St. Lawrence Falls to No. 2 Minnesota

St. Lawrence Falls to No. 2 Minnesota

The University of Minnesota's Kelly Panek scored three goals and added an assist, and the second-ranked Golden Gophers used a pair of shorthanded goals to defeat the No. 8 St. Lawrence University women's hockey team 8-2 in the first round of the Windjammer Classic hosted by the University of Vermont on Friday afternoon.

Sophie Skarzynski added two goals for Minnesota; Nadine Edney and Rachael Smith scored goals to lead the Saints.

Minnesota improved to 12-2-1 and will face the winner of tonight's game between Vermont and Syracuse in the tournament championship, while the Saints, now 8-6-1, will face the loser in the consolation game. If the Saints play Syracuse, the opening faceoff will be scheduled for 4 p.m. If they face UVM, the game will be held at 7 p.m.
 
"We played a very talented team tonight and we battled all night with them," said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells '92. "Aside from their talent what impressed me the most was how hard Minnesota worked. We had some chances and we will be able to use this game to build for our next one."

St. Lawrence had a great chance to get on the scoreboard first when Edney drew a pair of penalties to give the Saints a two-minute 5-on-3 power play opportunity, but it was actually the Golden Gophers who cashed in with two players in the penalty box.

Taylor Wente blocked a shot and then won the race to the puck in the neutral zone before scoring on a breakaway with just over three minutes to play in the period.

Less than a minute after killing off the 5-on-3 opportunity, the Golden Gophers struck again, with Alex Woken finishing a pass from Taylor Williamson on a 2-on-1 to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead.

Skarzynski scored her first goal of the game five minutes into the second period on a wrist shot through a screen from the left circle to give the Golden Gophers a 3-0 lead.

The Saints cut the lead to two with a power play goal 12 minutes into the second period when Edney knocked in a rebound off a shot by Kalie Grant. The officials originally ruled that the puck did not cross the goal line, but awarded the Saints the goal after a lengthy video review. Justine Reyes also earned an assist on the play.

But the Golden Golphers restored their three-goal lead just 59 seconds later when Olivia Knowles flipped a loose puck in the slot into the net.

The Golden Gophers scored their second shorthanded goal of the game late in the second period, as Panek slammed in a rebound after a shot from the point by Knowles to give Minnesota a 5-1 lead.

Panek scored her second goal of the game less than two minutes into the third period, tipping a shot from the point into the back of the net, and Skarzynski scored her second of the game on a screen shot from the point just two and a half minutes later to give Minnesota a 7-1 lead.

Smith scored St. Lawrence's second goal off assists from Lydia Grauer and Maggie McLaughlin.

Panek notched the hat trick with a wrist shot from the left faceoff dot high to the glove side with less than five minutes to play to close out the scoring.

Alex Gulstene made 16 saves to earn the win for the Golden Gophers. Grace Harrison stopped 35 shots in the loss for the Saints, who were outshot 43-18.