The Gophers women’s hockey team, riding a 24-game unbeaten streak (23-0-1), was the clear choice as the No. 1 seed for the eight-team NCAA tournament Sunday.
The WCHA champion Gophers will play Boston University in the quarterfinals on Saturday at Ridder Arena, with the winner advancing to the Frozen Four in Hamden, Conn. The Gophers beat the Terriers 6-3 in last year’s NCAA championship game for their second consecutive national title.
Boston University earned an automatic bid by defeating top-seeded Boston College 3-2 in the Hockey East tournament final on Sunday in Hyannis, Mass. Senior goaltender Kerrin Sperry was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive season after her second straight 40-plus-save performance of the weekend.
The Gophers are making their 12th appearance in the NCAA postseason and have qualified for the tournament for the seventh consecutive year. The Terriers qualified for the fifth year in a row.
Cornell, ECAC champion Clarkson and Wisconsin are seeded 2-4. The other four teams are Harvard, Mercyhurst and Boston College. This will be Mercyhurst’s 10th consecutive trip to the tournament.
Wisconsin got in despite being upset by North Dakota in the WCHA tournament semifinals. The Badgers, a four-time national champion, are making their eighth NCAA appearance and their first since 2012. They are the only team in this year’s field that did not qualify last season.
The national champion has come from the WCHA the last 14 years.