MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The No. 3 Golden Gopher women's hockey team scored a pair of power-play goals on the way to a 4-2 win over St. Cloud State as the teams opened this weekend's WCHA First Round best-of-three series at Ridder Arena on Friday night.
Minnesota (26-5-3) rallied for the 4-2 win from a 2-1 deficit with three-straight goals from Alex Woken, Amy Potomak, and Katie Robinson. Sydney Scobee finished with 15 saves for the Maroon & Gold.
St. Cloud State (6-24-4) received 52 saves from goaltender Emma Polusny as the Gophers had a 56-17 advantage in shots on goal. The Huskies received goals from Dana Rasmussen and Olivia Hanson as well.
Emily Brown scored just 24 seconds into the game, marking Minnesota's fastest start of the season, but the Huskies responded just 31 seconds later and took the lead at the 3:17 mark of the opening period. Woken tied the game with a power-play goal at 12:09 of the second frame before A. Potomak scored the game-winner on the power play midway through the third period. Robinson added a fourth tally to seal the game-one win for the Maroon & Gold.
"It was a hard fought game tonight," head coach Brad Frost said. "The first three minutes were kind-of crazy. We scored on the first shift, and I think got lulled into a little bit of a 'this might be easy' mindset. Credit to St. Cloud for coming back with two goals in the next couple of minutes. We had to fight and battle. The first period was ugly, we weren't very good with the puck. Their goaltender made some nice saves. We started to take control of the play in the second; we were more structured without the puck and had some great chances with the puck. Going into the third, we tied 2-2, and the next goal was a big one and we were able to get that on the power play. The power play had a couple here tonight; come play off time, that's what we need. We're happy with the win, hopefully we can play for a good 60 minutes tomorrow. It's hard to end any team's season, particularly St. Cloud who has a lot of pride over there. We're excited for tomorrow."
Minnesota was two-for-three on the power play while going two-for-two on the penalty kill. The Gophers are now perfect on the penalty kill over their last 12 games, going 28-for-28.
Minnesota looks to punch its ticket to the 2020 WCHA Final Faceoff when the teams meet in game two at 2:07 p.m. CT Saturday at Ridder Arena.