KESSEL KEEPS HOT HAND AS MINNESOTA TOPS MINNESOTA STATE, 8-1
Junior forward Amanda Kessel posts three goals and assist; Has posted 20 points over last five games for Gophers

UM's Amanda Kessel had her fourth hat trick of the season

Mankato, Minn. --- The Minnesota State women's hockey team fell behind early and could not overcome the deficit as it fell to top-ranked Minnesota, 8-1, in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association match up Friday night at All Seasons Arena.

MSU senior Lauren Smith - who scored the only Maverick goal on the evening - is now just one goal shy of the single season record.

Minnesota opened the scoring barrage just 65 seconds in the game when Rachel Bona deflected a centering pass from Kelly Terry past Maverick netminder junior Danielle Butters, but MSU would respond a minute later on a goal from Smith who took a breakout pass and lifted a backhand shot by UM goaltender Noora Raty to knot the match at 1-1. However, the Golden Gophers would take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission as Rachel Ramsey and Becky Kortum tallied at 3:46 and 15:39, respectively, for UM.

It was all Minnesota in the second period - specifically Amanda Kessel - who collected a natural hat trick with a short-handed, power-play, and even-strength goal - all less than five minutes apart - to provide the Golden Gophers will a five-goal advantage after 40 minutes of play.

The Golden Gophers scored twice more in the third period as Meghan Lorence netted one at the 1:53 mark and Bona earned her second of the contest at 7:59 to close out the game's scoring.

Butters finished with a game-high 20 saves in the defeat and Raty stopped three shots in only 20 minutes of play to pick up the win. MSU ended zero-of three on the power-play, while Minnesota was one-of-five in its power-play opportunities

Minnesota State drops to 9-13-3 overall and 5-11-3-1 in the WCHA. The two teams will do battle once more tomorrow afternoon at 3:07 p.m. inside All Seasons Arena.