Center Kelly Pannek scored two goals and had an assist and linemates Sarah Potomak and Dani Cameranesi each had a goal and three assists as the No. 2 Gophers beat St. Cloud State 5-2 on Thursday night in WCHA women’s hockey at Ridder Arena.
Minnesota (8-1, 6-1) led only 2-0 after two periods — on goals by Pannek late in the first and Potomak early in the second. Then the Gophers scored twice in the first seven minutes of the third to open a 4-0 lead. Cara Piazza had a shorthanded goal at 2 minutes, 19 seconds, and Cameranesi scored at 6:58.
St. Cloud State (3-5-1, 2-4-1-1) rallied for two goals by Kayle Friesen and Payge Pena in under two minutes in the middle of the period. They scored on Serena D’Angelo, who had replaced Gophers starting goalie Sidney Peters with the score 4-0.
But 53 seconds after Pena’s goal, Pannek got her second for a 5-2 Gophers lead to quell the Huskies’ charge.
The Gophers top line of Pannek, Potomak and Cameranesi combined for four goals and seven assists. Potomak leads the team in goals with nine, including five game-winners, Pannek leads in assists with 10.
“There’s some luck in [the winners],” Potomak said, “but I play with two great linemates, Kelly and Dani. Kelly has assisted every single one of those [game-winners]. Without her I wouldn’t have gotten any of those goals. I think I’m the kind of player that kind of does well in high-pressure situations, so that’s what my role is and I’m trying to accomplish that to the best of my ability.
Peters finished with six saves for Minnesota in almost 47 minutes, D’Angelo had four in 13-plus minutes. Janine Alder had 33 stops for the Huskies.
Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle attended the game to honor his women’s hockey coach for a recent milestone win. Brad Frost, in his 10th season, won his 300th game last Saturday when the Gophers beat Ohio State 2-1 in Columbus.