Blue Liners Madeline Withington and Gracie Ostertag each had a goal and an assist, and goaltender Makayla Pahl won her first start of the season as Minnesota beat Minnesota State Mankato 3–0 in a women’s hockey game at Ridder Arena on Friday night.
Freshman Ella Huber finished with three assists, and senior center Taylor Haise scored her 100th career point in her 100th career game as the Gophers pulled up to .500 for the first time this season.
All of the Gophers’ goals were scored on the power play, the product of a relentless forecheck that pinned the Mavericks on their end for a long time and locked down and committed an offense that averaged 5.4 goals into the game.
The initiative earned a shutout but helped; Only 14 shots got through to the Gophers’ active backcheck.
Withington scored the first goal at 12:14 of the first period on assists by Ella Huber and Ostertag. Ostertag scored a second from point on a wrist shot after a trading pass with Withington. Huber earned a third assist.
The Gophers (3–3 on aggregate, Western Collegiate Hockey Association) drew a power play in the second period with 1:29 and scored just as it was ending to start the third period when Hayes hit the net. Throws a wrist shot on the outside of the right circle for a 3-0 lead.
The Mavericks entered the game averaging 5.4 goals but had trouble getting the shot through an active Minnesota backcheck. Leading scorer Kelsey King put a hard wrist on the net that Pahl deflected with his stick 1:16 in the second period but not until 13 minutes, 20 seconds later his second shot to Minnesota State (5-2, 1-2) met. .
This included a power play along with a shot over the net.
By then, the Gophers were winning 2–0, and their best defense was its offense. Mavericks goaltender Cala Frank blocked 44 shots, several chances for Grade A scoring.
Teams meet in Mankato on Saturday at 4 p.m. for the second game in the weekend series.