|2nd||3:50||NDK||1-0||EV GW||Marissa Salo (3)||Sam LaShomb/4, Tanja Eisenschmid/9|
|3rd||18:41||NDK||2-0||EV EN||Josefine Jakobsen (15)||-|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Minnesota State (3-30-1)||0/4||4/8||0|
|North Dakota (20-11-3)||0/3||5/10||0|
|Minnesota State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Erin Krichiver (L, 2-22-1)||59:22||1||16||13||7||36|
|North Dakota Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Shelby Amsley-Benzie (W, 16-6-3)||59:58||0||4||5||6||15|
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The University of North Dakota women's hockey team closed out regular-season action with its fourth-straight shutout, defeating Minnesota State on Saturday afternoon, 2-0, at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
North Dakota had already clinched third place in the WCHA standings in yesterday's 7-0 win over the Mavericks. UND will host either Ohio State or Bemidji State in the first round of the WCHA playoffs next weekend, depending on the outcome of Sunday's game between Minnesota Duluth and Ohio State.
"I thought the biggest difference was that their goaltender played really well and kept them in the game early; and we weren't able to finish and gain some momentum and separation," head coach Brian Idalski said in comparison between the series' two games.
With another clean sheet, junior goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie extended her school-record shutout streak to 267 minutes, 11 seconds. She picked up her ninth shutout of the season and 14th of her career, both of which are also school records.
UND played its final home game of the regular season this afternoon, and honored its senior class with a presentation following the game.
"That's a good group that really helped turn the corner and super important to our program and transition," Idalski said of the senior class. "Jakobsen gave us instant offense and offensively has been a solid player for us. Dalen has been terrific from the word 'go'. Fallman was a good solid player for us, and Tori Williams, character wise, and all that group, leadership wise has been terrific. With all the talk about what was the turn-around and what was the difference, those kids really deserve a lot of kudos for that, because they didn't want their year to end like that. So they took a lot of responsibility internally within the locker room and leadership, and really led us on this streak and the way we're playing right now. It's a great group that's going to be missed."
Head coach Brian Idalski picked up the 100th WCHA win of his career in the 2-0 victory. With today's victory, UND improved to 20-11-3 on the season (16-9-3-2 WCHA), making the 2014-15 campaign the fifth-straight 20-win season for Idalski.
After a scoreless first period, Marissa Salo broke through for UND about four minutes into the middle frame. Sam LaShomb fed the puck up to Salo, who moved in towards the top of the circles and wristed it far-side, beating MSU goaltender Erin Krichiver.
A pesky effort from the Mavericks and strong goaltending from Krichiver kept North Dakota from extending its lead. Krichiver turned aside a total of 29 shots through the first two periods to keep it a 1-0 game heading into the third period.
In the final frame, Minnesota State held UND to just an 8-6 shot advantage after getting outshot 30-9 in the first 40 minutes. North Dakota's defense remained strong, however, and kept the Mavericks off the board as the game wound down.
MSU pulled Krichiver for an extra attacker with about a minute and a half left in the game. Senior Josefine Jakobsen sealed it with an unassisted empty-net goal to make it 2-0. She now leads the team in goals this season with 15 and extended her career-best scoring streak to eight games (seven goals, four assists).
In front of Amsley-Benzie, UND turned in a solid defensive effort. The defense blocked 14 Minnesota State shots throughout the contest while giving up just 15 shots on goal.
North Dakota was a perfect four-for-four on the penalty kill as well and went six-for-six on the weekend. UND killed off two-consecutive power plays for the Mavericks in the final 10 minutes to preserve the one-goal lead while limiting them to just one shot while on the power play all game.
UND's first game in the best-of-three series for the first round of WCHA playoffs will be played on Friday, Feb. 27, at Ralph Engelstad Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 2 p.m.