U women edge North Dakota to win Final Face-off

  • Article by: NEWS SERVICES
  • Updated: March 8, 2014 - 10:13 PM

Two power-play goals lead to win over North Dakota.

The Gophers have one of the best power plays in the country.

And they scored on it twice in the second period to beat North Dakota 3-1 on Saturday in the championship game of the WCHA’s Final Face-off at the Sanford Center.

Defenseman Rachel Ramsey tied the score at 10 minutes, 48 seconds and Hannah Brandt, the conference’s Player of the Year, scored the winner at 14:12.

Brandt’s goal was her team-leading 22nd of the season. Ramsey had one of the assists, Dani Cameranesi the other.

Cameranesi added an empty-net goal with 1:16 to play in the third.

The Gophers were 2-for-3 on the power play, UND 1-for-1, scoring after Sarah Davis took a tripping penalty. Minnesota came into the game scoring on 32.9 percent of its power play — almost nine percent higher than anyone else — while North Dakota was 15th at 16.7 percent.

With the victory, the No. 1-rated Gophers (36-1-1) get the WCHA’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. Not that there was any doubt Minnesota, the two-time defending NCAA champion, would get in even with a loss.

North Dakota (20-12-4) took a 1-0 lead in the third minute of the middle period on Josefine Jakobsen’s power-play goal. But Gophers goalie Amanda Leveille stopped everything else and finished with 20 saves.

Shelby Amsley-Benzie was much busier in the UND net. She made 41 saves, 17 in the second period.

The Gophers beat Minnesota Duluth 4-1 on Friday in the semifinals, North Dakota upset second-seeded Wisconsin 1-0.

Saturday’s victory extended the Gophers unbeaten streak to 24 games (23-0-1) since a loss to North Dakota in November which seems like a long time ago.

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