|2nd||11:28||MIN||1-0||EV||Nicole Schammel (15)||Cara Piazza/13, Sydney Baldwin/18|
|2nd||13:06||MIN||2-0||EV GW||Taylor Williamson (2)||Olivia Knowles/11, Lindsay Agnew/6|
|2nd||18:47||MIN||3-0||EV||Sophie Skarzynski (7)||Lindsay Agnew/7, Sydney Baldwin/19|
|3rd||9:38||MIN||4-0||EV||Sophie Skarzynski (8)||Taylor Williamson/3|
|3rd||11:37||STC||1-4||PP||Hallie Theodosopoulos (8)||Laura Kluge/17, Kayla Friesen/9|
|3rd||14:49||MIN||5-1||EV EN||Alex Woken (10)||Caitlin Reilly/17, Emily Brown/7|
|St. Cloud State||0||0||1||1|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|St. Cloud State||7||5||4||16|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|St. Cloud State (8-19-5)||1/1||2/4||0|
|St. Cloud State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Emma Polusny (L, 6-9-4)||58:15||4||14||10||10||34|
|Sidney Peters (W, 14-8-1)||59:59||1||7||5||3||15|
MINNEAPOLIS - Sophie Skarzynski scored two goals to lead the No. 7 Golden Gopher women's hockey team to a 5-1 win over St. Cloud State in game one of this weekend's WCHA First Round best-of-three series at Ridder Arena on Friday night.
Minnesota (21-10-3) received multiple points from Taylor Williamson (1g-1a), Sydney Baldwin (2a), and Lindsay Agnew (2a) along with Skarzynski's two-goal effort. Nicole Schammel scored her 15th goal of the season, and Alex Woken netted an empty-net goal to round out the Gophers' scoring.
Sidney Peters made 15 saves as Minnesota outshot the Huskies by a 39-16 margin.
St. Cloud State (8-19-5) received 34 saves from Emma Polusny, and Hallie Theodosopoulos scored the team's lone goal midway through the third period.
"A great win here to start the playoffs. We played a pretty good in the first, but I thought Sidney Peters was tremendous early on when we gave up a few chances," head coach Brad Frost said. "We kept it 0-0 and started to establish some things on the forecheck in the second period. It's nice to get that three-goal lead and obviously continue to extend it."
The teams were locked in a scoreless tie after one period, but Minnesota erupted for three goals in the middle frame. Schammel started the scoring for the Gophers at the 11:28 mark before Williamson scored her second of the season just 1: 38 later. Skarzynski scored in the final two minutes of the period to give the Gophers a three-goal lead after 40 minutes of play.
Minnesota extended its lead to four on Skarzynski's second of the game at the 9:38 mark of the third period, but Theodosopoulos spoiled Minnesota's shutout with a power-play goal with 9:23 remaining.
Desperate to generate more scoring chances and trailing by three, the Huskies pulled Polusny with over seven minutes remaining for an extra attacker and the Gophers capitalized with an empty net goal from Woken with 5:11 remaining to seal the game-one win.
"St. Cloud is obviously really dangerous on the rush as we saw tonight, they've got great goaltending and good speed," Frost said. "We know it's going to be a real battle tomorrow. One of the hardest things is to eliminate a team from their season so we're expecting another hard-fought game tomorrow and hopefully we can come out with the win."
Minnesota was scoreless on its lone power play while the Huskies converted on their lone opportunity with the skater advantage.
The Gophers look to seal the WCHA First Round series with St. Cloud State at 4:07 p.m. CT on Saturday afternoon. If necessary, the teams will meet in game three at 4:07 p.m. CT Sunday.