The Minnesota Golden Gophers completed a dream regular season when they put down the St. Cloud State Huskies, 3-0, on Saturday afternoon. The win gave the Gophers a perfect regular season record of 34-0, a feat which no team in NCAA history has done. The Gophers now look ahead to the WCHA playoffs, which start this coming Friday at Ridder Arena against Bemidji State.
The first period was another scoreless affair, just like in the first game of this series. The Gophers started really slow, but picked up the pace in the last 15 minutes of the period. After a brief appearance by senior Anna Donlan, Julie Friend was back in the nets for the Huskies. It was the Huskies senior day, so all eight seniors were honored before the game. The Gophers would put 16 shots on Friend, but it was another tough go getting one by the sophomore.
The Huskies would keep putting Minnesota on the power play, but the Gophers really seemed to struggle with the player advantage this weekend. Hannah Brandt would find the back of the net at the 11:37 mark of the second period, an even strength goal. It was the freshman's 28 of the season and would turn out to be the game winner. Minnesota would put another 14 shots on Friend, leading in shots by a wide 30-12 margin after two periods.
Minnesota would put this game away with two more goals in the third period. Becky Kortum would get her 14th goal off of a rebound from a Gopher rush and Milica McMillen would slap home her 11th goal of the season on the power play to make it 3-0. The power play unit would finish the game 1 of 8 for the game and just 2 of 14 for the series. A few players said the unit was off because of the absence of Amanda Kessel, who was resting up for the playoffs.
Noora Raty would get her 39th career shutout on this day, tying her for the all-time record. Noora owns so many records, Cheapo wants to employ her.
The Gophers now turn their focus to the Bemidji State Beavers, who will be in town Friday and Saturday....and possibly Sunday. Game times are 6:07pm Friday, 4:07 Saturday, and 4:07pm Sunday if necessary.
To check out the boxscore, go here.
Check out the press release for the WCHA playoffs here.
Thanks for reading!