|2016 NCAA Women's Frozen Four|
|Semifinal One||Friday, March 18 | 3 p.m. CT | Clarkson vs. Boston College|
|Semifinal Two||Friday, March 18 | 6 p.m. CT | Minnesota vs. Wisconsin|
|Championship||Sunday, March 20 | 1 p.m. CT | Semifinal Winners|
|Location||Whittemore Center Arena | Durham, N.H.|
|Semifinal Coverage||Game Day Live | NCAA.com Video | Free Audio | Live Stats|
|Championship Coverage||Game Day Live | NCAA.com Video | Free Audio | Live Stats|
|Official Sites||Minnesota | Wisconsin | Clarkson | Boston College|
|Social Media||@GopherWHockey | Facebook | Instagram|
March 14, 2016
MINNEAPOLIS - Defending national champion Minnesota (33-4-1) is making its fifth-straight NCAA Frozen Four appearance this week. The No. 3 seed Gophers face No. 2 seed Wisconsin (35-3-1) in the national semifinal round for the third-straight year with game time set for 6 p.m. CT Friday at the Whittemore Center Arena in Durham, N.H.
Top-seeded Boston College (39-0-0) and Clarkson (30-4-5) meet in Friday's first semifinal at 3 p.m. CT, and the semifinal winners meet in the national championship game at 1 p.m. CT Sunday. Tickets for all three games are on sale now online via Ticketmaster.com, by calling (603) 862-4000 or in person at the Whittemore Center Box Office.
Frozen Four Coverage
All three games will be streamed live at NCAA.com for free, and free audio and live stats will be available at GopherSports.com. The 2016 national championship game is scheduled to air on tape-delay on CBS Networks next Sunday, March 27 as well.
About the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four Field
No. 3 seed Minnesota (33-4-1) punched its ticket to the Frozen Four with a 6-2 win over Princeton in the quarterfinal round. The Gophers join Boston College (39-0-0), Wisconsin (35-3-1), and Clarkson (30-4-5) to make up this year's Frozen Four field.
Boston College advanced to the Frozen Four after knocking off Northeastern, 5-1, in the quarterfinal round, and Clarkson upset No. 4 seed Quinnipiac by a score of 1-0. The Badgers defeated Mercyhurst, 6-0, to round out the Frozen Four field. Minnesota and Clarkson were both chosen as at-large selections into this year's NCAA tournament while Boston College (Hockey East) and Wisconsin (WCHA) advanced as postseason conference tournament winners.
National Title Defense Continues
The Gophers continue their quest for the program's seventh national title and look for back-to-back titles for the third time in program history after winning consecutive titles in 2004 and 2005 and again in 2012 and 2013. Minnesota looks to advance to its fifth-straight national championship game, having won three of the last four national titles.
This year's NCAA tournament berth marks the program's 14th appearance in the NCAA postseason since 2002, and the Gophers have qualified for the tournament for the ninth consecutive year. The Gophers enter the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four with a 12-1-0 record in NCAA games since 2012 and a 21-9-1 record in the NCAA tournament since 2002.
Last Time Out: Gophers Top Tigers to Advance to Frozen Four
Minnesota advanced on to its 12th NCAA Frozen Four after defeating Princeton, 6-2, in the NCAA quarterfinal round. Amanda Kessel (3g-1a) and Hannah Brandt (1g-2a) led the Gophers, and Sarah Potomak (1g-1a) and Dani Cameranesi also scored goals. Lee Stecklein and Kelsey Cline each added a pair of assists, and Amanda Leveille made 25 saves as the Gophers outshot the Tigers, 43-27. The Gophers were two-for-two on the power play and Kessel's hat trick included a shorthanded goal as Minnesota held Princeton scoreless on two power-play opportunities.
About the Series: Minnesota vs. Wisconsin
Border rivals Minnesota and Wisconsin meet for the sixth time this season in Friday's semifinal game, and this year marks the third-straight national semifinal meeting between the familiar foes. The Gophers are 2-3-0 against the Badgers this season with both teams sweeping regular-season series on their home ice. The teams last met two weeks ago in this year's WCHA Final Face-off championship game, which Wisconsin won 1-0.
