NCAA Quest Begins with 2013 Rematch
March 12, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS – No. 1 Minnesota (36-1-1) is set to host No. 9 Boston University (24-12-1) in the quarterfinal round of the 2014 National Collegiate Women's Ice Hockey Championship this weekend. Puck drop is set for 4:07 p.m. CT on Saturday at Ridder Arena.
The Gophers are the top seed in the 2014 NCAA postseason and advanced to the national tournament after earning the Western Collegiate Hockey Association's automatic bid as WCHA Final Face-off champions. Minnesota is making its 12th appearance in the NCAA postseason and has qualified for the tournament for the seventh consecutive year. The Gophers enter the 2014 championship as back-to-back national champions and are on a 24-game unbeaten streak (23-0-1).
ABOUT THE SERIES: GOPHERS VS. TERRIERS
The NCAA quarterfinal meeting between the Gophers and Terriers is a rematch of the 2013 national championship game, which the Gophers won 6-3 to claim their second-straight national title. Minnesota is 2-0-0 all-time against Boston University.
This season, the Gophers and Terriers faced four common opponents: Yale, St. Cloud State, Wisconsin and Minnesota Duluth. Minnesota went 17-0-0 against the four teams, while BU was 4-1-0, defeating Yale (2-1), St. Cloud State (2-0) and Minnesota Duluth (6-5, 4-2) and falling to Wisconsin (5-0).
GOPHERS VS. THE NCAA FIELD
Minnesota is 4-0-0 against the NCAA tournament field this season as No. 4 seed Wisconsin is the only opponent the Gophers have faced in 2013-14. Along with the WCHA’s Gophers and Badgers, the rest of the NCAA field includes No. 2 seed Cornell, No. 3 seed Clarkson, Harvard, Boston College, Mercyhurst and Boston University.
MINNESOTA IN THE NCAA POSTSEASON
The Gophers enter the NCAA postseason with a 15-8-1 (.646) all-time mark in the NCAA tournament, including five national titles (2000, 2004, 2005, 2012 and 2013). Minnesota is 6-2 in the quarterfinal round, which was implemented in 2004-05.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Boston University (24-12-1) earned Hockey East’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament with a 3-2 win over Boston College for its third-straight Hockey East title last weekend. Senior goaltender Kerrin Sperry was named the Hockey East Tournament MVP, making 82 saves on the weekend. The Terriers defeated Northeastern, 3-2, in the semifinal round to advance to the championship game against BC.
The Terriers are making their fifth-straight and fifth overall appearance in the NCAA tournament. They are 4-4 all-time in the tournament and have advanced to the Frozen Four twice (2011 and 2013).
BU is led by sophomore Sarah Lefort’s 54 points (31g-23a); she enters the NCAA postseason as the national leader with 31 goals. Senior Louise Warren (27g-19a), senior Kaleigh Fratkin (4g-26a), freshman Maddie Elia (13g-15a) and freshman Samantha Sutherland (5g-19a) round out the Terriers’ top-five scorers. Boston University averages 3.03 goals per game.
Sperry is the Terriers’ top goaltender. She ranks 15th in the nation with a .928 save percentage. The senior has a 2.41 goals against average with a 21-10-1 record. BU’s defense ranks 18th in the NCAA, allowing 2.54 goals per game in 37 games.
WEEKEND REWIND: GOPHERS WIN WCHA FINAL FACE-OFF
Minnesota won its sixth WCHA Final Face-off title with a 3-1 win over No. 3 seed North Dakota in the league championship game last Saturday. The Gophers scored two power-play goals in the second period and added an empty-netter in the final 90 seconds to secure a 3-1 win over UND and claim their third-straight WCHA postseason championship. Minnesota defeated Minnesota Duluth, 4-1, in the semifinal round to advance to its 13th-straight WCHA title game.
Dani Cameranesi led the Gophers with four points in the WCHA Final Face-off, recording two points (1g-1a) in each game, and Rachael Bona recorded three points (1g-2a). Amanda Leveille combined for 41 saves in the two games for a .953 save percentage. Rachel Ramsey (1g-1a) was named the WCHA Final Face-off Most Valuable Player and joined Cameranesi, Leveille and Kelly Terry (1g-1a) on the all-tournament team.
