Kessel Notches Hat Trick, Minnesota Finishes First Half of Season 20-0
The University of Minnesota women's hockey team ended the 2012 portion of its season by setting another record with a sweep of Bemidji State. After Saturday's 5-0 win over the Beavers (3-13-2, 2-11-1 WCHA), the No. 1 Golden Gophers (20-0-0, 14-0-0 WCHA) now have the longest unbeaten streak in school history with 28 straight games without a loss. Junior Amanda Kessel netted a hat trick in the victory.
The Beavers notched the game's first three shots on goal, but the Gophers took the next 10 straight in the first period and took a 2-0 lead into the intermission. On a power play, Junior Kelly Terry passed from the corner to sophomore Rachel Ramsey at the point. Senior Mira Jalosuo was standing in front of the goalie and deflected Ramsey's one-time shot into the net at 17:12.
Junior Amanda Kessel scored the second goal at 19:20. Freshman Hannah Brandt passed behind the net to her, and she skated to the front of the net and backhanded the puck in. Brandt and senior Becky Kortum were credited with assists.
Kessel scored another backhand goal on a power play at 2:55 in the second. Freshman Lee Stecklein and sophomore Rachel Bona had the assists. In the third, Kortum added a goal, assisted by Bona and Sarah Davis, to make it 4-0.
Kessel completed the hat trick late in the third period, assisted by Brandt and Meghan Lorence. It was her second hat trick this season, and the seventh of her career.
Senior goalie Noora Räty earned her 34th career shutout, which puts her five short of tying former Wisconsin goalie Jessie Vetter's NCAA record. With 94 wins, Räty is six victories shy of tying former Mercyhurst goalie Hillary Pattenden's NCAA record of 100.
The Gophers' 28-game unbeaten streak stretches back to February of this year. The previous school-record streak was set from Feb. 14-Dec. 5, 2004 and included three ties. Minnesota's current streak is all wins.
After the season break, the Gophers will take on North Dakota on January 11 and 12 at Ridder Arena.