BEMIDJI -- Grace Zumwinkle posted a hat trick for No. 4 Minnesota in a 6-1 victory over the Bemidji State women’s hockey team on Friday night at the Sanford Center.

Goaltender Lauren Bench made her return to Bemidji and totaled 15 saves to earn the win for the Gophers (10-7-1). The former Beaver joined the U of M as a graduate transfer prior to this season.

Taylor Nelson buried the lone goal for the Beavers (2-13-2) in the second period, marking the second career goal for the freshman. Clair DeGeorge and Khloe Lund picked up assists on the play, signifying the first collegiate point for Lund.

BSU netminder Kerigan Dowhy recorded 15 saves on 20 shots over the first 40 minutes. Lexi Baker entered for the third period and made five saves on six shots.

Minnesota scored three times in the first 8:37 of the game. Zumwinkle struck in all three periods en route to her third career hat trick, and she also added an assist. Abbey Murphy registered three points from a goal and two helpers.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

The teams will square off again Saturday at 3:07 p.m. in what will be the regular season finale for the Gophers. Bemidji State is scheduled to close the regular season next weekend with a home series against St. Cloud State.

No. 4 Minnesota 6, Bemidji State 1

UM 3 2 1 -- 6

BSU 0 1 0 -- 1

First period -- 1, UM, Hengler (Wethington, Wente), 2:01; 2, UM, Zumwinkle (Murphy), 6:25; 3, UM, Boreen (Oden), 8:37.

Second period -- 4, UM, Murphy (Brown, Zumwinkle), 3:58; 5, BSU, Nelson (DeGeorge, Lund), 16:34; 6, UM, Zumwinkle (Heise, Knowles), 17:54.

Third period -- 7, Zumwinkle (Murphy, Knowles), 12:59.

Goalies (saves-shots) -- BSU, Dowhy (15-20), Baker (5-6); UM, Bench (15-16).