MINNEAPOLIS — Hannah Brandt had her first hat trick of the season to propel Minnesota over visiting Ohio State by a 6-0 count Friday night.
Brandt called her outing “lucky.”
“I felt like I was just kind of in the right spot at the right time today and got some lucky bounces and I guess it worked out tonight for me,” she said.
Rookie Dani Cameranesi scored twice and added a helper.
“It’s just a matter of getting to the net and who wants it more, who has more desire to put the puck in the net,” Cameranesi said.
Rachael Bona completed the scoring for the Gophers (20-1-0, 14-1-0-0 WCHA) with a late goal. Kelly Terry contributed three assists and Maryanne Menefee assisted twice.
“Brandt’s line, Terry’s line – both those units just putting extreme pressure on their opponents,” Minnesota coach Brad Frost said. “Brandt’s line really from the dots down and Ohio State had a lot of trouble containing them.”
Lisa Steffes took the loss as she made 23 saves over the first 40 minutes before Chelsea Knapp came on to make 14 stops in the final stanza.
“When you give them, the kind of firepower they have, opportunities and tap-ins right around your cage, it’s a recipe for what happened,” coach Nate Handrahan of his Buckeyes (7-12-2, 2-11-2-0 WCHA). “But I do think that our goaltending and our compete level were a heck of a lot better than the scoreboard indicated.”
“I thought [goaltender] Amanda Leveille played maybe her best game as a Gopher here tonight,” Frost said. “I thought she was square to the puck, making a lot of hard saves look really easy.”
Leveille denied all 28 shots she faced in picking up her sixth shutout of the year.
“She’s a great goaltender, [but] we’ve got to find ways to get it done,” Handrahan said. “Minnesota is the No. 1 team in the country for a reason and you’ve got to cash in on the ones that you get. We didn’t, but we’re not going to cry in our soup. We’ve got to get back after it and I see a different kind of attitude and approach to the game in our group compared to the first half.”
Minnesota jumped in front with three first-period goals. Two minutes into the contest, Kate Schipper found Brandt alone on the back post.
“I thought we started out really good right off the bat,” Brandt said of her line with Schipper and Menefee. “We had a good week of practice and we were just clicking and passing the puck really well.”
Five minutes later, Terry drove the net with the puck and Steffes was able to make the stop, but not control the rebound. Cameranesi had half the net and didn’t miss it.
“I pretty much know once [Terry's] getting on her horse to kind of get up there,” Cameranesi said. “Most of the time, either she puts it in the net or there will be a rebound for me.”
At 14:05, Brandt scored her second on a wraparound and she completed her hat trick by cleaning up the garbage three minutes into the second period to make it 4-0.
“They hit me in the slot a few times, so that worked out well for us tonight,” Brandt said.
Attendance for the game was 2,276.
“You come into an environment like this where you’ve got a pretty biased crowd, it’s an environment that’s great, but you’ve got to be ready to compete,” Handrahan said. “We did that all the way through, [just] didn’t get the result we wanted, obviously.”