For the third time in the last three games between these two teams, the final score was 5-4. In last season's series split, the Whitecaps dropped the September contest, before winning the meeting in January. On Friday night in Ridder Arena, it was the Gophers who came out on top 5-4.
The Whitecaps, in their new black jerseys, came out strong. Four minutes into the game, former Gopher Hannah Brandt scored on her old teammates by finishing on a great play by Kendall Coyne who battled to get the puck to the net. Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson also picked up an assist.
The Gophers answered back late in the first period to tie the game 1-1 on a Tianna Gunderson goal before the same combination of Brandt from Coyne and Lamoureux-Davidson made it 2-1 Whitecaps shortly after time expired on a power play early in the second period. Once again the Gophers answered before the end of the second period, as Dani Cameranesi beat Whitecaps goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie with under a minute left to even the game at two, heading into intermission.
The third period saw five goals scored - three from the Gophers and two by the Whitecaps. Brooke White-Lancette gave the Whitecaps their third lead of the game on a goal assisted by Amy Stech. But then the Gophers started rolling. A power play goal by the Gophers' Megan Wolfe, an even strength tally by Alex Woken, and another score by Kippin Keller put them up 5-3. With an extra attacker and a minute and a half left in the game, Monique Lamoureux-Morando pulled the Whitecaps to within one, but it wasn't enough as the Gophers ended up securing the 5-4 win.
The Whitecaps outshot the Gophers 13-8 in the first period, but the final shot totals favored the Gophers 34-30. The same two teams will face-off again on January 6th.
Box score is included below.