Minnesota enters the NCAA Frozen Four with a 47-29-9 all-time record against Wisconsin, including a 7-9-0 mark in postseason games. The all-time series dates back to the first meeting on Feb. 7, 1998, a 10-0 Minnesota win.
Scouting the Opponent: Wisconsin
Under the direction of 13th-year head coach Mark Johnson, No. 2 Wisconsin (35-3-1) enters the NCAA Frozen Four after defeating Mercyhurst, 6-0, in the NCAA quarterfinal round. The Badgers are the 2016 WCHA Final Faceoff and regular season champions. UW brings a five-game winning streak into Friday's semifinal game.
In 39 games this season, sophomore forward Annie Pankowski (22-36a) leads the Badgers and ranks seventh in the nation with 1.49 points per game. Sophomore forward Emily Clark (23-21a), junior forward Sarah Nurse (25g-13a), and junior forward Sydney McKibbon (9g-27a) round out the Badgers top four scoring leaders. Pankowski and Nurse each have three shorthanded goals on the year, and Clark is fourth in the nation with seven game-winners.
Wisconsin has 23 shutouts this season, and the Badgers have allowed only 26 goals all year. UW has surrendered multiple goals in only five games, three of which were against Minnesota (4-2 win at Minnesota Duluth, 3-2 OT win over Minnesota, 3-0 loss at North Dakota, 4-0 loss at Minnesota, and 4-3 OT loss at Minnesota). Junior goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens leads the NCAA with a 0.71 goals against average, a .962 save percentage, and 21 shutouts. The Badgers average 3.90 goals per game, outscoring their opposition, 152-26, on the year.
Gophers Senior Class Success Continues
Minnesota's five seniors, Hannah Brandt, Brook Garzone, Amanda Kessel, Amanda Leveille, and Milica McMillen, make up the most successful class in program history with an overall record of 146-9-6 for a .925 winning percentage from 2012-13 to 2015-16. The Gophers have outscored their opponents 776-181 during the seniors' four years in Maroon and Gold.
Minnesota's roster includes three of the program's all-time top 10 scorers: Hannah Brandt leads the way, as the program's career leader with 283 career points, followed by Amanda Kessel in a tie for second all-time with 246 career points. Dani Cameranesi has moved into the program's top-10 list as well, ranked ninth with 169 career points. The trio also ranks among the top-10 all-time Gophers in career goals.
Frost Surpasses Coaching Milestone
With Minnesota's 7-0 win over St. Cloud State (Jan. 22), head coach Brad Frost became the winningest coach in Gopher women's hockey history, surpassing Laura Halldorson (278-67-22) for career coaching wins. Frost owns an all-time mark of 291-45-22 heading into the NCAA Frozen Four.
Leveille Makes Mark in Recordbooks
Amanda Leveille is 27-4-1 this season with 10 shutouts, bringing her career totals to 32 shutouts and a 96-9-5 mark. She ranks second in Minnesota history in both career shutouts and career wins, trailing only Noora Raty (114-17-8 with 43 shutouts). Her 1.17 career goals against average is the best in Minnesota history, and her .946 career save percentage ties Noora Raty for the program record. Leveille's 96 wins and 32 shutouts both rank fourth in NCAA history.
McMillen Closing in on Scoring Record
Milica McMillen is closing in on the Gophers' program record for career goals by a defenseman. She currently ranks second all-time with 44 goals, trailing only Megan Bozek's total of 47 career goals. Earlier this season, McMillen became the sixth Gopher defensemen in program history to surpass 100-career points, joining Megan Bozek (146), Winny Brodt (134), Rachel Ramsey (130), Anne Schleper (114), and Courtney Kennedy (112). She recorded her 100th-career point in Minnesota's 5-2 win over Minnesota Duluth (Oct. 23). Among all-time Gopher defensemen, McMillen is second in career goals (44), fourth in career points (120) and sixth in career assists (76).
