This Weekend Minnesota will take on Cornell in the semifinals at the NCAA Frozen Four on Friday evening at 8 p.m. This year's Frozen Four is being hosted by Minnesota Duluth at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minn.
If Minnesota advances to the championship game, the Gophers will take on the winner of the earlier semifinal game, either Boston College or Wisconsin. The championship game will be played on Sunday, March 18 at 3 p.m.
Tickets are available for purchase on ncaa.com/tickets. Prices for all-session tickets (three games) range from $25-35.
See what the Gophers had to say about their Frozen Four trip!
Follow Online Gophersports.com will carry a free radio broadcast and live blog for both games this weekend. A video webcast will be available for free on NCAA.com.
The Gophers in the NCAA Championship Minnesota is making its tenth appearance in the 12-year history of the NCAA Championship, and qualified for the tournament for a fifth-straight season. The Gophers have a 9-8-1 overall record in the NCAA Tournament, and have advanced to the Frozen Four eight times. Minnesota has played in the NCAA championship game three times (2004, 2005 and 2006).
The Gophers last appeared in the NCAA Frozen Four in 2010, where they lost to Minnesota Duluth in the semifinals.
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.
The Tournament Field All four of the NCAA Championship's seeded teams have advanced to the Frozen Four. Wisconsin, the No. 1 seed, defeated Mercyhurst 3-1 in Madison, Wis., last weekend to earn its second-straight trip to the Frozen Four. No. 2 seed Minnesota won 5-1 against North Dakota in Minneapolis to earn a spot in the Frozen Four after missing out last season. Third seed Cornell earned an 8-7 victory over Boston University in the last seconds of the third overtime period for its third consecutive trip to the Frozen Four. Boston College defeated St. Lawrence 6-3 to earn its second-straight Frozen Four berth.
Strong Defense Minnesota has allowed just 51 goals on the season, the lowest among NCAA Championship qualifying teams, and is tied for the fewest in the nation (Northeastern has also allowed 51). Minnesota leads the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 1.31 goals per game this season.
Wisconsin ranks second nationally in scoring defense, with 1.42 goals allowed per game this season, for a total of 54 goals allowed. Cornell ranks fourth with 58 goals allowed (1.71 per game), and Boston College ranks ninth with 73 goals allowed (2.03 per game).
Potent Offense Minnesota has scored more goals than any other team in the nation this season, 174. Cornell is tops in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 4.71 goals per game (160 goals total). Wisconsin is ranks second with 4.55 goals per game (173 total), and Minnesota is third at 4.46 goals per game. Boston College ranks 14th in scoring offense with 2.97 goals per game and 107 for the season.
Special Teams Minnesota scored one power play goal against North Dakota last weekend, giving the team a 24.7 percent power play efficiency for the season (146-187). The Gophers rank third nationally in power play effeciency, behind Mercyhurst and Cornell.
The Gophers are tied for third nationally on the penalty kill, successfully killing 139 of 157 penalties this season (88.5 percent). The Gophers have not given up a power play goal in the postseason, and scored one shorthanded goal in the game against North Dakota last Saturday.
Top Scorers 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 fourth nationally with 1.95 points per game. Kessel ranks fifth nationally in assists per game with 1.18. Schoullis is 13th nationally in points per game (1.66) and is tied for seventh nationally in power play goals with 10 this season.
In the Net Junior goaltender Noora Räty leads the nation in goals against average at 1.34, and leads the nation with 10 shutouts this season. She ranks third nationally in save percentage at 94.1 percent. Räty has allowed just two goals in her team's five postseason games this season, and three of her 10 shutouts have come in postseason play. The goal Räty gave up against North Dakota last weekend was in a six-on-three situation with two Gopher players in the penalty box and UND's goalie pulled for an extra skater.
With the win agaisnt North Dakota last weekend, Räty reached 31 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 10 this season.
West, Schoullis and Erickson Break Into Top 10 Seniors Jen Schoullis and Emily West each have 155 career points, and are tied for 10th place on Minnesota's all-time top scorers list. Both players came into the NCAA Tournament with 153 career points, and each scored a goal and an assist against North Dakota to reach 155 career points.
Senior Sarah Erickson and Emily West each rank among the all-time top 10 goal scorers for Minnesota. Erickson cracked the top 10 with her 67th career goal last Saturday, and is tied with LaToya Clarke (2000-04) for 10th place on the all-time list. West ranks seventh all time with 80 career goals.
Offensive Defensemen Minnesota has three defensemen who rank in the top 25 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 also played at forward this season.
Senior Anne Schleper ranks 14th nationally in scoring by defensemen with 27 points, while rookie Rachel Ramsey is 21st nationally with 24 points.
Schleper Moves Up in Record Books Senior defenseman Anne Schleper has 113 career points, and 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 game, Schleper has played in 157 career games, and owns the school record for career games played.
Bozek in the Record Books Junior defenseman Megan Bozek has 88 career points and ranks fourth on the Minnesota all-time scoring list for defensemen. Bozek also has 26 career goals and ranks fourth in Gopher history in goals by a defenseman.
About Cornell Cornell is making its third consecutive trip to the Frozen Four after an 8-7 win in triple overtime against Boston University. Cornell is 30-4 this season, and compiled a 20-2 record in ECAC play. The Big Red won the ECAC regular season championship, but lsot 3-1 against St. Lawrence in the ECAC tournament semifinals.
Rebecca Johnston leads Cornell in scoring with 61 points (30-31-61). Brianne Jenner has 57 points on the season (20-37-57), while Jillian Saulnier has 51 points (22-29-51).
Lauren Slebodnick and Amanda Mazzotta split time in the net for the Big Red this season, playing 17 and 20 games, respectively. Slebodnick has a 1.45 GAA and 92.4 save percentage, while Mazzotta has a 1.73 GAA and 92.1 save percentage.
Cornell alum Doug Derraugh is in his 7th season as the head coach of the Big Red, and has a career record of 119-88-16 (.570).
The Series against Cornell Minnesota and Cornell will face off for just the fourth time in history. The last meeting between the teams was in the 1998-99 season, as Minnesota hosted Cornell in a two- game series at Mariucci Arena. The Gophers won both games, winning 6-1 on Feb. 5 and 5-0 on Feb. 6. The only other meeting between the teams was in the Gophers' inaugural season. The teams met in a Thanksgiving tournament at Princeton, with Minnesota winning 3-2 on Nov. 30, 1997.
Home Sweet Home The Gophers are 18-1-2 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 1,308 this season, up 50.6 percent from the attendance average of 838 last season. This season, the Gophers had eight home games with crowds of 1,500 and over. Minnesota did not draw any crowds of 1,500-plus last season.
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 143-36-16 (.774).