Oct. 19, 2009

 

Courtesy of Minnesota

The No. 2 University of Minnesota women’s hockey team scored two short-handed goals and Noora Räty earned her first career shutout en route to a 3-0 win over No. 5 Minnesota Duluth. With the win, the Golden Gophers (6-0-0, 4-0-0 WCHA) earned a two-game sweep over the Bulldogs after winning the previous night by a score of 3-1.

The two teams went scoreless through the first period with UMD holding a one-shot advantage. Emily West broke the scoreless when she scored her second-handed goal of the season at 12:10 in the second. Brittany Francis made a great heads up play when she played the puck during the penalty kill. Francis was positioned along the boards and found West at center ice. She went in for a breakaway and fired a wrist shot in the top right corner for her fifth goal of the season.

Kelli Blankenship added to the Gopher lead when she scored at 2:04 in the third. Terra Rasmussen pushed the puck over to Blankenship from the corner to the backboard. She carried the puck from behind the net up to the left post. She then placed the puck far side for her first goal of her senior year. It was Blankenship’s first goal since Jan. 30, 2009 when she scored in a 9-1 win over Minnesota State.

The Gophers added its second short-handed goal of the game when Chelsey Jones scored at 12:38 in the third period. Terra Rasmussen started the play battling for a puck with a UMD player at the right point. She batted it away and Jones picked up the loose puck and brought it into the zone and scored her fourth goal of the season, also on a breakaway.

Minnesota’s last sweep over the Bulldogs came last year in Duluth, Minn., when the Gophers won 4-3 in overtime on Oct. 10, 2008 and 2-0 on Oct. 11. It was the last time the Gophers shut out the Bulldogs as well.

With just two weekends of conference play, the Gophers hold the top spot within the WCHA standings. Minnesota has eight points, while UMD, Bemidji State and Wisconsin are tied for second with four points.

Minnesota will compete in a home-and-home series against St. Cloud State next weekend. Friday’s game will be at 2:07 p.m. at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn. Saturday’s game is set for 4:07 p.m. at Ridder Arena.