|Minnesota Golden Gophers (11-4-1, 8-3-1-0 WCHA) vs.
Lindenwood University Lady Lions (2-7-1, 2-4-0 CHA)
Saturday and Sunday, November 25 & 26
Both games at 2:00 p.m. CT
Lindenwood Ice Arena – Wentzville, Missouri
The Gopher Women's Hockey team is on the road for the Thankgiving weekend, spending time in Wentzville, Missouri, as they face the Lindenwood University Lady Lions on Saturday and Sunday, November 25 & 26. Both games are scheduled for 2:00 p.m. CT at the Lindenwood Ice Arena.
Last year against Lindenwood – In the first two meetings between the Gophers and Lady Lions in history of both programs 14 months ago at Ridder Arena, Minnesota swept the weekend series, 3-0 and 6-2. All three goals in the opener came in the second period, as Sarah Potomak, Cara Piazza, and Megan Wolfe lit the lamp. Sidney Peters made 10 saves to earn the shutout. Caitlyn Reilly scored 5:32 into the second game for a 1-0 Gopher lead, but Corbin Welch tied the score for the Lions 5 minutes later. In the second period, Lindsay Agnew recorded her first collegiate goal, and Wolfe tallied her second goal of the season on a 5-on-3 power play, but the lead was cut to 3-2 by Lindenwood's Taylor Girard. Minnesota took control in the third period, with Cameranesi scoring just 56 seconds into the frame, Alex Woken netting her first collegiate goal 50 seconds later, and Cameranesi scoring again with 5:29 to play. Peters earned the win with 7 saves, and Serena D'Angelo got her first official game action, stopping the only shot on goal she faced in just over 10 minutes of work. Eleven different Gophers recorded a point in the series, led by Cameranesi's two goals and two assists and Potomak's goal and 3 assists.
Analyzing the Lady Lions – Lindenwood finished the regular season last year with a 5-24-2 record, and their 3-16-1 conference record put them last in College Hockey America. They upset 3rd-seeded Mercyhurst 3-2 in the single-game conference quarterfinal, but their season ended with a 2-1 loss to top-seeded Robert Morris in the CHA semifinals. They are currently in a fourth place tie in the CHA standings this season, posting a 2-4-0 conference record, and went 0-3-1 in non-conference games against Wisconsin and Minnesota State. They've also been on a lengthy break, with only one exhibition game since November 4.
After not having a player with more than 13 points for all of last season, the Lady Lions are getting a scoring punch from sophomore Taylor Girard (#17), who already has 12 points on 6 goals and 6 assists in the team's 10 games this year. Two other sophomores have also stepped up; Cierra Paisley (#16) has 3 goals and 5 assists, while Courtney Ganske (#22) has dished out 6 assists.
Junior goaltender Jolene deBruyn (#30) has started 8 of the Lions' 10 games, going 1-5-1 (with one no-decision), posting a .906 save percentage and 3.34 goals-against average. Redshirt senior Sarah McGall (#31) has seen only spot-action during her career; she has 2 starts and 2 relief appearances this season, going 1-2-0 with an .873 save percentage and 3.18 GAA.
Last action for Lindenwood – The Lady Lions last played a regular-season game three weekends ago, hosting Robert Morris. The series started roughly for Lindenwood as they were blanked by the Colonials, 6-0, in the opener. RMU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the rematch, but the Lions knotted the score in the second period on goals by Cierra Paisley and Hannah Alt. However, the Colonials got a short-handed goal by Amanda Pantaleo to regain the lead, and added an empty-netter later for a 4-2 victory and the series sweep.
The Lions have played an exhibition since then, defeating the Lady Lynx club team from Lindenwood-Belleville (IL), 7-0, last Tuesday, November 14.
