Powered by two Hannah Brandt goals, the University of Minnesota women's hockey team tied an NCAA record for consecutive wins with tonight's 3-0 victory over Minnesota State (4-7-2, 2-5-2 WCHA). The Gophers (13-0-0, 9-0-0 WCHA) have won 21 games in a row dating back to last season's win against North Dakota on Feb. 18.
Minnesota's first period of hockey since Nov. 3 ended in a scoreless tie. The Gophers held a 12-5 advantage in shots on goal during the period. Both Megan Bozek and Amanda Kessel hit the pipe.
Brandt put Minnesota on the scoreboard at 14:02 in the second period. Amanda Kessel, standing on the faceoff circle to the goalie's right, passed across the net to Brandt on the opposite post. Brandt slapped the puck in for her 13th goal of the season. Bozek was credited with the second assist.
Maryanne Menefee skated in for a goal to make it a 2-0 lead at 19:00. She was assisted by Bozek and Brandt. The Gophers controlled the second, outshooting the Mavericks 18-5 during the period.
Brandt added a second goal in the third. During a Gopher line change, Becky Kortum brought the puck around behind the net. Brandt, who was skating down toward the goal, backhanded Kortum's pass into the net. Rachel Bona had the second assist. This was Brandt's fourth multiple-goal game this season.
Noora Räty earned her 32nd career shutout. She made 24 saves, including an impressive one while lying on her back in the middle of the third period. The Gophers killed five penalties to preserve the shutout.
Tonight's record-tying win matches the 21-game mark set by Harvard between Jan. 4 and March 15, 2008. The Gophers could gain sole possession of the record tomorrow when they conclude the weekend series against the Mavericks. Saturday's game will start at 4:07 p.m. at Ridder Arena.