Golden Gophers Women’s Hockey sweeps aside Minnesota-Duluth 5-1 in Final Faceoff

MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) – The Golden Gophers Women’s Hockey team kicked off its postseason on Saturday in the WCHA Final Faceoff tournament, and the first game was a battle for state bragging rights, pitting Minnesota against Minnesota-Duluth at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.

The top-seeded Gophers and No. 8 Bulldogs split their games during the regular season, with each team winning two, so a lot was on the line at puck drop in the semi-final for players on both sides of the in-state rivalry.

"Being the best Minnesota team, that’s a big thing," fan Tanner Payne said. Payne was at the game to support his girlfriend: Gabby Krause of the Bulldogs.

For Minnesota Whitecaps general manager and co-head coach Jack Brodt, the draw to Saturday’s game was both personal and professional.

"I’m scouting some of the players for next year’s draft and my two granddaughters both play for the Gophers," Brodt said.

Brodt figures between the two teams, just under half of the players on the ice have a future playing professionally. Maybe none more than Gophers senior Taylor Heise, who is widely seen as the best player in the country this year. "She’s right up there as one of the best players I’ve seen over the years," fan Charlie Rose told FOX 9.

Rose had been looking forward to Saturday’s game for a month, as well as what comes after it, "I’m looking forward to another championship banner," he finished.

After 60 minutes, the Gophers booked their ticket to the championship, sweeping aside the Bulldogs by a score of 5-1.