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Michela Cava scores twice, Minnesota bursts past New York, 5-1

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Michela Cava scored twice and Minnesota moved into sole possession of first place, handing New York its sixth straight loss, 5-1 on Saturday afternoon.

The Professional Women's Hockey League designated Saturday “Goalie Appreciation Day," and while Minnesota held goalie-themed activities during both intermissions, it used the occasion to pepper New York net minder Corinne Schroeder with 40 shots while setting a first-year club mark for most goals scored in a single game.

But it wasn't just the five goals that made a statement. Minnesota (8-3-3-4) scored its first two goals in the first period just 63 seconds apart. Then, as if to show it could do it again only faster, it scored two more in the third period just 16 seconds apart.

Minnesota's top line, Cava, Kendall Coyne Schofield and Taylor Heise did most of the damage, scoring three goals with two assists

Cava scored to start each burst of goals. She beat Schroeder at the 8:32 mark of the first period and Grace Zumwinke followed a minute later to make it 2-0 after one period.

Claire Butorac collected her first goal of the season at the 9:13 mark of the second period to make it 3-0, but New York got a power play goal by Abby Roque late in the period and appeared to be gaining some offensive traction as the third period got underway.

Cava changed the momentum, beating Schroeder cleanly for her third goal in her last two games, and before the goal could be announced, Schofield did the same.

Schofield and Zumwinkle each finished with a goal and an assist and Heise had two assists.

Minnesota's Maddie Rooney did give the home team plenty to appreciate, turning away 20 of the 21 shots she faced to collect a win for the third time in her last four starts and her fifth in eight starts this season.

Minnesota is in first place with 33 points, three more than Toronto and Montreal. Two of its next three games are with Montreal.

New York (2-4-3-8) got its last win, a 3-2 shootout victory over Montreal, on February 21st and is in last place with 17 points, three behind Ottawa and Boston.

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AP hockey: https://apnews.com/hub/hockey