After winning the WCHA Final Face-off title and earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship, the Gophers earned the No. 2 seed in the national tournament. Minnesota will host North Dakota in a quarterfinal game on Saturday, March 10 at 4 p.m. at Ridder Arena.
Ticket prices range from $5-10 and are available by phone at 1-800-U-Gopher or 612-624-8080, or online at www.mygophersports.com.
Gophersports.com will carry a free radio broadcast and live blog for both games this weekend. There will also be a free video webcast.
Minnesota is listed at No. 2 in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national polls. Minnesota is just one point below Wisconsin in the USCHO.com poll, and garnered seven first-place votes to Wisconsin's eight. North Dakota is ranked No. 5 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, and No. 6 in the USCHO.com poll.
The Gophers in the NCAA Championship
Minnesota is making its tenth appearance in the 12-year history of the NCAA Championship, and has qualified for the tournament for a fifth-straight season. The Gophers have a 9-8-1 overall record in the NCAA Tournament, with a 4-1 record in NCAA quarterfinal games. The NCAA first included quarterfinal games in 2005 after expanding the tournament field to eight teams.
Minnesota won NCAA Championship titles in back-to-back seasons in 2004 and 2005. A WCHA team has won each of the 12 NCAA titles as Minnesota, Wisconsin and Minnesota Duluth are the only three teams to ever win an NCAA Championship.
Minnesota has allowed the fewest goals allowed among NCAA Championship qualifying teams, allowing just 50 goals on the season.
Minnesota leads the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 1.32 goals per game this season. North Dakota has allowed 89 goals allowed this season, and ranks 20th nationally in scoring defense, giving up an average of 2.67 goals per game.
Minnesota scored one power play goals against UMD last weekend, giving the team a 25.0 percent power play efficiency for the season (145-180). The Gophers rank first in the WCHA and second nationally in power play efficiency.
The Gophers are second nationally on the penalty kill, successfully killing 134 of 151 penalties this season (88.7 percent). The Gophers have not given up a power play goal in the postseason.
Both Amanda Kessel and Jen Schoullis are among the nation's top scorers this season. Kessel leads the Gophers in points with 74, and ranks fifth nationally with 1.95 points per game. She ranks fourth nationally in assists per game with 1.18. Schoullis is 13th nationally in points per game (1.65) and is tied for seventh nationally in power play goals with 10 this season.
Raty Sets School Records
With two wins at the WCHA Final Face-off last weekend, junior goalie Noora Räty reached 30 wins for the season, the school record for wins in a season. Jody Horak is in second place in the record book with 24 wins in the 2004-05 season.
Räty set the school record for career shutouts when she got her 22nd at St. Cloud State on Feb. 4. She had since added four shutouts, and currently has 26 in her career and eight this season.
West and Schoullis Break Into Top 10
Seniors Jen Schoullis and Emily West each have 153 career points, and are tied for 10th place on Minnesota's all-time top scorers list. West entered the WCHA Final Face-off with 148 career points and added three goals and two assists to reach 153. Schoullis went into the weekend with 151 career points and added a goal and an assist. The players moved past Bobbi Ross for 10th place on the list. Ross tallied 152 goals in her career than spanned from 2004 to 2008.
Schleper Moves Up in Record Books
Senior defenseman Anne Schleper had an assist on Bethany Brausen's goal the game against SCSU (2/24), giving her 113 career points. She moved ahead of Courtney Kennedy for second place on Minnesota's all-time list for points by a defenseman. Kennedy (1998-2001) had 112 career points. The school record for points by a defenseman is 134 by Winny Brodt (1998-2003).
After last weekend's games, Schleper has played in 155 career games, and is tied for first place on Minneosta's list for most career games played.
