Monday, March 25, 2013

Perfect Minnesota Wins Second Straight NCAA Women's Title

The University of Minnesota women's hockey team finished off a perfect 41-0 season by defeating Boston University, 6-3, on Sunday at Ritter Arena in Minneapolis in the NCAA Division I Women's Ice Hockey Championship Game. The Golden Gophers ran their overall winning streak to 49 games, dating back to last season when they also won the national title over WCHA rival Wisconsin.

Minnesota had advanced to this year's title game by beating Boston College, 3-2 in overtime, on Friday, while BU topped Merychurst, 4-1, in the other semifinal. It was the fourth overall NCAA title for the Gophers, while the Terriers (26-8-3) fell for the second time in the national title game, having lost to Wisconsin in 2011.

Amanda Kessel paced the Golden Gophers to the victory with two goals and two assists against the Terriers, and also eclipsed the century mark for points this season, finishing with 101 points in all on 46 goals and 55 assists in 38 outings. Hannah Brandt and Rachel Ramsey scored Minnesota's other goals on Sunday. Noora Räty made 21 saves in the Minnesota net in her collegiate finale, and finished with a 36-0 record and 17 shutouts this season and a 112-15-8 mark in four seasons, including 48 career shutouts.

Sarah Lefort, Marie-Philip Poulin and Jenelle Kohanchuk scored for the Terriers, while Kerrin Sperry made 23 stops for BU. Both teams went 2-for-4 on the power play as Minnesota skated out to 2-0 and 4-2 leads before Kessel ultimately iced matters with an empty-netter with 49 seconds remaining in regulation.

ALSO: Elmira (24-5-1) won the 2013 NCAA Division III Women's National Championship on March 16 with a 1-0 victory over Middlebury on March 16 at Wessman Arena in Superior, Wis. Taylor Steadman scored the game's only goal, and Lauren Sullivan made 30 saves as the Soaring Eagles locked up their third-ever national title.

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