MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. --- The University of North Dakota women's hockey team will head back to Grand Forks having been swept by No. 1 Minnesota although having played one of its most complete games of the season. The Gophers used a pair of late goals to pull away for a 6-3 win.
North Dakota drops to 13-9-0 on the year while the Gophers improve to a perfect 22-0-0 and increase its NCAA-record winning streak to 30.
"We had the benefit of playing with the lead a little bit and playing tied today instead of trying to come from behind all game like yesterday," head coach Brian Idalski said. "It was just a good hockey game all the way around."
Jocelyne Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.) ripped a one-timer from the near face-off circle to give UND the lead only 1:59 into the first period.
It was only the second time Minnesota had trailed in a game all season with the first coming in Grand Forks, in the first game of the series, that lasted all of 39 seconds.
The lead would last until the second period when Rachael Bona scored on the power-play banging a rebound past Shelby Amsley-Benzie (Warroad, Minn.). UND had successfully killed over a minute of a 5-on-3 penalty-kill preceding the goal.
After the first 40 minutes that was highlighted by quality defensive play by both teams, the game had an offensive explosion in the third period.
Hannah Brandt opened the scoring in the third period only 34 seconds in to give Minnesota its first lead of the game.
Michelle Karvinen (Rodovre, Denmark) was able to score her first of the game at 4:49, Megan Bozek regained the lead for the Gophers at 6:46 and Karvinen added her second of the game at 8:41 to again even the game halfway through the third period.
But this time Minnesota was able to answer only nine seconds later to take a 4-3 lead this time it wouldn't relinquish.
Concluding the game 3-for-6 on the power play, UND was able to penetrate Minnesota's stifling defensive efforts, but failed to convert on two consecutive attempts late in the third period that could have evened the game at four each.
Amanda Kessel would add two goals in the final minute including an empty-netter to make the score more lopsided then the game was.
Amsley-Benzie made 31 saves in the losing effort.
The Gophers have now allowed 18 goals in 22 games this season, nine of them have come in the four games against UND.
North Dakota has another tough test at hand next as it hosts Wisconsin at the Ralph Engelstad Arena Friday and Saturday in key WCHA series.