Gophers Rally Past Bulldogs in WCHA Semifinal
March 7, 2014
BEMIDJI, Minn. – The No. 1 Golden Gopher women's hockey team scored four unanswered goals, including three in the third period, to secure a 4-1 win over No. 4 seed Minnesota Duluth in the semifinal round of the 2014 WCHA Final Face-off at the Sanford Center Friday night.
Minnesota (35-1-1) rallied after falling behind 1-0 early in the second period to advance to the WCHA championship game for the 13th-straight year. The Gophers will face No. 3 seed North Dakota (20-11-4) in the 2014 title game.
"This was a great win for us to advance to tomorrow’s championship game," head coach Brad Frost said. "It wasn’t easy for us, Duluth played very well. They took away time and space and really made us do some things that are uncharacteristic of us. Luckily there was no damage done. We showed a lot of resiliency in the third period and we got the result we wanted."
Junior Rachael Bona (Coon Rapids, Minn.) scored the game-winning goal on the power play at the 7:47 mark of the third period after senior Kelly Terry (Whitby, Ont.) tied the game at 1-1 in the second period. Sophomore Milica McMillen (St. Paul, Minn.) and freshman Dani Cameranesi (Plymouth, Minn.) also scored in Minnesota's come-from-behind win.
Bona and Cameranesi each recorded a goal and an assist, and freshman Kate Schipper (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) had two assists to lead the Gophers.
Sophomore goaltender Amanda Leveille (Kingston, Ont.) made 21 saves as the Gophers outshot the Bulldogs, 36-22. UMD goaltender Kayla Black made 32 saves.
Minnesota Duluth (15-15-6) took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Katerina Mrazova at 7:30 of the second period after the teams skated to a scoreless first period. The Gophers responded with a goal by Terry at the 13:40 mark of the second frame. Cameranesi fired a shot on goal, and Terry buried the rebound from the end line by putting a backhanded shot past Black to even the score at 1-1.
The Gophers controlled the third period, outshooting Minnesota Duluth, 11-5. Bona netted her 21st goal of the season before McMillen fired a shot from the point at 14:05 of the period to give the Gophers the 3-1 lead. Cameranesi's goal with 50 seconds remaining sealed Minnesota's 35th victory of the season and extended the Gophers' NCAA-best unbeaten streak to 23 games (22-0-1).
Minnesota and North Dakota, winner of the first semifinal game with a 1-0 decision over No. 2 seed Wisconsin, face off in the 2014 WCHA Final Face-off championship game at 7:07 p.m. Saturday night. The winner earns the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.