The Gophers defeated the Badgers, 4-0, in front of an NCAA-women’s hockey record 13,573 fans at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis., in Wisconsin’s “Fill the Bowl” game on Feb. 15. Likewise, North Dakota hosted a “Fill the Bowl” game and set a new UND women’s hockey attendance record at 5,835 in Minnesota’s 5-1 win in Grand Forks, N.D., Jan. 31.
Minnesota leads the nation in attendance at 75,322 fans in 38 games this season for a 1,982 average. In 18 home games, the Gophers average 2,382 fans per game. This season marks the first time in program history that Minnesota has averaged over 2,000 fans per game at Ridder Arena.
GOPHERS ON THE POWER PLAY
Minnesota’s power play leads the nation at 32.9 percent (49/149) led by Dani Cameranesi, who is tied for second in the nation with eight power-play goals.
TWO GOPHERS REACH 50-POINT MARK
Two Gophers have surpassed the 50-point mark this season in national points leader Hannah Brandt (22g-40a) and Rachael Bona (21g-37a). Sarah Davis (19g-28a), Kelly Terry (18g-28a) and Rachel Ramsey (11g-29a) have reached the 40-point mark for the first time in their careers as well. Fourteen Gophers are in double-digits for scoring, including nine players with at least 30 points.
ROAD WINNING STREAK CONTINUES
Minnesota’s NCAA-record road winning streak currently sits at 44 games. The streak dates back to a 3-0 win over Minnesota Duluth on Jan. 14, 2012. Including neutral games, Minnesota has 49-consecutive victories when playing away from Ridder Arena spanning over the last two years.
FROST RECORDS WIN NO. 200
Head coach Brad Frost earned his 200th career wins as Minnesota’s head coach on Nov. 23, 2013 with a 5-1 win over Yale. Frost entered the 2013-14 season with a career mark of 186-36-16 in six seasons at the helm of the Gopher women’s hockey program. Frost’s career record currently stands at 222-37-17 (.835).
The Gophers enter the 2014 NCAA postseason on a 24-game unbeaten streak (23-0-1). Minnesota is 85-1-1 in their last 87 games, dating back to the start of the team's NCAA-record 62-game winning streak (Feb. 18, 2012 through Nov. 16, 2013). The Gophers are a combined 94-3-3 in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 calendar years.
ROOKIE SCORING LEADERS
GOPHERS RANK AMONG WCHA, NATIONAL STATISTICAL LEADERS
Hannah Brandt (22g-40a) is the national leader with 62 points, 40 assists and 1.05 assists per game. Meanwhile, Rachael Bona (21g-37a) is second in the nation with 37 assists and 0.97 assists per game; she ranks third in the nation with 58 points and fourth with 1.53 points per game. Five Gophers are among the nation’s top 20 in goals per game: Brandt (11th with 0.58 goals per game), Megan Lorence (14th with 0.56), Bona (16th with 0.55) and Sarah Davis and Dani Cameranesi (tied for 19th with 0.50).
Sophomore goaltender Amanda Leveille leads the nation with a .950 save percentage and ranks second in the nation with a 1.07 goals against average and 13 shutouts. She leads the nation with a .961 winning percentage (36-1-1) as well.
The Gophers lead the nation with a +3.71 scoring margin, led by the NCAA’s top offense averaging 4.76 goals per game and the nation’s top defense allowing 1.05 goals per game in 38 games.
MINNESOTA REMAINS UNANIMOUS NO. 1
The Golden Gophers remained the unanimous No. 1 in both the USCHO.com and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national polls this week. Minnesota has been No. 1 in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national polls since the final poll of the 2011-12 season (March 19-20, 2012). This stretch includes 46-straight USCHO.com polls and 49-straight USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.
MINNESOTA ADDS FOUR FRESHMEN FOR 2014-15
Head coach Brad Frost and the University of Minnesota women’s hockey program have announced the addition of four student-athletes for the 2014-15 season. Defenseman Sydney Baldwin (Minnetonka, Minn.), forward Kelly Pannek (Plymouth, Minn.), forward Cara Piazza (Darian, Ill.) and forward Nina Rodgers (Minnetonka, Minn.) have signed with the Golden Gophers and will join the team in the fall of 2014. Baldwin recently was named the 2014 Minnesota Ms. Hockey award winner; Pannek and Rodgers were top-five finalists as well.
ON THE HORIZON