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Gophers establish new NCAA victory mark in win over Minnesota State

Amanda Kessel produced big numbers on a record-setting night for the Gophers (Photo:

Led by Amanda Kessel’s five-point effort (2 goals, 3 assists), the University of Minnesota women’s hockey team rolled to a 9-1 win over Minnesota State (4-8-2, 2-6-2-1 WCHA) at Ridder Arena and into the NCAA record books. The undefeated Gophers (14-0-0, 10-0-0 WCHA) won their 22nd straight game dating back to Feb. 18 to set a new NCAA record for consecutive victories, eclipsing the previous record of 21 set by Harvard University between Jan. 4 and March 15, 2008.

Senior defenseman Megan Bozek also scored twice while junior forward Kelly Terry chipped in four assists to an offensive machine which did not get started until the game’s second half.

Charging and interference penalties committed by Minnesota’s Sara Davis and Hanna Brandt, respectively, late in the first period gave the Mavericks a 5-on-3 advantage. Just 22 seconds later, MSU capitalized when Lauren Smith took advantage of prone Gopher goaltender, Noora Räty, to tie the game 1-1 and, in the process, score the first opening-period goal allowed by Minnesota this season.

That is how it remained until Bozek’s goal at 10:54 of the second period put the Gophers back up by a goal and opened the floodgates. Minnesota would go on to score seven more goals over the game’s next 22:24 to complete the record-setting rout.

“We set the record with this year’s team, but last year’s team was a big part of it as well,” Minnesota coach Brad Frost said, acknowledging the contribution of the 2011-12 Gophers who won their final eight games en route to an NCAA title. “Obviously winning the national championship last year was special—this doesn’t rank up quite as high as that —but this is a pretty neat thing for our program.

“It’s pretty remarkable to win 22 games in a row.”

Bozek added, “Not many people can say that they’ve [set] an NCAA record; it’s been a good start to the year, I’d say.”

In case you were wondering, Harvard finished 32-2-0 in 2008 but did not capture the NCAA championship as the Crimson dropped a 4-1 decision to Wisconsin in the Frozen Four semifinals. Two nights later, Minnesota-Duluth defeated the Badgers 4-0 for its fourth NCAA title.

. . . . . 

Elsewhere in the WCHA …

No. 10 North Dakota (6-5-0, 5-4-0-0 WCHA) received goals from Allison ParizekMichelle Karvinen, and Monique Lamoureux aided by a pair of Jocelyne Lamoureux assists to defeat Bemidji State 3-1 in Saturday night’s season opener between the regional rivals at the Sanford Center. The Beavers (2-7-2, 1-5-1-0 WCHA) benefited from senior forward Emily Erickson‘s first goal of the year but it wasn’t enough to prevent BSU’s fifth straight loss to North Dakota dating back to a 3-2 victory on Nov. 26, 2011. The two teams will meet again on Sunday afternoon at 2 pm at the Sanford Center.

. . . . . 

Minnesota-Duluth’s Tea Villila battles with St. Cloud State’s Haylea Schmid during UMD’s 4-1 win. (Photo: Tom Nelson, St. Cloud State Athletics)

For the second time in as many days, the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs skated to a 4-1 win over the St. Cloud State Huskies at the National Hockey Center. Jenna McParland‘s second goal of the series at 7:51 of the first period proved to be the difference and extended UMD’s unbeaten streak over SCSU to 11 games. The Bulldogs (5-6-1, 4-5-1 WCHA) outshot the Huskies (4-9-1, 2-8-0 WCHA) by a 36-29 margin and went 2-of-6 on the power play while holding St. Cloud State scoreless in two attempts.

. . . . .

Minnesota native Taylor Kuehl‘s (Minnetrista) two goals led the Ohio State Buckeyes (10-4-0, 8-4-0 WCHA) to a 3-1 win over the Wisconsin Badgers (8-4-2-, 4-4-2-2 WCHA) to split the series in Columbus, Ohio.

Minnesota Hockey Magazine Executive Editor Brian Halverson is a former member of the Minnesota Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. His work has been published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Miami Herald, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Hartford Courant, Dallas Morning News and

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