Kessel scored once in every period for the Gophers (20-0-0, 14-0-0 WCHA). She scored her first goal with 40 seconds left in the first period for a 2-0 lead. She had the only goal of the middle period on a power play at 2:55. She completed her hat trick with 2:27 left in the third period. She now has 25 goals this season.
Defenseman Mira Jalosuo and forward Becky Kortum had the other two goals.
Senior goalie Noora Raty made 15 saves for the shutout. It was her 94th career victory -- six shy of tying another NCAA record.
The No. 1-rated Gophers outshot the Beavers 40-15. Kessel alone had 11 shots on goal against Bemidji State (3-12-2, 2-10-1).
The Gophers are now off until they host North Dakota on Jan. 11-12 at Ridder Arena.
U wrestlers win a squeaker
Gophers heavyweight Tony Nelson is rated No. 1 in the country and has a 36-match winning streak now going back to last season.
But Nelson, a redshirt junior, needed two overtimes to defeat once-beaten Chad Hanke of Oregon State on Saturday. And with Nelson's three-point decision, the Gophers won the nonconference dual wrestling meet with the Beavers 21-18 at the Sports Pavilion.
The Gophers, No. 3 in the latest InterMat ratings, took a 6-0 lead on decisions by David Thorn and Chris Dardanes, but the No. 13 Beavers won the next three matches, two on pins, to go ahead 15-6.
Kevin Steinhaus' technical fall at 184 pounds enabled the Gophers (7-2) to retake the lead at 18-15, but it was tied at 18-all before the final match.
Nelson, who won an NCAA individual title last season, closed the match like he usually does. It just took longer this time and came down to him having an eight-second edge in riding time.