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UND takes on Minnesota in the championship game at the 2014 WCHA Final Face-Off today at 7:07 p.m. in Bemidji, Minn.
North Dakota ready for WCHA championship game
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Updated: Saturday 03/08/2014 13:24:19 (ET)
by Ross LaDue, UND Media Relations
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2014 WCHA Final Face-Off
 Location  Bemidji, Minn.
 Arena  Sanford Center (200' x 85')
Championship
#9/10 North Dakota 
vs #1 Minnesota
 Date/Time   Saturday, March 8  •  7:07 p.m. (CT)
 Live Stats  BSUBeavers.com
 Web Video  WCHA.com
 Web Audio  BeaverRadioNetwork.com
 Radio  1440 KKXL-AM
 Twitter  @UNDWHockey

*Click on the PDF link for a complete version of game notes

Today

Playing in its fourth-consecutive Final Face-Off, the University of North Dakota secured a trip to the championship game after defeating No. 2/3 Wisconsin, 1-0, on Friday evening in the semifinals. UND will now play against Minnesota in the championship game Saturday night at 7:07 p.m. at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn.

Media Coverage
Multimedia for all three games at the 2014 WCHA Final Face-Off will be provided through the conference’s website. Live stats and a free video stream will be provided at WCHA.com. Play-by-play will be done by BSU’s Kelly Schultz and color commentary will be provided by Jack Swanson.

UND’s games will be broadcast locally on 1440 KKXL-AM with Kris Holm providing play-by-play and Margot Miller providing color commentary.

Social Media
Receive real-time updates during all UND women’s hockey games by following @UNDWHockey. Additional coverage can be found at @UNDSports and @rladue.

Fans can also follow the action via live chat at UNDSports.com, hosted by UND Media Relations assistant director Ross LaDue.

WCHA Award Winners
At the annual awards banquet, senior Michelle Karvinen led the way for UND being named to the All-WCHA First Team. It was her third-consecutive All-WCHA selection, being named to the second team last season and to the rookie team in 2011-12.

Josefine Jakobsen earned her second-consecutive All-WCHA Third Team honors.

UND also earned All-WCHA Rookie Team honors for the third-straight year, as Susanna Tapani and Gracen Hirschy were both named to the rookie team.

Last Time Out
North Dakota played Wisconsin for the third time in four years in the semifinals of the WCHA Final Face-Off; and for the second-straight year UND defeated the Badgers to secure a spot in the championship game.

The game was a defensive battle as Meghan Dufault scored the lone goal to propel UND to a 1-0 win. Dufault fired a shot that was blocked, but followed up on the rebound to score her 12th goal of the year. Sophomore goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie made 35 saves for her second shutout of the season, including making 15 stops in the first period.

WCHA Quarterfinals
UND punched its ticket to the 2014 WCHA Final Face-Off with a sweep over Bemidji State last weekend, Feb. 28-March 1. After struggling to score goals in the two weeks prior, North Dakota’s offense got back on track in the first game, as Gracen Hirschy recorded a three-point outing to help down BSU 4-1. The Beavers proved to be peskier on Saturday as UND rallied from a one goal deficit to beat Bemidji State 3-2, with Meghan Dufault scoring the winner in overtime. Shelby Amsley-Benzie played in both games for UND, making a total of 37 saves over the weekend.
After five-consecutive games of failing to score more than two goals, and playing with a full lineup for the first time all season, North Dakota powered its way to a 4-1 win over Bemidji State on Friday night. BSU got on the board first halfway through the first period while on the power play, but Gracen Hirschy scored before the end of the period to even the score. Hirschy then scored on the power play for her second goal of the night to provide UND with the lead and its eventual game-winning goal. In the third period, Susanna Tapani and Michelle Karvinen added goals to secure the win.

On Saturday, Bemidji State looked content to send the series to a third game, as the Beavers outshot UND 10-9 in the first period. Both sides scored in the opening period, with Samantha Hanson scoring first. Bemidji State then took a one-goal lead in the second period, but Halli Krzyzaniak scored on the power play with less than seven minutes remaining in the third period to send the game into overtime. Halfway through the extra period, Meghan Dufault picked up a rebound on the side of the net to score the series-winning goal.

North Dakota at the WCHA Final Face-Off
This weekend marks the fourth-consecutive, and fourth all-time, appearance for UND at the WCHA Final Face-Off.

North Dakota went to its first Final Face-Off in 2011, where it lost to No. 1 Wisconsin, 3-0, in the semifinals at Ridder Arena. Wisconsin would go on to win both the Final Face-Off and national championships.

In 2012, North Dakota advanced to the Final Face-Off in Duluth, Minn., after defeating Bemidji State in two games during the quarterfinals. UND then lost, 6-0, to No. 2 Minnesota in the semfinals. Minnesota eventually won both the Final Face-Off and national championships.

Last season, UND picked up its first Final Face-Off win, defeating No. 6 Wisconsin, 2-1, in the semifinals at Ridder Arena. North Dakota faced No. 1 Minnesota in the championship and lost 2-0. Minnesota would again go on to win the national championship.

North Dakota has defeated Bemidji State in three-of-the -our quarterfinal series it has won to advance to the Final Face-Off (2011, 2012, 2014).

