MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- The University of North Dakota women's hockey team lost 2-0 to Minnesota in the WCHA Final Face-Off tonight at Ridder Arena in an exciting hockey game that was back-and-forth.
Minnesota gets an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. North Dakota must wait to see if it is an at-large selection.
The NCAA Selection Show is at 5 p.m. tomorrow and can be viewed at www.NCAA.com.
North Dakota will be routing for Boston University to defeat Northeastern in the Hockey East championship at 12 p.m. CDT for hope to receive the final at-large bid to the tournament.
Minnesota goals were scored by Megan Bozek and Maryanne Menefee at 4:33 and 6:28 of the second period as the Gophers extend their winning streak to 45 games including a perfect 38-0-0 on the year.
The WCHA All-Tournament team included UND's Jocelyne Lamoureux and Monique Lamoureux while Minnesota's Maryanne Menefee, Hannah Brandt, Megan Bozek and Noora Raty were the others. Raty was named the tournament's MVP posting back-to-back shutouts.
North Dakota, 26-11-1 overall, jumped out to a 7-1 advantage in shots in the first period, but Raty was up to the task including robbingon a rebound shot.
Minnesota also missed wide on a few good scoring chances in the opening frame that ended scoreless while UND edged the Gophers 11-10 in shots.
The game's first goal almost came on a fluky play as UND dumped the puck from center ice on net and Raty never saw it until the last second and had to react late to make save.
A late penalty in the first period and two in second period swung the momentum in favor of the home team.
On its second power-play of the game, Minnesota had a goal wave off for a high stick. After a very lengthy review the call was confirmed, but only 18 seconds later Bozek found a lane through traffic and past UND netminder Shelby Amsley-Benzie (Warroad, Minn.).
North Dakota nearly answered as it had three great chances as Raty gave up a couple rebounds but UND couldn't bury it and sent a third attempt wide on an open net.
Minnesota would clear it out of the zone and then Menefee would intercept a breakout pass for an unassisted breakaway goal which proved to be the game's last.
Including its first two power-play attempts of the game in the third period, UND attempted to rally came up short as Raty concluded the game stopping all 30 shots faced.
Almost nearly as impressive was the Gophers defense that blocked 20 shots in the game limiting the opportunities reaching the net.
Amsley-Benzie had a strong game another strong performance for UND making 32 saves off 34 shots in the losing effort.