|1st||2:48||MIN||1-0||EV GW||Megan Wolfe (5)||Taylor Williamson/9, Lee Stecklein/16|
|1st||6:41||MIN||2-0||EV||Amanda Kessel (2)||Hannah Brandt/29|
|2nd||14:16||MIN||3-0||EV||Sydney Baldwin (4)||Dani Cameranesi/32, Kelly Pannek/22|
|3rd||7:36||MIN||4-0||EV||Amanda Kessel (3)||Sarah Potomak/37, Hannah Brandt/30|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Ann-Renée Desbiens (L, 28-2-1)||59:57||4||14||12||6||32|
|Amanda Leveille (W, 22-3-1)||60:00||0||17||9||9||35|
MINNEAPOLIS - Amanda Leveille earned a 35-save shutout and Amanda Kessel led the Golden Gophers with two goals as the No. 3 Minnesota women's hockey team earned a 4-0 statement win over No. 2 Wisconsin in front of a season-high 3,288 fans at Ridder Arena Friday night.
Minnesota (28-3-1, 23-3-1-0 WCHA) received goals from defensemen Megan Wolfe and Sydney Baldwin along with Kessel's two-goal effort, and Hannah Brand registered two assists as she set up both of Kessel's tallies.
Leveille earned her 30th career shutout with a season-high 35 saves while Wisconsin netminder Ann-Renee Desbiens made 32 saves. The Gophers outshot the Badgers, 36-35, for the game.
"I think tonight was probably the best battle and compete I've seen all year for 60 minutes from our team," head coach Brad Frost said. "Anytime Wisconsin and Minnesota play, it's a huge rivalry game, and we're battling for national seeding right now as well, so it was just really cool to see the team come out the way they did."
Minnesota handed Wisconsin (30-2-1, 24-2-1-1 WCHA) just its second loss of the season in game one of this weekend's border battle series. The four goals against was the most the Badgers have allowed in a single game so far this season and only the fourth time UW has allowed more than one goal in a game.
The Gophers jumped out to a quick start as Wolfe scored the eventual game-winner just 2:48 into the game on the team's third shot on goal of the game. Minnesota maintained offensive pressure and struck again just 3:53 later when Kessel scored her first of the night.
Leveille kept the Badgers off the scoreboard despite a five-on-three advantage for the visitors in the final five minutes of the opening frame. The senior netminder turned away all five of Wisconsin's shots on goal during the power play, and Minnesota took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
"It was just a great team win here tonight, I thought, really great right from the drop of the puck," Frost said. "We had great jump and were applying a lot of pressure, getting those two goals there was huge in the first and then to be able to continue to extend throughout the game."
The second period saw the Gophers extend their lead on Baldwin's fourth goal of the season at the 14:16 mark after several good scoring chances on both ends of the ice. Leveille stopped Wisconsin's Sarah Nurse on a breakaway early in the period and had 26 saves through two periods of play.
Kessel then netted her 100th career goal as a Gopher at the 7:36 mark of the third period off assists from Sarah Potomak and Brandt. Her second assist of the game made Brandt the WCHA's all-time leader with 161 career assists. Already leading the Gophers' all-time list, Brandt moved into second in NCAA history, trailing Julie Chu with 197 career assists.
"Obviously when we defend like we did and kill penalties like we did, and Amanda plays the way she did, we're going to be in real good shape," Frost said. "I thought defensively we played extremely sound, very solid. Lev made a few big saves, but overall she was just really consistent back there. I'm really happy with the win here tonight over a really good hockey team, and we're excited to get back at it tomorrow."
The teams conclude the series at 3 p.m. CT Saturday at Ridder Arena, and the game will air live on the Big Ten Network.