With eight minutes to go in the third period, the Gophers women's hockey team was in a tie game Saturday. That was news.
Then it blew the game open before an announced crowd of 3,017 at Ridder Arena. The top-ranked Gophers (28-0, 22-0 WCHA) scored four unanswered goals -- the first three in a span of 1:45 -- to beat No. 10 Minnesota Duluth (13-10-3, 12-9-1)) 6-2 for their 36th consecutive victory. They swept the Bulldogs for the first time in program history.
Amanda Kessel, the nation's leading scorer, broke the tie with a goal at 12:15, going five-hole on Minnesota Duluth goaltender Kayla Black. The Gophers' other third-period goals came from Rachael Bona, Meghan Lorence and Jordyn Burns.
The Bulldogs had pulled even on a short-handed goal by Jenna McParland at 5:39 of the third period. The last time the Gophers had entered the final eight minutes of a game tied was on Feb. 17, 2012, against North Dakota. That was the last time they lost.
Minnesota Duluth struck first in the game, with Pernilla Winberg getting the only goal of the first period. UMD would hold that lead for the next 18:21.
Kessel also had three assists, bringing her season totals to 37 goals and 45 assists.
Noora Raty made 16 saves for her 102nd career victory.