Gophers sweep St. Cloud State, extend win streak to 6 games – Two very different games both ended with Gopher victories as they defeated St. Cloud State 3-0 and 4-3, extending their current winning streak to 6 games. All the scoring in the opener happened in the first 5:26 of the game, as Alex Woken lit the lamp at 1:49, Nicole Schammel doubled the lead 64 seconds later, and Woken scored again on a power play. Neither team lit the lamp over the remaining 54 1/2 minutes, as Sidney Peter made 14 saves for the shutout. The teams continued to play without a goal for the first 32 minutes of Saturday's rematch until Sydney Baldwin lit the lamp with an unassisted goal. Going to the third period, Emily Brown scored her first collegiate goal, and Schammel put the Gophers ahead 3-0. Emma Bigham lit the lamp for the Huskies, ending their extended goal-less drought and cutting the Gopher lead to 3-1, but Schammel capitalized on a power play, her third goal of the weekend, to push the lead back to three goals, 4-1. That insurance goal became the gamewinner, as Alyssa Erickson and Laura Kluge both scored for SCSU inside the last 80 seconds; however, the Huskies were held without a shot after that, giving the Gophers the win. Alex Gulstene made 18 saves. For the series, SCSU goaltender Janine Alder made 61 saves.
Gophers formally introduce signees for 2018-2019
Following up on its Twitter posts, the Gopher Women's Hockey team formally introduced the six players who recently signed National Letters of Intent to join the U. of M. family as freshmen for the 2018-2019 season, welcoming Abigail Boreen (Somerset, WI; Hill-Murray), Taylor Heise (Lake City, MN; Red Wing H.S.), Crystalyn Hengler (Eden Prairie, MN; Eden Prairie H.S.), Emily Oden (Edina, MN; Edina H.S.), Gracie Ostertag (Shakopee, MN; Shattuck-St. Mary's), and Catie Skaja (New Prague, MN; New Prague H.S.).
We again send our warmest greetings to all six players. More information about the signees, along with comments from GWH head coach Brad Frost, can be found in Sunday's press release on GopherSports.com.
Team USA preparing for next game vs. Canada, Dec. 3 at Xcel Center
Meet & Greet with Minnesotans on U.S. National Team – As announced on Twitter, a few Gopher Women's Hockey alumnae currently in residence with the U.S. Women's National Hockey Team are holding a meet-and-greet session this coming Saturday, November 25, between 4 and 6 p.m. at Braemar Arena in Edina. Hannah Brandt, Dani Cameranesi, and Lee Stecklein have each indicated they will be in attendance.
Ticket reminder for USA-Canada game on Dec. 3 at Xcel Energy Center – Here's one more reminder that the Xcel Energy Center and Minnesota Wild have a special ticket offer for the game between the USA and Canada women's national teams on Sunday, December 3, at 3 p.m. You can purchase adult tickets for a $3 discount and youth tickets for half-price by going to xcelenergycenter.com/women and using the password Friends. Additionally, arrive at the Gate 1 entrance of the arena at 1:30 p.m. to attend a free Pre-Game Chalk Talk featuring some USA Women's Hockey Alumni and hosted by KARE-11's Dave Schwartz (game ticket is required).
Around the WCHA
Recent action – In a series that was back-and-forth throughout, Ohio State and Bemidji State played to a 3-3 tie on Friday with the Beavers winning the shootout 1-0 in six rounds, but the Buckeyes came back with a 5-4 victory on Saturday; Julianna Iafallo had two goals and an assist over the weekend for OSU, while Sylvia Marolt lit the lamp twice for BSU and Lydia Passolt scored the lone goal in Friday's shootout. Meanwhile, Minnesota Duluth swept Minnesota State, winning 2-1 in the opener and coming from behind in the rematch, 3-2; Emma Yanko scored twice for UMD in the second game, while MSU's Sofia Poinar had a goal and an assist in the series.
Upcoming games – Non-conference action is scheduled for all seven WCHA teams. As mentioned in last week's Penalty Box Post, St. Cloud State hosts Bemidji State in a mid-week game tomorrow night (Wednesday, 11/22) that counts in overall records but not in the conference standings; following that contest, both teams will be idle over the weekend. Ohio State goes on the road to face defending CHA champions Robert Morris, playing Friday night and Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh. Two teams from the WCHA and two from Hockey East will play in the D.C. Tournament at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, VA; on Friday, Boston University will play Minnesota State, followed by Northeastern versus Wisconsin, and the pairings flip on Saturday as the Badgers take on the Terriers (BU) and the Mavericks face the Huskies (Northeastern). Meanwhile, Minnesota Duluth heads to Burlington, Vermont, to play in the Windjammer Classic; the Bulldogs open the tournament Friday against Colgate, then face either RIT or Vermont on Saturday.