The No. 4/6 University of Minnesota women's hockey team opened the 2010-11 season with a 5-0 win over No. 7 Clarkson University tonight, in Potsdam, N.Y. The Golden Gophers had scoring from four individuals, including one with a multiple-goal game.
Minnesota got on the board twice in the opening stanza with goals from Jen Schoullis and Amanda Kessel at 10:08 and 15:28. Schoullis put the Gophers on the board when she buried the puck at 10:08 on the power play, with the assists credited to Kessel and Erickson.It was the first game back for the Schoullis, who red-shirted last year. The goal marked her first since March 20, 2009, dating back to the 2009 NCAA Frozen Four.
Kessel added to the Gopher lead when she scored her first of two goals at 15:28 on a backdoor attempt with Erickson and Megan Bozek assisting.
The Gophers tacked on another two goals in the second period when Kessel and Becky Kortum each scored a goal to put the game at 4-0. Kessel lifted the puck high after picking up a loose puck in front, while Emily West and Terra Rasmussen assisted on the play. Becky Kortum used a perfect shot as she rifled the puck in the top left corner past the right shoulder of Clarkson goalie Laura Dahm.
After four goals, the Golden Knights replaced starting goaltender Dahm with freshman Erica Howe. However, the Gophers added one more for the 5-0 final. After assisting on two others, Erickson netted a goal of her own when she scored her first goal of the season at 3:10 in the third. Schoullis and Kessel each tallied an assist. On the night, Kessel had four points, while Erickson had three and Schoullis had two. In all, eight Gophers tallied a point in the win.
Tonight's game marked the first time in school history the Gophers opened a season against a ranked opponent. Minnesota outshot the Golden Knights, 37-23. Minnesota was 1-for-7 on the power play (12 shots with the extra attacker), while Clarkson was 0-for-8 (nine shots).
In goal for the Gophers was sophomore Noora Raty. She stopped all 23 shots on goal and started the season, 1-0-0. She now has eight shutouts in her career.
The Golden Gophers and the Golden Knights will tangle again tomorrow at 3 p.m. (ET) to conclude the series.