Mar. 9, 2013
Two second-period goals pushed the No. 1/1 University of Minnesota (38-0-0) women's hockey team past No. 7/8 North Dakota (26-10-1), 2-0, to claim the WCHA Final Face-Off trophy for the second year in a row. Minnesota will carry an NCAA-record 46-game winning streak into the NCAA quarterfinals next weekend.
The first period ended in a scoreless tie. North Dakota held a 7-1 advantage in shots on goal halfway through the period. The Gophers had several good centering passes, but their shots went wide. Minnesota put more shots on net by the end of the period, and North Dakota only had an 11-10 edge going into intermission.
Minnesota momentarily appeared to grab a 1-0 lead at 4:04 in the second. Mira Jalosuo fired a slap shot, which Kelly Terry deflected into the net. The officials ruled that it was off a high stick, and review confirmed the call.
The Gophers got on the scoreboard for good seconds later at 4:33. Megan Bozek scored her 20th goal of the season after Amanda Kessel and Milica McMillen set her up for a slap shot on the power play.
Maryanne Menefee made it 2-0 with an unassisted breakaway goal at 6:28. She put the puck over the goalie's right shoulder for her third goal of the weekend.
Tournament MVP Noora Raty made 30 saves to add to her NCAA records for wins (111), career shutouts (43) and single-season shutouts (17). Räty has shut out the Gophers' opponents in her last five games. North Dakota's Shelby Amsley-Benzie also turned in a solid performance, making 32 saves on the evening.
Menefee, Bozek and Hannah Brandt joined Räty on the all-tournament roster. The three skaters combined for six of Minnesota's seven goals on the weekend.
Minnesota will play in an NCAA Regional game next Saturday, March 16. The NCAA will announce the tournament bracket tomorrow at 5 p.m. CT.
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