UMD wins national title in three overtimesMinnesota Sports
- The University of Minnesota-Duluth won its fifth NCAA women's hockey title by betaing Cornell in three overtimes 3-2 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.
By: Kevin Pates, Pierce County Herald
MINNEAPOLIS - UMD was locked in an intense confrontation with Cornell in the 2010 NCAA Division I women’s hockey championship game before 1,473 fans at Ridder Arena.
The title wasn’t decided until 33.6 seconds remained in a third overtime, making it the longest championship game in 11 years as an NCAA-sponsored sport. Almost two full games were played back-to-back.
Freshman winger Jessica Wong got her stick on a shot and tipped the puck at the crease through the legs of Cornell goalie Amanda Mazzotta for a 3-2 victory.
After more than 119 minutes, the Bulldogs had claimed a fifth NCAA title. A team that missed five players for the entire season because of the Winter Games, regained defenseman Jocelyne Larocque at midseason when she was cut from the Canadian team, and then was without Tuominen and defenseman Mariia Posa for a month while they were with Finland’s team, somehow came on in the last three months to go 19-1-1 the final 21 games, and win the last nine straight.
UMD tied Minnesota for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season title, beat Minnesota 3-2 for the WCHA playoff title at Ridder Arena, defeated Minnesota 3-2 in Friday’s NCAA semifinals 3-2, then faced fourth-ranked Cornell (21-8-6) of Ithaca, N.Y., in the final.
The second-ranked Bulldogs (31-8-2) needed some special players to lead the way — including senior right winger Emmanuelle Blais, named the Frozen Four MVP after being named the WCHA playoff MVP, and freshman goalie Jennifer Harss, along with forwards Tuominen and Laura Fridfinnson, and senior defensemen Jaime Rasmussen and Sarah Murray.
Cornell came into the final with a Division I-best 11-game win streak, including a 3-2 overtime against No. 1 Mercyhurst College in the semifinals. After a scoreless first period, the Big Red went up 1-0 with 6:16 left in the second period when senior winger Melanie Jue scored on a power play, just after a 5-on-3 advantage expired. It was 1-0 after two periods.
A power play carried over from the end of the second period and Blais needed just 18 seconds of the third period to tie the game. She drove on left wing, had a shot blocked by defenseman Lauriane Rougeau, got the puck back and ripped a shot by Mazzotta. It was her 32nd goal of the season and 73rd of her career for UMD’s scoring leader.
When Rasmussen took a Tuominen pass and scored on a power play with 5:18 left in regulation, Blais thought the Bulldogs were going to win, she said later. But Cornell answered 1:48 later on Jue’s second goal, which followed a good Harss save. With 90 seconds left, UMD had a bunch of chances at the crease on a power play. There would be no more scoring for another three periods.
UMD freshman Audrey Cournoyer just missed on the doorstep 70 seconds into the first overtime. Wong missed a wide-open net at 4:29 of the second overtime. Wong crushed a shot off the crossbar with 7:00 left in the third overtime. UMD led in OT shots on goal 36-21.
Wong’s 15th goal of the season was the game winner.
The previous long NCAA final was UMD beating Harvard 4-3 in double-overtime in 2003 at the DECC. UMD outshot Cornell 64-51 in the longest game in the history of both programs — four hours and 24 minutes.