MANKATO, Minn. — Senior center Kelly Terry had five points and her first hat trick as a Gopher in helping her team to a 7-0 victory on the road at Minnesota State.
Terry said she was trying to use her speed more to carry the puck wide on the rush and felt it was just a game where the puck was bouncing her way.
Minnesota (10-0-0, 8-0-0 WCHA) also got goals from forwards Hannah Brandt and Brook Garzone plus defensemen Milica McMillen and Baylee Gillanders. Brandt added two assists, and Rachel Ramsey also had a three-point game.
“For 120 minutes this weekend, we played really, really well,” coach Brad Frost said. “Nice again to see everybody contributing, our power play getting a couple goals there. Nice for Kelly Terry to get the hat trick and Amanda Leveille to get the shutout.”
Leveille made 24 saves to earn her fourth shutout this season.
Minnesota State (3-7-0, 0-6-0 WCHA) stayed with the Gophers through the better part of two periods, but the visitors were able to score in bunches at the end of the last two stanzas and pull away.
Terry said that although the scoreboard didn’t indicate it early, she felt her team was playing well throughout and it just took a while for pucks to start going in.
Danielle Butters finished with 40 saves, many of the difficult variety to limit the damage early.
The Gophers scored the only goal of the first period on a tic-tac-toe passing play. Ramsey passed from the left point to Maryanne Menefee in the left corner, and she sent the puck to Brandt with space in the slot. Brandt’s shot found twine beyond Butters’ glove.
Minnesota pushed the advantage to 3-0 by scoring twice in the final 25 seconds of the middle frame in which they outshot the hosts, 21-7. Terry finished off a rebound of a Ramsey shot on a power play.
Just two seconds before the buzzer, Garzone converted another rebound, assisted by linemates Bethany Brausen and Sara Davis.
“We just skated so well this weekend, I thought, and when we’re able to put pressure on opponents like that and create some turnovers, it’s nice to be rewarded with a point or two,” Frost said.
McMillen made it 4-0 with a power-play rocket from the point. Minnesota completed the scoring with three more goals in the final three minutes, two by Terry sandwiched around Gillanders’ first of the season.
“Kelly tried to get it to me, and it popped right out in front of [the goalie], so I showed some patience and backhanded it in,” Gillanders said.
For the first time this year, Minnesota skated with a normal rotation of six defensemen on the blue line.
“What we did this weekend, we still had seven that were healthy, so we just sat a different ‘D’ on the bench each game,” Frost said. “Kelsey Cline was on the bench tonight and Jordyn Burns was on the bench last night. Again, they’re making it tough for us to figure out who to play, which is a good thing.”
That allowed the defensemen to skate with a set partner the majority of the time.
“It helps a lot because you get to learn each other’s tendencies,” Gillanders said. “Especially just working on the blue lines, you know what hand they are and where you should have it. It definitely helps with everyone from top to bottom; it just gives everyone a bit more confidence out there.”
Minnesota heads to St. Cloud State for Friday and Saturday games.
“It’s really the only big sheet that we’re going to be on this year,” Frost said. “I’m sure it will be a little bit of an adjustment, but hopefully with the way we skate, that’s to our advantage.”
The Mavericks are idle next weekend before resuming with a series at Bemidji State.