Minnesota Finishes Perfect Season; Repeats as NCAA Women’s Hockey Champ

The Gophers women’s hockey team’ finished a perfect 41-0 season, extended their winning streak to 49 games, and defended their 2011-12 Frozen Four championship.

With the Gophers looking to complete an undefeated season with the NCAA championship, a sellout crowd at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis watched Patty Kazmaier Award winner Amanda Kessel tally two goals and two assists, giving Minnesota a 6-3 triumph over 2nd seeded Boston University and a 41-0 season.

The Gophers became the first Division I hockey team — men’s or women’s — to complete an undefeated NCAA championship season since the Cornell men’s team went 29-0 in 1970.

This meme pretty much sums up the accomplishment:

gophers

 

Last year, the Gophers won their final eight games to win their third NCAA title. Their winning streak now stands at 49 games.

“It’s very surreal,” Frost said. “I still remember on Day One, I made a comment such as, ‘We’re going to lose a hockey game, so it’s not always about the wins and losses; let’s focus on the process.’

“And here we are, 41 games later without a loss. It’s just mind-boggling. This is an incredibly special team and one that will go down in the history books as one of the best ever, if not the best ever.”

Minnesota opened the scoring 11:38 into regulation and never looked back.

Scalpers outside Ridder Arena were getting $65 apiece for general admission tickets Sunday — 10 times face value – and there wasn’t an empty seat in the house. Not bad, considering the Gophers averaged just 933 fans at their 3,400 seat arena for this season’s first eight home games.

What fans saw might be considered the best team ever in women’s hockey history.  The pressure of finishing a perfect season had started to wear on the team. The Gophers needed three overtimes to get past North Dakota in the NCAA quarterfinals, and another overtime to defeat Boston College on Friday night in the semifinals.

But the championship game never seemed in doubt.

Boston University (28-6-3) trailed just 2-1 after the first period, but the Gophers pulled away with impressive second-period goals by Kessel and Milica McMillen.

Gophers Goaltender Noora Räty garnered Most Outstanding Players honors with 46 saves on the weekend.

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