GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- North Dakota broke a decade-old record Friday night when 5,835 fans came to Ralph Engelstad Arena for the No. 3/4 women's hockey team play host to No. 1 Minnesota. Unfortunately, Minnesota used a three-goal second period en route to a 5-1 win over UND.
The attendance of 5,835 crushed the old record for a women's hockey game at the Ralph of 3,200 which was set on Oct. 26, 2002. It is also the new record for a women's hockey game in the state of North Dakota.
Special teams were the difference maker in the game. Minnesota went three-for-three on its man advantages, while North Dakota was not given a single usable power play. Minnesota's only penalty came with 2.1 seconds remaining in the game, giving UND, for all intents and purposes, a nullified power-play chance.
The game started off well for North Dakota as UND got on the board first when Becca Kohler scored midway through the first. Andrea Dalen backhanded a puck in front of the Minnesota net, which hit a Gopher defenseman, and Kohler pounced on it to put UND up 1-0. However, Minnesota responded with a power-play goal less than two minutes later.
The two teams headed into the first intermission tied 1-1, with the line of Kohler, Dalen, and Kayla Gardner leading the offensive punch for UND.
Minnesota's Kate Schipper then scored two goals 2:21 apart to give her team a 3-1 lead just a little more than three minutes into the second period. Minnesota controlled the middle frame, adding another goal to lead 4-1 by the period's end.
Minnesota added its third power-play goal in the final period to seal the 5-1 win.
UND goaltender Lexie Shaw kept the Gophers from stretching out their lead even further, making 14 saves in the third. Shaw finished with 32 saves, while Minnesota goaltender Amanda Leveille made 31 saves in her team's victory.
The game was reminiscent of UND's loss to Minnesota earlier this season in Minneapolis, Nov. 16, when the Gophers scored four goals in the second period to win 6-1. The following night, UND responded with a 3-2 win.
North Dakota hosts Minnesota in the series finale tomorrow night at 7:07 p.m. at Ralph Engelstad Arena.