ERIE, Pa. — The game was everything it was advertised to be. In the end, two-time defending NCAA champion Minnesota (4-1) made a second period power play goal by sophomore forward Erica McKenzie stand in a 1-0 win over No. 8 Mercyhurst (3-2) before 1100 fans on Friday night. Freshman goalie Brittony Chartier made 30 saves as the No. 4 Golden Gophers moved to 5-0 lifetime against the Lakers.
The Gophers broke the scoreless game with a power-play goal at 11:52 of the second period. Erica McKenzie scored her fourth goal of the season, second on the power play, on a rebound attempt. Melanie Gagnon started the play passing it to Gigi Marvin. Marvin attempted a shot, but was stopped by Mercyhurst goalie Laura Hosier. McKenzie was there to put in the goal.
The game was action-packed throughout with the Golden Gophers firing 34 shots at Mercyhurst sophomore netminder Laura Hosier and converting on one of five power play opportunities. The Lakers, who finished 0-for-5 on the power play, thought they had tied the game in the last minute on a goal-mouth scramble with Hosier pulled for an extra attacker. But Chartier kept the puck from crossing the goal line.
Both teams had excellent opportunities in the last 90 seconds. First, Hosier denied freshman forward Gigi Marvin on a breakaway and, seconds later, Mercyhurst sophomore forward Stephanie Jones hit the right goal post.
Both teams will conclude the weekend series with a 3 p.m. start Saturday.