– Team captain Kelly Pannek got her third career hat trick and Sophie Skarzynski scored twice to lead the No. 2-ranked Gophers women’s hockey team to an 8-2 win over No. 8 St. Lawrence on Friday afternoon in the first game of the Windjammer Classic.

“Really solid game,” Gophers coach Brad Frost said. “When you get to these tournaments, and you are on the road playing a different opponent, it is always fun. So really proud of our team.”

Minnesota (12-2-1) also received multipoint efforts from Olivia Knowles (one goal, two assist) and Nicole Schammel, Patti Marshall and Gracie Ostertag, who all had two assists.

“Offensively we were very good,” Frost said, “a lot of pressure on the puck, and created quite a few turnovers, and to score eight on a great goaltender like that is difficult. [We are] excited about advancing to the championship game tomorrow.”

St. Lawrence (8-6-1) got goals from Nadine Edney and Rachael Smith.

Alex Gulstene made 16 saves for the Gophers, Grace Harrison 35 for the Saints.

Minnesota is now 11-1-1 all-time against the Saints, in a series that began in January 1998.

The Gophers will face host Vermont, which beat Syracuse 2-0, in Saturday’s title game.

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