MINNEAPOLIS — After a sluggish 40 minutes of hockey, Minnesota broke open a scoreless game with a three-goal third period as the second-ranked Gophers defeated Mercyhurst 3-0.
Minnesota was held to just one shot in the opening period, matching a school record, but turned the tables in the second period, holding a 10-4 advantage in the middle stanza.
La Toya Clarke finally broke the ice for the Gophers when she converted an Ambria Thomas rebound for her 10th goal of the season three minutes, 41 seconds into the final period.
Kelsey Bills intercepted a clearing pass in the middle of the slot and beat Mercyhurst’s Amber Natali between the legs at 11:15 to give the Gophers a 2-0 lead, and Melissa Coulombe’s shot from the right point on the power play made its way through traffic and into the net with 6:27 left in the game.
Natali finished the game with 22 saves, while Minnesota netminder Erica Killewald’s third shutout of the season was a 16-save effort.