For much of the season, Minnesota has struggled to find offense beyond its top line, but the second line broke out in a big way as the No. 5 Gophers defeated North Dakota, 6-2.
“They’re so lethal,” UND coach Brian Idalski said. “Finished off a couple of nice plays, and we’re playing from behind again.”
Center Taylor Williamson and right wing Caitlin Reilly each netted a pair of goals, and left wing Cara Piazza added a goal with two assists.
“It’s amazing their depth,” Idalski said. “Even with two kids who are national-team caliber players out of the lineup.”
Minnesota (23-5-3, 19-4-3-2 WCHA) pulled out to a 5-0 lead after two periods.
“It was definitely a super fun one,” Williamson said. “We’re all working super hard. It’s just nice to see it finally come together, especially at this perfect time right before playoffs.”
The Fighting Hawks (13-13-6, 10-11-5-3 WCHA) were able to click on a couple of power plays in the final period on point shots by Halli Krzyzaniak and Anna Kilponen, two of the three goals that they scored with the advantage in the series.
Reilly answered the second within a minute for the final margin.
“We have such good chemistry,” she said. “We know where each other are, as long as we’re having fun with it and keeping lots of pressure on the puck, making sure we have a good F-three. Do those things right, and then, we get rewarded.”
Sophomore Sarah Potomak also scored, giving her 100 points as a Gopher.
“We didn’t collapse or pick people up there, but you’ve got to tip your hat to them,” Idalski said. “They made plays and finished off plays. I thought we were chance for chance early. The difference was we didn’t finish that off, they did.”
UND plays host to Ohio State to finish off its regular season.
Minnesota heads into its senior weekend versus Wisconsin after completing the sweep in front of 2,733 fans.
“A really, really fun atmosphere — fun on the bench,” coach Brad Frost said. “Just a lot of good efforts by the whole group in regards to blocking shots, making saves, and putting the puck in the net.”