The University of Minnesota women’s hockey team completed their first season sweep of Wisconsin since the 1999-00 season with a 5-1 win in Madison, Wis. on Sunday. The victory goes down as senior Noora Raty’s 100th of her career and ties her with former Mercyhurst goaltender Hillary Pattenden for the NCAA record.
The Maroon & Gold snatched at 1-0 lead seven minutes into the first period when senior Becky Kortum intercepted a pass between two Badgers in the Wisconsin defensive zone. The Minnetonka, Minn. native then flung a shot top shelf past Alex Rigsby’s glove side for her 11th of the season.
Wisconsin would answer just over five minutes later as Madison Packer wrapped a power-play goal around a sprawled out Raty.
Before the end of the first, Minnesota reclaimed the lead on a special team goal of its own. Freshman Hannah Brandt controlled a rebound off a Megan Bozek shot and slipped it by Rigsby to go up, 2-1.
In the second, Kortum setup another goal for the Maroon & Gold as she carried the puck into the Wisconsin defensive zone and dished off to junior Kelly Terry. The Canadian native flicked the puck over the goaltender’s stick-side shoulder to light the lamp.
Terry’s goal was the only goal for either team in the period. The Gophers took a 3-1 lead into the second intermission and held a 23-14 shots on goal advantage.
The Badgers came out strong in the final period and challenged Raty the first few minutes. Accompanied by a defensive unit that blocked a number of shots, the Finnish native wasn’t fazed as she deflected all nine shots in the period. She recorded a total of 23 saves in the game while allowing just one goal.
It was then the Gopher defensemen who put the nail in the coffin as Rachel Ramsey and Megan Bozek each tallied a goal to reach the final score of 5-1.
The Maroon & Gold garner their first road sweep of Wisconsin since the 2003-04 season. They also extend their NCAA record winning streak to an unprecedented 34 games.
With the weekend sweep, Minnesota is now just one win away from clinching the WCHA regular season title. If they would garner that win this coming Friday against Minnesota Duluth, they will be the fastest team to clinch in WCHA history.
Friday’s game is slated to begin at 6 p.m. at Ridder Arena, and Saturday’s game against the Bulldogs will begin at 2:30 p.m. and be live on the Big Ten Network.