The University of Minnesota women's hockey team earned a series split with North Dakota with a 5-2 victory at Ridder Arena today. Junior Megan Bozek and sophomore Amanda Kessel each had four points in the game, each scoring a goal and adding three assists. Senior Sarah Erickson added two goals and an assist for three points in the game.
Minnesota had a wealth of power play opportunities in the opening period as Monique Weber was called for holding, then got a five-minute major penalty for checking from behind and was given a 10-minute game misconduct four minutes and three seconds into the game. Nine minutes into the period, Jocelyne Lamoureux and Monique Lamoureux-Kolls took penalties for cross checking and tripping, respectively, giving the Gophers two minutes with a five-on-three advantage. Minnesota was not able to capitalize on the power play chances, but got a goal from senior captain Sarah Erickson just after the power play expired. The goal was the 16th for Erickson this season. Amanda Kessel and Megan Bozek had assists on the goal.
The Gophers took a penalty with three and a half minutes left in the first period, and North Dakota tied up the score at 1-1 with a power play goal 17 minutes into the game. Jocelyne Lamoureux scored the goal, with assists from Kichelle Karvinen and Monique Lamoureux-Kolls. Minnesota would get one more power play chance in the opening period, but did not score. The teams went to the locker room with the score tied up 1-1. The Gophers finished the period with a 10-7 advantage in shots.
After successfully killing two penalties, the Gophers pulled ahead 2-1 on a goal by Amanda Kessel eight minutes into the second period. Megan Bozek had the assist on Kessel's goal. Just over two minutes later, Erickson scored her second goal of the game to give the Gophers a 3-1 lead. Kessel and Bozek had assists on the goal. Minnesota held onto the 3-1 lead heading into intermission. The Gophers tallied 12 shots in the first period, compared to seven for North Dakota.
Minnesota started the third period on the power play with 46 seconds remaining in Alyssa Wiebe's penalty for UND. Megan Bozek scored a quick power play goal to open the third period, finding the net just 19 seconds into play. Sarah Erickson and Amanda Kessel assisted on the goal that gave Minnesota a 4-1 lead. Becky Kortum got her second goal of the season, scoring seven minutes into the period to give the Gophers a 5-1 lead. Sarah Davis and Rachel Ramsey had assists on Kortum's goal. Josephine Jakobsen scored for UND with just under eight minutes remaining in the game, bringing the score to 5-2 where it would remain.
With 9.8 seconds remaining in the game, Minnesota senior goalie Alyssa Grogan was put into the net after missing the last 16 months due to a concussion injury. After the game, the team gave Grogan the maroon and gold hard hat, an honor given to the team's MVP of the game.
Gopher goalie Noora Raty earned the win, improving her record to 26-5-2 and setting a Minnesota record for wins by a goalie in a season. She surpassed her own record of 25, set last season. Raty had 21 saves in the game.
Attendance for the game was 2,157, marking the eighth consecutive home game with 1,200 or more fans in attendance at Ridder Arena. It was the third game this season with 2,000 or more in attendance.
With the win, the Gophers are now 27-5-2 overall and 21-5-2 in WCHA games, while North Dakota is now 20-10-3 and 16-9-3 in conference play.
Minnesota is next in action in the WCHA First Round, a best-of-three series. The Gophers will have home ice advantage and will host games Friday , Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 25 at 4 p.m.. If needed, a third game will be Sunday, Feb. 26 at 4 p.m. Tickets are available on gophersports.com