Playoff push begins for Gophers' women's hockey

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 1, 2013 - 8:44 AM

The Gophers defeated Bemidji State 8-0 two weeks ago, only to find themselves pushed to overtime the next night, when Beavers goaltender Jessica Havel made a career-high 41 saves.


Gophers women's hockey coach Brad Frost, forward Amanda Kessel, goalie Noora Raty and defender Megan Bozek.

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Bemidji State might be the lowest seed in the women's WCHA playoffs, but it's also the team that gave the undefeated Gophers their biggest scare of the season.

So when the teams open their best-of-three playoff series Friday night at Ridder Arena, the Gophers know any letup could end their 42-game winning streak, which dates to Feb. 18, 2012.

The Gophers defeated Bemidji State 8-0 two weeks ago, only to find themselves pushed to overtime the next night, when Beavers goaltender Jessica Havel made a career-high 41 saves. Gophers senior Mira Jalosuo scored a power-play goal to win it 3-2.

"I think that was good for us, especially with them coming here this weekend," Gophers junior Amanda Kessel said. "We know we can't take them lightly."

The winner of this series will join three other teams at the WCHA's Final Faceoff next weekend at Ridder Arena. The top-seeded Gophers (34-0) also are expected to host an NCAA quarterfinal March 16, and the Frozen Four will be at Ridder from March 22-24.

Playing before their home fans, they have a chance to make this one of the most memorable months in program history. The winning streak might be the main storyline, but players insist the most important goal is winning a second consecutive national championship.

"I don't think we think about the streak, to be honest," said senior captain Megan Bozek. "It's exciting, but the regular season's over. And now, it's kind of one and done for us.

"If we don't come prepared, anyone on any given day can beat us."

On Thursday, the Gophers learned that they have four of the 10 finalists for this season's Patty Kazmaier Award, given annually to the nation's top player: Bozek, Kessel, Hannah Brandt and Noora Raty.

Kessel (93 points) and Brandt (73 points) rank first and second in the nation in scoring. Raty, a senior goaltender, ranks second in the nation with a 0.99 goals against average. And Bozek has 136 career points, the most in school history for a defenseman.

Coach Brad Frost rested Raty last Friday at St. Cloud State, and freshman backup Amanda Leveille notched her third shutout of the season.

"We keep telling you guys [in the media] that the streak doesn't matter to us," Frost said. "If the streak was really our No. 1 concern, we'd probably go with our No. 1 goalie in that game, but we were confident in Amanda."

Frost also rested Kessel for both games last weekend, as she'd been playing through some nagging injuries. She's expected back on the ice Friday.

Asked if another weekend off would benefit Kessel, Frost said, "Probably, but we're in the playoffs now, so time is of the essence at this point."

  • related content


    Thursday February 28, 2013

    Dennis Rodman is the highest-profile American to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un since he came to power. This is not a joke. This is real.


    Thursday February 28, 2013

    The news that Joe and Maddie Mauer are expecting twins means a never-ending string of bad puns/jokes unless we can all agree to this: By the end of this week,...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


NY Yankees 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Toronto 0
Detroit 3 Bottom 1st Inning
Chicago WSox 0
Chicago Cubs - F. Doubront 1:15 PM
St. Louis - J. Masterson
Cincinnati - A. Simon 3:05 PM
Pittsburgh - V. Worley
Minnesota - K. Gibson 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Philadelphia - J. Williams 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
Miami - J. Cosart 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Boston - A. Webster 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cleveland - T. Bauer 6:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Detroit - K. Ryan 6:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt
Texas - R. Ross Jr. 6:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Colorado - T. Matzek 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada 7:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Gonzales
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 7 2nd Qtr 3:07
UAB 24
(7) UCLA 14 2nd Qtr 1:40
Virginia 3
Western Mich 14 2nd Qtr 6:35
Purdue 13
(5) Ohio State 6 2nd Qtr 2:04
Navy 7
Appalachian St 0 2nd Qtr 2:17
Michigan 21
Ga Southern 10 2nd Qtr 8:35
NC State 3
Boston College 2:00 PM
West Virginia 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 2:30 PM
Marshall 2:30 PM
UC Davis 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Colorado 3:00 PM
New England 4:00 PM
Toronto FC
Columbus 6:30 PM
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Chicago 6:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters


Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pm
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pm
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. TBA
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA




question of the day

Poll: Grade the Gophers in their season opener

Weekly Question