It was déjà vu all over again Friday Night at Ridder Arena.
No. 2 Minnesota routed St. Cloud State, again, 6-1, and claimed Game 1 in the WCHA Tournament's best-of-three first-round series.
"Overall, I though the team played hard and played well," head coach Brad Frost said. "We were able to get a lot of people in and play some good minutes and I thought they did a good job with the minutes that they had."
Members of all three lines and six different players overall scored for the Gophers outscored the Huskies 35-2 in five games this season.
"We we're rolling, all lines. Everyone came out with their excitement and ready to play," defenseman Baylee Gillanders said. "It was good to see everybody get ice time."
Gillanders put Minnesota on the board 1:51 into the first period. Rachael Bona and Emily West scored later in the frame and the 3-0 score held to and through the first intermission.
Nikki Ludwigson made it 4-0 14:26 into the second period with her first goal of the season. Kelly Terry scored 2:43 later.
"This time of the year, you've got to get scoring from somebody other than your top line," Frost said. "Up and down, I thought our lineup was pretty good."
The Huskies avoided the shutout on Molli Mott's goal at the end of the period. Bethany Brausen scored a goal late in the third stanza and the Gophers held on for the easy victory.
Physical play and a couple minor scuffles led to a combined for 10 penalties. Minnesota senior defenseman Anne Schleper attributed the physicality to added intensity from the playoffs.
"Everything is ramped up during the playoffs," she said. "That's just the way St. Cloud plays and we know that."
Schleper said she expects the team to take care of business tomorrow and close the Huskies out.
Minnesota blue-liner Megan Bozek, who leads the nation in scoring by defensemen, sat out with an undisclosed upper body injury. Frost said she might have been able to go had it been a do-or-die situation.
"There's no sense in risking more injury," he said. "We have a lot of big games coming up."
Forward Becky Kortum may be done for the season. The junior forward is out definitely after sustaining an upper-body injury during practice on Wednesday.
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