Freshman goaltender Alex Gulstene made a huge save with a minute left and the game tied on Friday. The stop sent the game into overtime, and after that, Minnesota was on its way to victory.
The Gophers edged out Mercyhurst 2-1 in overtime in Erie, Pennsylvania Friday night. Taylor Wente knocked in the game-winning goal off of a shot from Grace Zumwinkle with 3:13 left in the overtime period. The goal came on a power play after the Lakers were called for too many skaters on the ice.
“Proud of our team, the way we fought back and found a way to win it,” said head coach Brad Frost. “It wasn’t pretty, but it’s a win on the road against a very good team.”
The Gophers improved to 8-0-0 on the road this season. Nicole Schammel got the scoring going for the Gophers when she netted her sixth goal of the season, just 11 seconds into a first-period power play. In the second period, Minnesota outshot the Lakers 11-3, but couldn't add another goal to the total.
The Lakers outshot the Gophers 15-2 in the third period and tied the game at the end of regulation to send it to overtime. Gulstene finished with 20 saves and collected her fourth win of the season.
“It maybe didn’t go as scripted, but it’s a good 2-1 win,” Frost said. “Alex Gulstene played exceptional, in particular in the last minute, making a big save to allow us to get to overtime."
In the second game of the series, the Gophers beat the Lakers 5-2 Saturday night. All five goals came from a different Minnesota player. Both teams combined for 11 penalties, yet neither one of them capitalized on any of those opportunities.
Wente, Katie Robinson, and Alex Woken scored in the first period to give Minnesota a 3-0 lead. Wente scored her sixth goal of the season of a pass from Nicole Schammel just four minutes into the game. Robinson scored her first goal of the season on the first of two short-handed goals in the game. Woken tallied her second goal of the season with 49 seconds left in the first period.
“Today we got out on them pretty quick, we were able to score those three goals in the first which turned out to be the difference,” Frost said.
In the second period, Cara Piazza added her fifth goal season on a breakaway to get the second short-handed goal of the game and move the score to 4-0.
The Gophers (9-4-1) let in two goals in the third period to get the Lakers (2-8-2) within two of the lead, but that was as close as they got. Zumwinkle put in an empty netter with 2:13 left in the game to seal the victory and the road nonconference sweep.
“We showed some really good resiliency when they came back and scored two in the third period and were able to get the empty netter to seal the win,” Frost said.