stop
Courtesy: Eric Classen, UNDsports.com
Meghan Dufault had two goals and an assist to lead UND.
Kessel leads Gophers past UND with 5-point game
Courtesy: Derek Koenen, UND Athletic Media Relations
Release: 01/11/2013
Print RSS
Related Links

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. --- The University of North Dakota women's hockey became the first team this season to score three goals on undefeated and top-ranked Minnesota, but it wasn't enough as the Gophers powered its way to a 6-3 win Friday at Ridder Arena.

"That is a complete hockey club and we knew that going in," head coach Brian Idalski said. "It is not that often that we get beat 6-3 and I think we played well."

Amanda Kessel was all over the ice in the game finishing with a game-high four goals and one assist. Freshman Meghan Dufault (Winnipeg, Manitoba) led UND with a pair of goals and one assist.

UND flashed at times in the game but were either shut down on good scoring attempts by all-world goaltender Noora Raty or when she got in trouble the Gophers defensemen were there to clean up the mess.

North Dakota finished the game with a 35-25 advantage in shots, becoming the first team this season to outshoot the Gophers.

Eerily similar to last year's loss to Minnesota in the national tournament at Ridder Arena, the Gophers struck first and did so quickly.

Freshman Hannah Brandt beat a UND defender wide and crashed the net flipping the puck at the last second across the crease to Kessel who banged it in for the game's first goal only 24 seconds in. The goal came on Minnesota's first shot of the game.

"Raty was great but so were their defensemen," Idalski said. "Raty gave up a few second chances and we just got out-muscled and the d-core just kind of cleans it away. They are a solid team. Kessel and Brandt were super dynamic and pretty much finished 75-percent of the chances they had."

North Dakota nearly answered shortly after but Raty made an incredible save stoning a one-timer attempt by Jocelyne Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.) and made a second save on a rebound attempt.

UND controlled the play for the next five minutes or so, building a 9-4 advantage in shots, but got nothing to show for it. The Gophers doubled its lead as Brandt collected her 20th of the season, sniping the glove-side corner from the slot at the 10:57 mark.

The second period got off to a good start for UND as it outshot Minnesota 7-2 in the first eight minutes, but it was an opportunistic play by the Gophers that pushed their lead to three. Kelly Terry carried the puck behind Dagfinrud who got caught up in traffic. Terry looked to center the puck from behind the net and it redirected off Dagfinrud and into the net.

UND had another golden scoring opportunity looking to answer as Raty gave up a big rebound and left the net wide open, but the Gophers defenders did not allow UND to get a shot off into the empty net and eventually cleared the puck out of trouble.

Minnesota entered the game with the nation's top power play, converting at nearly 36-percent, and on its second attempt of the game increased that percentage as Kessel sent a one-timer past Dagfinrud at 18:18 for her second goal of the game and send the home team into the intermission with a 4-0 lead.

Shelby Amsley-Benzie entered the game at the start of the third period for UND who was looking for a spark. Dagfinrud's night concluded with 13 saves on 17 shots while Amsley-Benzie would stop six-of-eight shots in relief.

Kessel collected her hat-trick goal at 3:21 of the third period, stealing the puck from a UND defender behind the net and quickly sliding it beneath Amsley-Benzie.

Michelle Karvinen (Rodovre, Denmark) broke Raty's shutout bid at 13:25 of the final stanza on a 5-on-3 power play. Dufault would add a pair of goals in the frame including a highlight-reel goal with only 11 seconds remaining as she split a pair of defenseman and the roofed a backhander over Raty.

"(Dufault) also had two goals in Grand Forks against the Gophers," Idalski said. "I like our club. We got some you kids that are coming along and getting better, but we are not a complete hockey club yet. I am encouraged with some of the things we are doing though and I still think we have some room for growth here down the stretch."

North Dakota will look to snap Minnesota's 29-game winning streak and salvage a series split tomorrow with an opening face-off set for 4:07 p.m.

The UND softball team begins the 2016 season this Saturday at the Iowa State Indoor Tournament in Ames, Iowa.
Ever since UND softball head coach Jordan Stevens stepped foot on campus, he has made one thing clear; the past is the past and the team needs to keep...  MORE
Sophomore Jack McClintock took runner-up honors at the Pizza Hut Pat Hicks Invite thanks to a final round 67 (-5).
Sophomore Jack McClintock capped the best 36-hole stretch by a North Dakota men's golfer at the Division I level with a career-best 67 (-5) on Tuesday...  MORE
UND will honor its seniors this weekend as the team plays in its final home games of the regular season this Friday and Saturday.
The University of North Dakota women's hockey team earned 57 points to keep its No. 8 ranking in the recent USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Women's...  MORE
Redshirt freshman Geno Crandall was the third different UND rookie to score 20 or more points in a game this season with 21 in the win over Weber State.
Sole possession of third place in the Big Sky men's basketball standings will be on the line Thursday when North Dakota and Eastern Washington square...  MORE
This week on '20 questions' we talked to freshman Nolan Hovland. Hovland is ranked third in UND history and sixth in the Big Sky for the high jump.  MORE
Uploaded Ad

Extras for the North Dakota fan

Football season tickets 2016
Fighting Hawks info
Partnership Opportunities
Mobile Apps
Buy Tickets
UND Insider