Minnesota has three defensemen who rank in the top 20 nationally in scoring by defensemen. Junior defenseman Megan Bozek ranks second nationally in scoring by defensemen with 41 points on the season. In first place is North Dakota's Monique Lamoureux-Kolls, who has also played at forward this season. Senior Anne Schleper ranks 13th nationally in scoring by defensemen with 27 points, while rookie Rachel Ramsey is 20th nationally with 24 points.
Bozek in the Record Books
After adding two points in the WCHA Final Face-off, Megan Bozek has 88 career points and ranks fourth on the Minnesota all-time scoring list for defensemen.
Bozek also scored her 26th career goal last weekend and ranks fourth in Gopher history in goals by a defenseman.
About North Dakota
North Dakota has qualified for its first NCAA CHampionships with an at-large big. UND has a record of 22-11-3 and finished third in the WCHA.
Jocelyne Lamoureux is the leading scorer for UND this season with 34 goals and 48 assists for 82 points. She is also the top scorer in the nation. Monique Lamoureux-Kolls has 26 goals and 44 assists for 70 points to rank second on the team and fifth nationally. Stephanie Ney is the top goaltender for North Dakota, playing 22 games with a goals against average of 2.77.
The Series against North Dakota
Minnesota holds a 32-5 all-time record against North Dakota, and a 3-2 record against UND this season. In Grand Forks in December, the Gophers won the first game by a 7-2 margin, but lost 3-0 in the second game of the series. The 3-0 loss on Dec. 3 is the only shutout loss for the Gophers this season.
In Minneapolis Feb. 17-18, North Dakota won on Friday night by a 2-1 margin in overtime, Minnesota came back to win on Saturday by a score of 5-2.
Minnesota defeated North Dakota 6-0 in last Friday's WCHA semifinal game. Minnesota and North Dakota will be meeting for the fourth game in four weeks.
Home Sweet Home
The Gophers are 17-1-2 at home in Ridder Arena this season, including a perfect 12-0-0 mark in the first half of the season. Minnesota is 14-4 on the road this season.
Fans in the Stands
The Gophers had a weekend attendance of 5,220 against Wisconsin Jan. 6-7, with 2,554 fans at Ridder for Friday's game and 2,666 fans in attendance on Saturday. Both figures rank among the top 10 all-time attendance numbers for Ridder Arena. Against North Dakota on Feb. 18, Minnesota had its third game with more than 2,000 in attendance with a crowd of 2,157.
The Gophers have an average home attendance of 1,359 this season, up 50.3 percent from the attendance average of 838 last season. This season, the Gophers have had seven home games with crowds of 1,500 and over. Minnesota did not draw any crowds of 1,500-plus last season.
Five Gophers have scored hat tricks this season, sophomores Amanda Kessel, Sarah Davis and Kelly Terry, and seniors Jen Schoullis and Emily West.
Sarah Davis had three goals against UND in the WCHA semifinals to mark her first career hat trick. Emily West had three goals in the Jan. 27 game at Minnesota State, marking the first hat trick of her career. West scored the Gophers' final three goals of the game to give her team a 6-3 victory. Kelly Terry got her first career hat trick at Harvard, scoring three goals in the first period. It was the second multiple-goal game for Terry as she had two goals against St. Cloud State on Oct. 8. Jen Schoullis had her first hat trick at Bemidji State on Oct. 28. Amanda Kessel has four hat tricks this season. She recorded two hat tricks against New Hampshire Nov. 18-19, marking the first time since 2004 that a Gopher player had two hat tricks in a weekend.
Coaching the Gophers
Brad Frost is in his fifth season as the Golden Gophers' head coach, and his 12th season overall with the Minnesota program. Frost started as an assistant coach in the 2000-01 season and was elevated to associate head coach following the 2005-06 season. He was named the interim head coach in summer of 2007, and was officially named the head coach of the Gophers following the 2007-08 campaign. Frost holds a career record of 142-36-16 (.773).
If the Gophers win against North Dakota, they will advance to the NCAA Frozen Four, held at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minn., March 16-18.