MANKATO – Lauren Bench stopped a season-high 40 shots and the Gophers scored four goals in the third period to top Minnesota State 5-1 on Thursday.

This was the 4-1 Gophers' first game since Nov. 28 after two games scheduled against Wisconsin for last weekend at Ridder Arena were postponed because of positive COVID-19 results on the Wisconsin roster. Minnesota State agreed to a home-and-home series this weekend after the Gophers' planned series with Ohio State was also postponed because of positive results for the Buckeyes.

The Mavericks (1-4) outshot the Gophers 41-28 but weren't able to convert against Bench, who is 4-1 on the season with 166 saves on 172 shots.

Abigail Boreen opened the scoring with an even strength goal with 8 minutes, 57 seconds left in the first period. The score remained 1-0 until Olivia Knowles netted the eventual game-decider at 18:49 of the third period.

Three minutes later, Minnesota State cut it to 2-1 on a Sydney Langseth goal, the only blemish in Bench's night.

But Boreen scored her second goal with a little over nine minutes remaining and Grace Zumwinkle and Taylor Heise joined in just 18 seconds apart later in the third.