U women’s hockey
WCHA FINAL FACE-OFF • GRAND FORKS, N.D.
Ralph Engelstad Arena • Saturday and Sunday
Saturday semifinals: Gophers vs. Bemidji State, 2 p.m.; Wisconsin vs. North Dakota, 5 p.m.
Sunday’s championship: 1 p.m.
Games will be streamed live on FASTHockey.com and can be heard on radio at 105 FM.
The four teams
Minnesota (31-2-4): After sweeping Minnesota State Mankato 10-0 and 5-1 last weekend, the Gophers know nothing comes easy now. This will be a tune up for a high-pressure NCAA quarterfinal March 14. At stake then will be a trip to the Women’s Frozen Four on March 20, 22 at Ridder Arena.
Bemidji State (20-16-1): The Beavers knocked off Minnesota-Duluth in a dramatic three-game series last weekend. The Gophers are 2-1-1 against Bemidji State and the games all have been close: 2-2, 0-1, 3-2 and 4-2. “They are probably the hardest-working team we’ve ever played in my four years here,” Gophers senior Rachel Ramsey said.
Wisconsin (26-6-4): The Badgers, who swept St. Cloud State last weekend, give up just 1.11 goals per game, which ranks second nationally. The Gophers are 14-0-1 in their past 15 meetings with Wisconsin, but that includes a 2-1 overtime win October and a 1-1 tie in January.
North Dakota (22-11-3): North Dakota needed three overtimes to finish off Ohio State last Saturday. Junior Shelby Amsley-Benzie was one of two first-team All-WCHA goalies and leads the nation with a .954 save percentage.