Oct. 3, 2009

 

Courtesy of Minnesota

Chelsey Jones scored the game-winning, power-play goal to lift the No. 3 University of Minnesota women’s hockey team to a season-opening win, tonight at Ridder Arena. Emily West had three points and nine shots in the win, while a total of six players contributed points. The series against Syracuse concludes Sunday at 2 p.m. at Ridder Arena.

The win tonight marks the 12th time in school history the Gophers have opened their season with a win. The only time in school history that the Gophers did not win the first game of the season came last year in a loss to Robert Morris.

The Gophers suffered an early blow when first-line center Sarah Erickson was called for a five-minute checking from behind just 12 seconds into the contest. However, the Gophers were able to hold off the Orange and only allowed four shots on goal as Syracuse was also called for a penalty during that time, leaving the Orange with three minutes of power play. Minnesota scored its first goal of the season at 13:42 in the first when West scored an unassisted goal. West had a great individual play, when she blocked a shot at the Minnesota blueline and went one on one with goalie Lucy Schoedel. She placed the puck ride side under Schoedel's arm for the early 1-0 lead.

West scored her second goal of the game at 5:03 in the second period. Anne Schleper wound up for a slapshot at the right point, which Schoedel saved. However, West banged in the rebound attempt for her second goal of the game and 32nd of her career. The Orange, however, cut the lead to one when Julie Rising scored a power-play goal at 9:13 in the second, bringing the game to 2-1 after two.

The third period was an up-and-down battle between the two teams, scoring four goals in the stanza. Syracuse tied the game at 9:13 when Janelle Malcolm scored a power-play goal. Brittany Francis helped the Gophers re-gain the lead just :36 later at 7:17 in the third with West tallying the lone assist. Francis beat the Syracuse defenseman for her 93rd point of her career. Malcolm scored her second goal of the period at 9:30 when she scored on a rebound attempt. Minnesota, however, took advantage of its third power-play attempt at 17:02 in the third when Chelsey Jones tipped in a Kelly Seeler slapshot, while Megan Bozek tallied the second assist.

Minnesota was 1-3 on the power play, while Syracuse was 2-4. The Gophers had five penalties for 21 minutes, while SU visited the sin bin four times for eight minutes. Alyssa Grogan was in net for the Gophers and had 15 saves, while Schoedel had 30 saves, including 15 in the second period.