The top ranked Minnesota women's hockey team kept their unbelievable streak alive, outplaying North Dakota in the Final Faceoff championship game and getting the 2-0 win. Noora Räty had to outduel Shelby Amsley-Benzie, but got another shutout, her fifth consectutive one. Räty did not allow a goal in the entire WCHA playoffs, besting last year's effort of giving up just one goal all tournament. Needless to say, Noora picked up the tournament MVP award.
The game started the way that UND would have wanted it to. UND dominated shots at first, holding a 7-1 edge at one point. Räty held strong and kept her form throughout the game. Minnesota did get one chance for a power play that they did not convert and would spill over into the second period. Shots on goal were close with UND having a slight 11-10 advantage.
Minnesota would break through in the second period and in a big way. Megan Bozek would get a power play goal with her big slap shot for her 20th of the season. The Gophers had one taken off the board with a review from a Mira Jalosuo slap shot, so the Bozek goal was redemption. Then, less than two minutes later, Maryanne Menefee took a turnover and skating in all alone and put one past Amsley-Benzie upstairs to give the Gophers a 2-0 lead. Minnesota took over the lead in shots as well, 25-20, through two periods.
The third period was quiet for the most part. UND did have two power plays, including one right at the end of the period. Amsley-Benzie was pulled for the extra attacker as well. Räty stood up to the 6 on 4 and the Gophers were able to clinch another WCHA title. 2-0 final in front of a huge crowd of almost 2,300. It really felt like around 3,000 though.
The streak has now reached 46 straight game. Minnesota also broke the record for most wins in a season with 38. They still have a possible three more games to play in the NCAA tournament.
The Gophers will find out who their first round opponent will be on the selection show Sunday at 5pm. It will be on ncaa.com for anyone to view.
To see the boxscore, go here.
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