Brandt Continues Climbing in NCAA, WCHA, & Minnesota Ranks
Hannah Brandt is the NCAA's active career scoring leader with 283 career points (115 goals, 168 assists). She is Minnesota's career leader in both points and assists and is second in Gopher history in career goals, trailing only Nadine Muzerall (139). Among all-time WCHA players, Brandt is the all-time assists leader and ranks second in career points chasing Jocelyne Lamoureux (285); she is tied for fourth in career goals. Among all-time NCAA players, she is second in assists, fourth in points, and tied for ninth in goals.
For the season, Minnesota has scored 77 second-period goals, compared to 57 in the first period and 45 in the third period. The Gophers have outscored their opponents 77-16 in the middle frame.
Hannah Brandt (25g-37a), Dani Cameranesi (33g-35a), Sarah Potomak (13g-38a), and Kelly Pannek (22g-26a) are among the nation's top 12 leading scorers, ranked fourth, fifth, eighth, and 12th in points per game, respectively. Minnesota's offense ranks second in the NCAA at 4.76 goals per game. Potomak leads the nation's rookies in scoring with 1.42 points per game as well.
As a defensive unit, the Gophers are second in the nation in scoring among defensemen averaging 3.42 points per game. Milica McMillen ranks eighth in the nation among defensemen with 0.78 points per game in 36 games and Megan Wolfe and Lee Stecklein are tied for 10th at 0.71 points per game in 38 games.
The Gophers enter the NCAA Frozen Four with the nation's top power play at .442 (46/104). Dani Cameranesi leads the nation with 13 power-play goals, which ranks fourth in Gopher all-time single-season records.
Gopher Fans are Nation's Best
Minnesota maintains its hold on the national attendance lead, averaging 1,617 fans per game. At home at Ridder Arena, the Gophers also lead the NCAA with 2,125 fans per game.
Gophers Sign Six for 2016-17
Minnesota announced the addition of six new student-athletes for the 2016-17 season in Lindsay Agnew (Oakville, Ontario/Mississauga Jr. Chiefs), Serena D'Angelo (Stoney Creek, Ontario/Stoney Creek Sabres), Kippin Keller (Minnetonka, Minn./Minnetonka HS), Patti Marshall (Thief River Falls, Minn./Shattuck-St. Mary's), Katie Robinson (Kasson, Minn./Dodge County Wildcats), and Alex Woken (Fargo, N.D./Shattuck-St. Mary's).
Minnesota is 163-10-6 in the team's last 179 games, a stretch that includes an NCAA-record 62-game winning streak (Feb. 28, 2012 through Nov. 17, 2013).
Nine Newcomers Contributing
Minnesota added nine newcomers for the 2015-16 season, made up of seven true freshmen and two transfers. The newest Gophers are Anna Barlow (South St. Paul, Minn.), Tianna Gunderson (Roseau, Minn.), Emma May (Eagan, Minn.), Sarah Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C.), Caitlin Reilly (Chanhassen, Minn.), Sophie Skarzynski (Lake Forest, Ill.), Nicole Schammel (Red Wing, Minn.), Sierra Smith (Stillwater, Minn.), and Taylor Williamson (Edina, Minn.). Reilly, a transfer from Penn State, and Schammel, a transfer from Minnesota State, join the Maroon & Gold as sophomores. Schammel will sit out the 2015-16 season due to WCHA in-league transfer rules. Of the nine players, Potomak (13g-38a), Williamson (4g-10a), Reilly (5g-5a), Skarzynski (2g-7a), Barlow (2g-1a), and Gunderson (2a) have all made their way onto the score sheet.
Looking Back at Minnesota's Sixth National Title
Minnesota capped the 2014-15 season by winning the program's third NCAA title in the last four years and its sixth overall national crown. The Gophers finished the season with an overall record of 34-3-4. Last season's Gophers also captured the program's ninth WCHA regular-season title.
Top-seeded Minnesota defeated No. 3 seed Harvard by a score of 4-1 in the 2015 NCAA Women's Frozen Four national championship game at Ridder Arena. Minnesota advanced to its fourth-straight NCAA title game with a 3-1 win over fourth-seeded Wisconsin in front of a sold-out crowd at Ridder Arena in the Frozen Four semifinal round.
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