MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The No. 6 University of North Dakota women's hockey team saw its historic season come to an end Saturday evening in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) quarterfinals to the No. 2 Minnesota Gophers 5-1.
UND's season concludes with a 22-12-3 record.
North Dakota was matched up against the Gophers who won the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Final Face-Off last weekend outscoring its opponents 8-0 including a win over the Sioux in the semifinals.
Minnesota jumped out to a 5-0 lead through two periods before North Dakota broke Noora Raty's shutout bid at 6:07 of the third period.
Raty entered the game with over three games of not allowing a goal dating back to Minnesota's WCHA quarterfinals matchup against St. Cloud State on Feb. 3. Her shutout run ended at 246:53 when rookie sophomore Michelle Karvinen (Rodovre, Denmark) scored on the power play. Freshman Josefine Jakobson (Aalborg, Denmark) and junior Monique Lamoureux-Kolls (Grand Forks, N.D.) assisted on the goal.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers spent the second period of this afternoon's game in the same fashion they spent last Friday's game against the Sioux. They poured on 15 shots and three goals (Sarah Davis, Amanda Kessel and Sarah Erickson).
The final outcome of the game did not mimic the WCHA Final Face-Off game as UND fought until the final buzzer. Trailing by a large margin, head coach Brian Idalski pulled his goaltender for over seven minutes of the third period, and although not scoring, the Sioux did not give up another goal in the frame.
The first period started off in the same way that the Fighting Sioux started several games this season. Minnesota took a quick and early lead by netting the first shot on goal only 1:28 into the game. It was the seventh time since Thanksgiving the Sioux have allowed the feat.
Stephanie Ney (100 Mile House, British Columbia) started in net and was quickly replaced by Jorid Dagfinrud (Sarpsborg, Norway) shortly after the first goal only 2:59 into the first frame. Emily West just put a low shot on net and it found its way past a pair of UND defenseman and Ney who never saw the shot and didn't react.
Partially stunned by the fluky goal seeing themselves fall behind on their opponents first shot again, UND allowed Minnesota two breakaways in the next couple of minutes. Although having entered the game cold, Dagfinrud was up to the test as she stoned both breakaway attempts and kept the Sioux in the game trailing only the one goal in the first period.
Raty made a spectacular glove save halfway through the first period on Jakobsen that kept the Gophers up by the one goal and didn't allow the momentum to shift UND's way after the Sioux settled into the game and created multiple scoring chances to end the period.
Minnesota added to its lead early in the second period at the 3:44 mark when Sarah Davis redirected a shot past Dagfinrud and the backbreaker came at 10:06 of the same period when Amanda Kessel intercepted a pass and scored a shorthanded breakaway. UND also took a penalty on the play.
Erickson would add a power-play goal to cap off the three-goal second period for the Gophers at the 16:40 mark.
The Fighting Sioux ended the game outshooting the Gophers 17-7 in the third period for the 29-28 edge in the game. Raty finished with 28 saves while Dagfinrud made 23.
Both teams went 1-for-6 on the power play.
Minnesota will advance to the NCAA Frozen Four next weekend in Duluth, Minn., and take on Cornell in the semifinal.