|2nd||9:41||MIN||1-0||EV||Nicole Schammel (1)||Kippin Keller/1, Olivia Knowles/2|
|2nd||15:41||MIN||2-0||PP GW||Grace Zumwinkle (2)||Sydney Baldwin/2, Patti Marshall/2|
|3rd||3:33||MER||1-2||EV||Paige Sorensen (1)||Paige Voight/2, Emily Volpe/2|
|3rd||5:12||MIN||3-1||EV||Nicole Schammel (2)||Patti Marshall/3, Emily Brown/1|
|3rd||10:16||MIN||4-1||EV||Taylor Wente (1)||Kippin Keller/2, Nicole Schammel/2|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Samantha Ridgewell (L, 1-1-0)||60:00||4||7||18||10||35|
|Alex Gulstene (W, 1-0-0)||59:49||1||8||4||2||14|
MINNEAPOLIS - The No. 3 Golden Gopher women's hockey team skated to a 4-1 win over Merrimack to seal a split in the team's season-opening series Sunday afternoon at Ridder Arena. Redshirt junior Nicole Schammel (Red Wing, Minn.) led Minnesota with three points, including two goals, and rookies Grace Zumwinkle (Excelsior, Minn.) and Taylor Wente (Plymouth, Minn.) also scored for the Maroon & Gold.
After a scoreless first period, the Gophers took a 2-0 lead after two periods of play. Merrimack (2-1-0) got on the board early in the third period, but Minnesota (1-1-0) responded with two more goals to seal the 4-1 win.
Freshman Alex Gulstene (Vancouver, B.C.) made 14 saves on 15 shots in her first career win and first complete game for Minnesota after stopping all seven shots she faced in relief on Friday. For the game, the Gophers outshot the Warriors, 39-15, and Merrimack received 35 saves from netminder Samantha Ridgewell.
"Really good effort from our team tonight -- I really liked the bounce back by our team after a tough loss the other night," head coach Brad Frost said after Minnesota fell in the series opener 4-3 on Friday. "It was great again to see our freshmen step up. Alex had a great game in net, just made everything look routine and swallowed everything up, aside from that one ... Overall, really impressed with our team. I thought they competed hard and battled through a lot here tonight and did a nice job."
A slow start to the game saw Merrimack hold an eight to seven edge in shots on goal over the opening 20 minutes, but Schammel broke the scoreless tie with her first goal of the season at the 9:41 mark of the second period. Kippin Keller (Minnetonka, Minn.), who finished the game with two points on two assists, and Olivia Knowles (Campbell River, B.C.) set up the play.
Zumwinkle then doubled Minnesota's lead to 2-0 during a five-on-three advantage late in the second when she scooped up a loose puck on the weak side and stuffed it past Ridgewell on her stick side with 4:19 remaining in the middle frame.
Merrimack got on the board at the 3:33 mark of the third period with a goal by Paige Sorensen, but the Gophers responded with two more goals of their own as Schammel netted her second of the game and Wente tallied her first collegiate goal.
"Being up by two in the second was huge for us," Frost said. "They cut it to one, and again I thought our team just did a great job a shift or two later getting back up by two and putting it away."
The Gophers were 1-for-4 on the power play while holding the Warriors scoreless on three power play opportunities.
Along with multi-point efforts from Schammel (2g-1a) and Keller (2a), Patti Marshall (Thief River Falls, Minn.) recorded multiple points with a pair of assists. Freshman Emily Brown (Blaine, Minn.) also registered her first point as a Gopher with an assist on Schammel's second goal.
Minnesota is back in action at home next weekend, opening up WCHA play against Ohio State. The Gophers and Buckeyes face off at 7 p.m. CT Friday and 3 p.m. CT Saturday at Ridder Arena.