The fifth-ranked Gophers women’s hockey team finished first of two in a border-battle against their biggest rival in top-ranked Wisconsin, handing the Badgers their first defeat of the season with a 3-2 win on Friday night.
Minnesota got off to a hot start in the first period at Laban Arena, scoring a goal in the first 30 seconds, and a second in the final two minutes. Taylor Haise scored, and Emily Oden ended the period.
During the second period the Badgers were able to cut their losses by half a quarter. Wisconsin was able to tie the game, but only momentarily as Gophers Katie Scaja took the lead again nine seconds later.
Gophers goalkeeper Lauren Bench was exploding with shots throughout the game, but allowed just two goals on 31 shots. The Seven Gophers scored a point in the win, but none of the players got a multi-point knight.
MSU Mankato 3, St. Thomas 1: Tommy fell behind in the first period and the Mavericks never surrendered their lead. Mankato was able to extend his lead in the second period.
Tommy’s Jenna Hartung stopped the bleeding with the only goal halfway through the second period to cut St Thomas’ deficit in half. Goaltender Saskia Maurer conceded no goals after those first two as she tried to keep Tommy in the game. He blocked 26 of the 28 shots he faced.
The Mavericks were able to score a blank net in the last minute to put the game out of reach.
Bemidji State 5, St. Thomas 2: Tommy was not able to advance his offense and was kept scoreless during two periods. Beavers, on the other hand, started with the first score and netted two more in the second.
Once it was 4–0, Sam Reinlund was able to score the first goal of the game at St. Thomas. Aaron Swanson was also able to join the scoring, but it was not enough for Tommy. The Beavers added a goal late in the middle of the two goals to keep the game in their hands.
Minnesota started its biggest tournament of the regular season at the Cliff Keane Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev. After the first day of the two-day event, the Gophers saw three wrestlers advance to the quarterfinals.
In the 133-pound bracket, Jake Gilva had just one match and won 5–0 in the Round of 16. Jake Burjland dominated the 144-pound bracket and won two of his matches, 6–0 and 9–1. The last gopher to advance to the quarterfinals was Michael Blockhus in the 149-pound bracket after suffering an injury following a 20–5 victory.
The three wrestlers will take on the No. 1 opponent in their respective weight categories at the conclusion of the tournament on Saturday afternoon.