Sophie Skarzynski scored two goals to lead the No. 7 Gophers to a 5-1 victory over St. Cloud State on Friday night at Ridder Arena in the first game of a best-of-three WCHA quarterfinal series.
The victory, before 1,017 fans, extended Minnesota’s unbeaten streak over the Huskies to 40 games dating to October of 2010.
It was a scoreless game until the Gophers (21-10-3) got three goals in the final nine minutes of the second period.
Nicole Schammel got the first at 11 minutes, 28 seconds. It was her 15th goal of the season. About 1½ minutes later, Taylor Williamson got the eventual game-winner on her second goal of the season.
Skarzynski, a junior forward from Lake Forest, Ill., made it 3-0, with 1:13 left in the period and scored again midway through the third. Those were her seventh and eight goals of the season.
With her team trailing 4-0, Hallie Theodosopoulos got a power-play goal for St. Cloud State (8-19-5).
It was the only man advantage the Huskies had. Minnesota was 0-1 on the power play.
Alex Woken added an empty-net goal for the Gophers with 5:11 left.
Lindsey Agnes and Sydney Baldwin had two assists for Minnesota.
Sidney Peters made 15 saves for the Gophers, Emma Polusny 34 for the Huskies.
Minnesota is now 5-0-1 against St. Cloud State this season.
4 Gophers honored
Defenseman Sydney Baldwin and forward Grace Zumwinkle of the Gophers were named to the All-WCHA fist team while forward Caitlin Reilly was named to the second team and Zumwinkle and defenseman Olivia Knowles landed spots on the all-rookie team.
Baldwin, a senior, leads conference blue-liners with 22 points and 76 blocks. Zumwinkle, with 27 points in 24 WCHA games, is the first freshman to lead the conference in scoring since 2009-10.
Winners of the major WCHA awards will be named next week.