the Mavericks. Minnesota dominated the rest of the game following Zumwinkle’s fourth goal of the weekend to bring her team’s advantage up to three goals. Murphy scored a shorthanded goal for her second of the game, and Bouveng scored her hat trick goal with another shorthanded marker in the last forty seconds of the game.

The final score of the game was 9-4, and Minnesota improved to a 4-0 record.

Two Gophers players were honored in the WCHA’s weekly awards. Zumwinkle secured the “Forward of the Week” title, while netminder Skylar Vetter was named the “Goalkeeper of the Week.” Vetter recorded her first shutout of the season with 17 saves in her win on Friday.

The Gophers’ offensive talent showed this past weekend: 16 out of 24 of the team’s skaters scored at least one point in the two games. Zumwinkle and Murphy both lead the WCHA in goals per game with 1.25 and lead the Gophers in points with nine each.

Minnesota looks to continue their winning streak as they take on St. Cloud State on Oct. 21 and 22. St. Cloud is 0-4 in the WCHA coming into this matchup, losing to Ohio State and Wisconsin.

The Gophers have an impressive reputation against St. Cloud, winning all four matches against the Huskies last season and outscoring them 21-7. Minnesota has not lost to St. Cloud State since February 13, 2010.

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