The Golden Gopher women's hockey team earned a 5-1 victory over North Dakota to advance to the NCAA Frozen Four. Minnesota had goals from five different players in the game. Sarah Erickson had three points in the game with a goal and two assists, while Emily West, Sarah Davis, Amanda Kessel and Jen Schoullis each had two points.
The Gophers took an early lead in the game, getting a goal from Emily West just a minute and 28 seconds into the game. Sarah Davis had an assist on the goal that put Minnesota ahead 1-0. North Dakota changed goalies shortly after Minnesota's goal, putting Jorid Dagfinrud in the game in place of Stephanie Ney. Minnesota had two power play chances in the opening period, while North Dakota had one, but neither team scored with the advantage. The Gophers compiled eight shots on goal in the first period, with six for North Dakota.
Minnesota went ahead 2-0 when Sarah Davis scored early in the second period, assisted by Sarah Erickson and Emily West. Erickson took a shot on goal, which Davis redirected for the score. The Gophers extended their lead to three goals when Amanda Kessel scored, shorthanded and unassisted, 10 minutes and six seconds into the period. With Rachel Ramsey in the penalty box, Kessel stole the puck in the neutral zone and took it in for the goal. She was hooked by Jocelyne Lamoureux on the play, putting both teams short a skater after the goal. The shorthanded goal was the second for Kessel this season, and fifth for the Gophers this season. Six and a half minutes later, Sarah Erickson got a tap in with assists from Amanda Kessel and Jen Schoullis to bring Minnesota's lead to four goals. As the period was winding down, Allison Parizek for UND and Megan Bozek were each called for roughing, and sat in the penalty box for the last three seconds of the period.
In the second period, the Gophers tallied 13 shots on goal to UND's six. Each team was called for three penalties with two for each team resulting in power plays.
In the third period, Minnesota got a goal from Jen Schoullis three minutes and 40 seconds in, assisted by Sarah Erickson and Emily West. Minnesota took a pair of penalties in the the next several minutes of play, and North Dakota pulled its goalie for a six-on-three advantage in skaters as Megan Bozek and Kelly Seeler sat in the penalty box. UND finally got on the scoreboard, scoring six minutes into the final period. Michelle Karvinen had the goal, assisted by Josephine Jakobsen and Monique Lamouruex-Kolls. The goal ended goalie Noora Raty's shutout streak at 246 minutes and 53 seconds. Raty had not allowed a goal since the Feb. 24 WCHA First Round game against St. Cloud State.
North Dakota went over seven and a half minutes in the third period with an empty net, but the Gophers couldn't manage an empty net goal. Neither team scored in the remainder of the game, ending with a score of 5-1. UND outshot the Gophers 17-7 in the final period.
With the win, the Gophers have advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four, which will be held at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minn., March 16-18. Boston College has also advanced to the Frozen Four by defeating St. Lawrence by a 6-3 margin, while Cornell earned a spot in the Frozen Four with an 8-7 victory in triple overtime against Boston University. Wisconsin and Mercyhurt play this evening for the final spot in next weekend's tournament.