2013 NCAA Champions

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The Golden Gopher women's hockey team followed its 2012 NCAA title in record-breaking fashion. Minnesota capped the first perfect season in NCAA women's hockey history with a 6-3 win over Boston University in the title game in front of a sold-out Ridder Arena crowd. The Golden Gophers finished 41-0-0 with the program's fifth national title, seventh WCHA regular season crown and fifth WCHA tournament championship.

In the national title game against the Terriers, senior Mira Jalosuo drew first blood for the Gophers with a power-play goal midway through the opening period. Freshman Hannah Brandt scored shorthanded at 18:32 to give Minnesota a short-lived 2-0 lead. Boston's Sarah Lefort cut the deficit to one with a power-play goal just 16 seconds later. The 2-1 score held until late in the second period as Amanda Kessel and Milica McMillen tallied goals to give the Gophers breathing room. The two teams traded goals in the final period as the Gophers cruised to the 6-3 victory.

Minnesota's path to the national title game was not as smooth. In one of the greatest games in program history, the Golden Gophers met rival North Dakota in the NCAA quarterfinals at Ridder Arena. Seeking its first trip to the Frozen Four, North Dakota held a 2-1 lead in the second period until Kessel scored on the power-play at the 16-minute mark. From there the teams remain knotted through one overtime, two overtimes and nearly a third overtime. With just over a minute to play in the third extra period, Kelly Terry scored on the power-play to end the longest game in school history ( Highlights).

The Golden Gophers also needed extra time in the national semfinals against Boston College. Minnesota trailed entering the third period until Brandt scored on the power-play goal. Becky Kortum followed with a goal to give the Golden Gophers a 2-1 lead, but BC knotted the game two minutes later. Just 1:39 into overtime, Sarah Davis scored to send Minnesota to the final ( Highlights).

The Golden Gophers' national title wrapped a season full of superlatives. Minnesota was nearly unstoppable as they were lethal in all facets of the game. Their offense was the best in the country generating 216 goals (5.27 per game), which ranks third in NCAA history, and hoisting the best power-play conversion percentage in NCAA history (32.2% - 59/183). On the other end of the ice, their defense was stifling allowing just 36 goals (0.88 per game), which is tied for the NCAA record. One of the most astonishing statistics is that Minnesota trailed their opponents in only five games. Of those five games, the total amount of time they trailed was 50 minutes, 42 seconds.

The Golden Gophers earned their fair share of awards and accolades highlighted by Kessel. The junior forward became the program's second recipient of the Patty Kazmaier Award. She was also named the Big Ten's Female Athlete of the Year, USA Hockey Bob Allen Women's Player of the Year, first-team All-American and WCHA Player of the Year.

Also named first-team All-Americans were senior goaltender Noora Raty and defenseman Megan Bozek. With Kessel, the trio became the first in college hockey history to be named the final three finalists for the Kazmaier Award. Brandt earned WCHA Freshman of the Year honors, while head coach Brad Frost was named national coach of the year as well as the Big Ten's women's coach of the year.

Kessel led the Golden Gophers in scoring with 101 points (46g, 55a) in 37 games. Brandt finished her first year with the Maroon and Gold with 82 points (33g, 49a), while Bozek tallied 57 points (20-37--57) from the blueline. Raty led Minnesota in net with a 38-0-0 record with a 0.96 goals-against-average and .956 save percentage.

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