Gophers Victorious in Home Opener Against St. Cloud State
The Maroon and Gold took down St. Cloud State 2-1 on Oct. 17, their first home game of the 2023-24 season. The Gopher newcomers had a profound impact on Tuesday night, with freshmen linemates Ava Lindsay and Emma Kreisz adding one and two points, respectively. A. Lindsay found the back of the net for the first Minnesota goal, which was assisted by Kreisz. Fifth-year senior Taylor Stewart scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal, her first time lighting the lamp for the Gophers.
Scouting the Buckeyes
The Buckeyes are off to a hot start in 2022-23 after being ranked No. 2 in the USCHO preseason poll. Ohio State sits with a record of 5-1-0 before their matchup with Minnesota, winning their first four WCHA contests of the season. The Buckeyes’ only loss came in the opening game of the season, in which they fell to Colgate, which is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation. Senior goaltender Raygan Kirk has been stout between the pipes thus far, earning WCHA Goaltender of the Week honors twice, after a 6-2 win over Colgate and following her shutout of Cornell. Ohio State has significant contributors up and down the roster, with four players scoring three or more goals this season. They also have six players that have recorded at least five points so far, including Hannah Bilka, who’s scored four goals and added six assists in six games.
The Maroon and Gold have had various players make an impact in their first five games of the season. Redshirt junior Abbey Murphy has led the scoring charge, scoring seven goals in five games to start the season. Junior Ella Huber has registered seven points in the first five games (3g, 4a). Freshman Ava Lindsay has scored twice in five games, stepping up on the Gophers’ offensive attack. Fellow freshman Emma Kreisz has scored one goal and added three assists this season. A. Lindsay and Kreisz, partners on Minnesota’s third line, have flashed tremendous chemistry in their first year with the Gophers.
Goaltenders Skylar Vetter and Lucy Morgan have allowed just two combined goals this season, with Vetter notching a shutout on Oct. 6 (17 saves) and Morgan shutting out St. Thomas on Oct. 14 (16 saves) for her first shutout as a Gopher.
Experience on Defense
The Gophers have three fifth-year seniors in their defensive group, with Madeline Wethington, Solveig Neunzert, and Taylor Stewart anchoring Minnesota’s back line thus far in 2023-24. The trio has aided the Maroon and Gold’s success that has limited their opponents to just two goals through five contests.