April 19, 2012
Couldn't Ask for a Better Ending
Minnesota finished the 2011-12 season with an NCAA Championship and No. 1 ranking in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national polls.
The national title was the fourth in the history of the Gopher women's hockey program, and third in the NCAA era.
Minnesota had two players named to the AHCA All-America team. Megan Bozek was a first-team honoree, while Amanda Kessel was on the second team. The Gophers had multiple All-Americans in a season for the eighth time in program history.
Frozen Four All-Tournament Team
Four Minnesota players were named to the all-tournament team: Sarah Erickson, Amanda Kessel, Megan Bozek and Noora Raty. Raty was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2012 NCAA Frozen Four.
The penalty shot score by Emily West in the first period of the NCAA title game was the first by a Minnesota player since January 2008 when Bobbi Ross scored on a penalty shot. It was the first ever penalty shot attempted in an NCAA championship game. There was one other penalty shot scored in a Frozen Four game, when Bobbi Ross scored on her attempt in Minnesota's 2006 semifinal victory over New Hampshire.
The Gophers' History in the Frozen Four
This season, Minnesota made its tenth appearance in the 12-year history of the NCAA Championship, and qualified for the NCAA postseason tournament for a fifth-straight season. The Gophers have a 11-8-1 overall record in the NCAA Tournament, and has advanced to the Frozen Four eight times. Minnesota has played in the NCAA championship game four times (2004, 2005, 2006 and 2012).
In the WCHA
Minnesota finished second in the WCHA regular season race, and won the Final Face-off Tournament. The Gophers have finished in second place or better in the WCHA standings in 12 seasons, and have been in the top three in all 13 seasons of WCHA play. Minnesota has won four WCHA playoff titles (2002, 2004, 2005, 2012).
Minnesota placed five players on the All-WCHA team, with Megan Bozek and Anne Schleper on the first team, Jen Schoullis and Amanda Kessel on the second team, and Noora Raty on the third team. Rachel Ramsey was named to the WCHA All-Rookie team.
Minnesota allowed just 54 goals on the season, the lowest in the nation. Minnesota led the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 1.32 goals per game during the season.
Minnesota tied for the most goals scored in the 2011-12 season, collecting 181 goals to tie Wisconsin for the national lead. Minnesota finished the season ranked No. 1 in scoring margin, winning by an average of 3.10 goals per game.
For the second consecutive season, Amanda Kessel was the Gophers' top scorer. She tallied 80 points in her sophomore campaign, giving her 130 career points after two seasons. She is the second-highest scoring sophomore in program history, as only Natalie Darwitz had more career points after two seasons of play. Darwitz had 146 career points at the end of her sophomore season.
Kessel's 80-point season ranks third in the Minnesota record books for points in a season, behind Natalie Darwitz (114 points in 2004-05) and Krissy Wendell (104 points in 2004-05).
In the Net
Junior goaltender Noora Räty led the nation in goals against average at 1.35, and led the nation with 10 shutouts during the season. Three of her 10 shutouts came in postseason play, and she allowed just five goals in seven postseason games.
Räty reached 34 wins in 2011-12, the school record for wins in a season. Räty also holds second place in the Minnesota record book with 25 wins in 2010-11. Jody Horak is in third 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 has since added four shutouts, and currently has 26 in her career.
West and Erickson Break Into Top 10
Senior Emily West finished her career among the top 10 scorers in Minnesota history. West ranks 10th in career points with 158. Seniors Jen Schoullis and Sarah Erickson were just shy of breaking into the top-10 as Schoullis tallied 156 career points, and Erickson had 155 career points.
Sarah Erickson and Emily West each rank among the top 10 goal scorers for Minnesota. West ranks seventh all time with 82 career goals, while Erickson ranks 10th with 69 career goals.
Minnesota had three defensemen who ranked in the top 25 nationally in scoring by defensemen.
Junior defenseman Megan Bozek finished second nationally in points by a defensemen with 42 on the season. In first place is North Dakota's Monique Lamoureux-Kolls, who also played at forward during the season. Bozek ranked third in points per game by a defenseman (1.08 ppg) and was one of only three defenseman in the nation to average more than one point per game.
Senior Anne Schleper ranked eighth nationally in scoring by defensemen with 28 points, ranking 16th in points per game, averaging 0.68 ppg. Rookie Rachel Ramsey finished 14th in points with 25 points, and 22nd in points per game with 0.61. Among freshmen defensemen, Ramsey ranked second in the country in points scored.
Schleper Moves Up in Record Books
Senior defenseman Anne Schleper has 114 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).
Schleper played in 159 career games, and owns the school record for career games played.
Bozek in the Record Books
Junior defenseman Megan Bozek has 89 career points and ranks fourth on the Minnesota all-time scoring list for defensemen. Bozek also has 27 career goals and ranks fourth in Gopher history in goals by a defenseman.
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 had an average home attendance of 1,308 in 2011-12, up 50.6 percent from the attendance average of 838 in 2010-11. 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 in 2010-11.
Five Gophers 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. Jen Schoullis had her first hat trick at Bemidji State on Oct. 28. Amanda Kessel tallied four hat tricks in 2011-12. 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 completed 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 145-36-16 (.777) after five seasons as a head coach. He earned his first WCHA Final Face-off Championship and his first NCAA Frozen Four in 2012. He led the Gophers to WCHA regular-season championships in 2009 and 2010. The team's 34 wins in 2011-12 were the most in a season under Frost's leadership, and the second-highest win total for the Gophers in a season (36 wins in 2004-05).
Frost as been part of all four of Minnesota's national championship seasons, serving as an assistant coach for the first three title wins in 2001, 2004 and 2005.
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