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The women's ice hockey team was defeated in its regular season opener by Minnesota 5-3 on Friday at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. Freshman Kristi Kehoe registered her first collegiate goal and assist, while junior Cassie Sperry recorded two points as well. Lindsay Berman and Erin Reil also scored goals for the Huskies, while Erica McKenzie recorded a hat trick for the Golden Gophers.
Minnesota got off to a fast start in the game, scoring three goals in the first period. At 3:47 Rachael Drazan found the net with assists from Gigi Marvin and Anya Miller on the powerplay. The Golden Gophers followed it up two minutes later, this time at even strength, when Emily West was able to get a shot past Northeastern goaltender Sarah Belliveau to put the Gophers up 2-0. Marvin assisted on that play as well.
The Huskies began to chip away at the early Minnesota lead and took advantage of a powerplay in the 13th minute of play. Freshman Kristi Kehoe, who had earned assists on all three NU goals from last Saturday's 3-1, exhibition win over Mississauga, got her first career goal with help from Ginny Berg and Sperry. Minnesota responded once more before the end of the period when Erica McKenzie notched her first of three tallies in the game at 19:23. Bobbi Ross and Jen Schoullis assisted on the play that put the Gophers up 3-1.
Minnesota padded it's 3-1 lead early in the second period when McKenzie again was able to fire a shot past Belliveau for her second goal of the game, which would turn out to be the game-winner for the Golden Gophers. Rachel Drazan and Miller recorded the assists.
Despite the 4-1 lead, the Huskies would not go quietly. They poured the offense on in the third period, netting two goals to bring the game within reach. Six minutes into the third, sophomore Lindsay Berman earned her first goal of the season with assists from Kehoe and junior Missy Elumba. However, one minute later McKenzie gave the Gophers a little breathing room as she finished off her hat trick with help from Jen Schoullis and Melanie Gagnon to bring the score to 5-2.
The Huskies answered back thanks to a goal from assistant captain Erin Reil but were unable to overcome the four-goal defecit. Still, Keho and Sperry registered multiple point games, while Belliveau racked up 32 saves, a positive start for Northeastern.
The Huskies now stand at 0-1 on the season, and are 2-4-2 all-time against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Huskies return to action tomorrow as they face North Dakota at 2 p.m., in the second day of the Nike Bauer Women's Classic at Ridder Arena.