All three of UND’s losses at the Final Face-Off have come at the hands of the eventual NCAA Champion (2011 - Wisconsin; 2012 & 2013 Minnesota).

Sochi’s Best
Senior Michelle Karvinen was named the best forward by the Directorate at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, becoming the first non-Canadian to earn the award.

Karvinen led all players at the tournament with five goals and seven points. She tied with Jenni Hiirikoski for the highest plus/minus rating on Team Finland with a +4 rating. Karvinen led Finland with a .313 shooting percentage, scoring five goals on 16 shots and averaged 24:19 of ice time through six games, the third most ice time on Finland.

2014 Olympians
Senior Michelle Karvinen, sophomore Tanja Eisenschmid, freshmen Susanna Tapani and former student-athletes Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux and Susanne Fellner, just finished competing at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

The Lamoureuxs helped Team USA to another silver-medal finish. Karvinen and Tapani led Finland to a fifth-place finish after being knocked out of the medal round by Sweden. Eisenschmid and Fellner skated with Germany to a seventh-place finish.

About Minnesota
The Gophers earned its ticket to the championship game with a 4-1 win against Minnesota Duluth in the semifinals yesterday. After being down 1-0, Minnesota scored four unanswered goals to advance to its 13th-straight WCHA tournament championship game.

Minnesota leads the nation in goals per game (4.81) and is outscoring its opponents by an average of 3.76 goals per game.

The Gophers also lead the nation with a .322 average on the power play, having scored a total of 47 power-play goals this season.

Minnesota is led by Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award finalist and WCHA Player of the Year Hannah Brandt. Brandt leads the nation with 21 goals and 40 assists for 61 points this season.

In net, sophomore Amanda Leveille has recorded a .950 save percentage and a 1.08 goals-against average.

Roaring 20s
Picking up its 20th win yesterday, UND has now reached the 20-win plateau for the fourth-consecutive season.

Stepping Up
A number of UND players stepped up to contribute during the absence of UND’s Olympians, Jan. 24 through Feb.22.

During those 10 games played, defenseman Sam LaShomb recorded a +7 plus/minus rating and contributed one goal and two assists on offense. Forward Josefine Jakobsen led UND in that time frame with four goals and four assists.

Additionally in those 10 games, goalie Shelby Amsley-Benzie posted a 2-3-0 record team leading .908 save percentage and a 2.45 goals-against average.

Dangerous Danes
North Dakota is undefeated (8-0-1) when both Danish players, Michelle Karvinen and Josefine Jakobsen, record a point in the same game. In those nine games, the two have combined for a total of 17 goals and 16 assists.

If You Ain’t First, You’re Last
North Dakota has a 16-5-3 record when scoring the first goal of the game. On the flip side, UND is 4-6-0 when the opponent scores first.

Fantastic Fridays
UND has posted a record of 9-2-2 in games played on Fridays this season.

Goals Galore
A total of 19-of-21 skaters that have seen action this year have scored a goal for UND this season.

Chicken Dinner
Junior forward Josefine Jakobsen is tied for seventh in the nation with five game-winning goals, Meghan Dufault is tied for 16th with four game-winning goals, and Susanna Tapani is tied for 35th with three game-winners. Jakobsen has scored game winners against Lindenwood (Oct. 4), and two against both Minnesota Duluth (Oct. 12 & Feb. 8) and St. Cloud State (Oct. 26 & Jan. 18), Tapani scored the GW against Minnesota (Nov. 17), Minnesota State (Dec. 14) and Wisconsin (Jan. 11), and Dufault has scored the winners against Lindenwood (Oct. 5), Bemidji State (Nov. 1 & March 1) and Wisconsin (March 7).

A total of nine UND players have scored game-winning goals this season: Jakobsen (5), Dufault (4), Tapani, (3), Andrea Dalen (2), Michelle Karvinen (2), Amy Menke (1), Lisa Marvin (1), Tanja Eisenschmid (1) and Gracen Hirschy (1).

Third-period wall
Sophomore goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie leads the nation with a .980 third-period save percentage. She has stopped 144 of 147 shots she’s faced in the third period this season. The three third-period goals against is the fewest given up by a starting goaltender in the nation.

Offensive Defense
North Dakota’s D-corps has created 21 goals and 44 assists. The 565 points is tied for ninth in the nation for most points by a team’s defense. Additionally, the UND defense is fourth in the nation in both goals (21) and shots on goal with 355 (10.44 per game).

Gracen Hirscy is ninth among defensemen in the nation with 97 shots on goal, and Halli Krzyzaniak is tied for 16th with 82 shots on goal.

Sam LaShomb is 18th among the nation’s defensemen with a +22 plus/minus rating. Hirschy is tied for 23rd with a +20 rating, while Krzyzaniak is tied for 35th with a +13 rating.

Fresh Scoring
UND’s freshmen have accounted for 79 points (28g, 51a) this season. The class is third in the nation in freshman points (79), third in assists (51), first in shots on goal (432) and is fifth in power-play points (20).

Gracen Hirschy leads the UND class with 22 points off of nine goals and 13 assists. Susanna Tapani is second among UND’s freshmen with eight goals and 12 assists. Her 0.87 points per game average is third best among the nation’s freshmen.

Hirschy is seventh among the nation’s freshmen with a +20 plus/minus rating. Halli Krzyzaniak is tied for 15th with a +13 rating.

 

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