Grace Zumwinkle’s power-play goal early in the third period enabled the No. 2 Gophers women’s hockey team to edge winless Bemidji State 2-1 on Saturday afternoon at Ridder Arena. Minnesota swept the WCHA series, winning the opener 6-3.
Zumwinkle scored at 5:06 of the third. It was her team-leading fifth goal of the season. Defenseman Emily Brown had the lone assist on the play.
“It was a classic Bemidji-Gopher women’s hockey game,” Gophers coach Brad Frost said. “They made it very hard to play against them: They’re fast, they’re strong, they block shots, they have good goaltending, they take away time and space, and they did that almost to perfection tonight.”
The Gophers (9-2-1, 7-2-1 WCHA) took a 1-0 lead in the opening period on Taylor Williamson’s goal in the 12th minute. Catie Skaja had the assist.
The Beavers tied it at 1-all on Jacqueline Kassa’s unassisted goal at 7:26 of the middle period.
The Gophers’ Alex Gulstene had 25 saves — the same number Kerigan Dowhy had for the Beavers (0-9-1, 0-5-1).
“It was a real nice bounce-back effort by our goaltender Alex Gulstene,” Frost said. “Our penalty kill has been really good over the past couple of weeks and was something that we were struggling with earlier. It starts with good goaltending, blocking shots, and being good enough to clear the PK.
“It was a grind, and very rarely are games like this pretty to watch, I think our team would love to be going up and down the ice and not having people in their face all the time. We get everyone’s best games.”