|1st||9:06||MIN||1-0||EV GW||Kelly Pannek (3)||-|
|2nd||9:25||MIN||2-0||PP||Dani Cameranesi (1)||Megan Wolfe/2, Kate Schipper/2|
|2nd||19:10||MIN||3-0||EV||Lee Stecklein (1)||Milica McMillen/1|
|3rd||5:00||MIN||4-0||EV||Cara Piazza (1)||Kate Schipper/3, Kelly Pannek/2|
|3rd||6:32||MIN||5-0||PP||Dani Cameranesi (2)||Sarah Potomak/3, Megan Wolfe/3|
|3rd||9:03||MIN||6-0||EV||Milica McMillen (2)||Kate Schipper/4|
|3rd||14:09||MIN||7-0||PP||Kelly Pannek (4)||Hannah Brandt/1, Milica McMillen/2|
|St. Cloud State||0||0||0||0|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|St. Cloud State||3||1||1||5|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|St. Cloud State (2-1-0)||0/2||4/8||0|
|St. Cloud State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Katie Fitzgerald (L, 1-1-0)||60:00||7||4||14||13||31|
|Amanda Leveille (W, 2-0-0)||60:00||0||3||1||1||5|
MINNEAPOLIS - The No. 1 Minnesota women's hockey team scored four third-period goals as the Gophers defeated St. Cloud State by a score of 7-0 in the team's home-opener at Ridder Arena Friday night.
Kelly Pannek, Milica McMillen and Kate Schipper led Minnesota (3-0-0, 1-0-0 WCHA) with three points each. Meanwhile, Dani Cameranesi scored two goals, and Megan Wolfe added a pair of assists.
Nine Gophers recorded points in the win, but Minnesota was just as impressive on the defensive end of the ice. The Gophers have not surrendered a goal yet this season, recording their third shutout in three games. Amanda Leveille posted her 24th career shutout as Minnesota outshot St. Cloud State, 38-5.
"It was a great win here tonight," head coach Brad Frost said. "I looked up to the board to see us giving up five shots, and you're going to win a lot of hockey games doing that. I thought that we got better each and every period. Particularly in the second, we were really able to wear them down and keep them in their end for a few long shifts. It enabled us in the third period to put the hammer down."
Fans witnessed a special moment for the Gophers prior to the game as the team's sixth national championship banner was raised into the rafters by 2015 seniors Rachael Bona, Meghan Lorence, Rachel Ramsey, and Shyler Sletta during a pregame ceremony. Friday's game marked the Gophers' return to their home ice after clinching the national title at Ridder Arena to end the 2014-15 season.
"It was great to be back at home on our ice with all of our fans out there," Frost said. "It was nice to have our four seniors from last year back and for our fans to be there to see the banner-raising, and then to be able to turn the page."
Pannek started the scoring, putting Minnesota on the board at the midway point of the first period. Her three-point effort saw the sophomore score the game's final goal of the game on the power play and add an assist on linemate Cara Piazza's goal in the third period. Pannek extended her team-leading point streak to five games, dating back to the 2015 NCAA Frozen Four semifinal.
"Kelly reminds me a lot of Hannah Brandt," Frost said. "To see Kelly take that next step this year and start off quick is a huge benefit. She just makes everyone around her better.
''That line is a really high energy line. With our wingers, Cara and Schipper can really fly, and Kelly just sees the ice so well and is able to distribute it."
Minnesota led 1-0 on Pannek's goal after the first period but the Gophers extended their lead to 3-0 in the second period. Cameranesi netted a power play goal halfway through the second period after a scrum in front of the net to give the Gophers the 2-0 lead. Before the middle frame concluded, Lee Stecklein scored after receiving a stealthy pass from McMillen.
The Gophers did not let up in the third period, opening the flood gates with four more goals. Piazza netted a goal off of a snipe out front before Cameranesi scored her second power-play goal of the game, set up in front of the net by Sarah Potomak.
McMillen scored her second goal of the season to give the Gophers the 6-0 lead at 9:03 of the third before Pannek once again found the back of the net, completing the Gophers' perfect 3-for-3 effort on the power play. Minnesota held St. Cloud State scoreless on two opportunities with the man advantage.
"I'm really pleased with our power play going 3-for-3, and obviously our penalty kill was good," Frost said. "When you only take one or two penalties, it's obviously a benefit, too. But, we're excited about the win and are excited about tomorrow, as well."
The Gophers' annual alumni game is scheduled for 11 a.m. CT Saturday morning before Minnesota goes for the series sweep over the Huskies at 4 p.m. CT Saturday afternoon. Fans can see their favorite former Gophers take the ice at Ridder Arena as the alumni game is free and open to the public.