The St. Lawrence University women's hockey team played host to nationally-ranked No. 1 Minnesota on Friday evening at Appleton Arena, falling to the Golden Gophers by the score of 5-0. Amanda Kessel scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner, while Noora Raty turned in 27 saves for her third shutout of the young season.
Minnesota improves to 5-0-0, while the Saints fall to 0-3-0 with a rematch against the top-ranked Gophers coming on Saturday afternoon.
"I loved our energy tonight, as we once again learned quite a bit about ourselves," said Saints' head coach Chris Wells. "We look forward to another game tomorrow. They are a fun team to play and they make you earn everything out there."
Kessel got the visitors on the scoreboard at 6:40 of the first period, tucking a puck behind St. Lawrence goalie Carmen MacDonald for her sixth of the season. Hannah Brandt and Mira Jalosuo assisted on what proved to be the game-winning tally.
St. Lawrence nearly tied the game on the power play, as Amanda Boulier found captain Kelly Sabatine open inside the far circle. Sabatine lifted a shot with Raty out of position, but the puck rattled the cross bar and stayed out to keep Minnesota ahead.
The Gophers' special teams unit, which ranks No. 1 in the country, remained flawless on penalty kill (23-of-23) and scored a short-handed goal in the final minute of the first period. Kelly Terry chipped a pass out of the zone to Sarah Davis, who won a foot race to earn a breakaway try on MacDonald. Davis went to the backhand for her second goal of the season, which came at 19:36 for a 2-0 cushion after one.
Minnesota's strong special teams play continued in the second period, as they scored a power play goal to open up a 3-0 lead. Milica McMillen's first of the season came at 2:59, as her shot beat MacDonald inside the near post from the right circle, while Megan Bozek and Raty were credited with helpers. The penalty killing unit then killed a 5-on-3 try for the Saints for over 1:15 to keep a 3-0 lead intact heading into the third period.
St. Lawrence was able to generate several solid chances on Raty, including a bid by Boulier in the third period that just sailed wide. Brandt put the game away with her eighth of the season at 16:16 of the third, while Kessel added an empty netter in the final minute to cap the scoring at 5-0.
Minnesota closed with a 36-27 advantage in shots on goal, though through two periods, that lead was only 21-19. The Gophers were 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Saints were 0-for-5. MacDonald finished with 31 saves for the Scarlet and Brown.
St. Lawrence and Minnesota will play again tomorrow, October 13 at 3:00pm.