Gopher men and women hockey teams advance but not easilyMinnesota Sports
-- Both University of Minnesota hockey teams are fortunate to advance onwards to the next round of playoffs after surviving difficult games Saturday with wins.
MINNEAPOLIS - Both University of Minnesota hockey teams are fortunate to advance onwards to the next round of playoffs after surviving difficult games Saturday with wins.
The U women's team came awful close to being ousted from the NCAA Division I Tournament despite their 38-0-0 record and No. 1 ranking. North Dakota took the Golden Gophers to three overtimes at Ridder Arena but Kelly Terry's game-winning goal at the 18:51 mark of the third overtime secured a 3-2 win before over 2,700 fans. Both teams scored goals in the first and second period. Minnesota's goals were scored by Megan Brandt and Amanda Kessel, who also had an assist. Meghan Dufault also had a goal and assist for the Sioux. Minnesota had two power play goals (including the game winner) and Noora Raty made 50 saves in goal for the U (Her counterpart for UND, Shelby Amsley-Benzie made 57). Minnesota hosts the Frozen Four for women's hockey next week, so the Gophers will be back at Ridder Arena Friday against Boston College at 8 p.m. The earlier game that day will feature Boston U vs. Mercyhurst.
Meanwhile the Minnesota men's team finally put down a pesky Bemidji State team with a 4-3 victory Saturday at Mariucci Arena to sweep the first-round playoff series in the WCHA. The U had to go to overtime to beat the Beavers 2-1 Friday and looked like the same would happen Saturday. But Ben Marshall's unassisted game-winner at the 19:07 mark of the third period allowed the Gophers to escape with a win. The U scored three unanswered goals, including two in the third period after BSU led 3-1 in the second. Nick Bjugstad, Nate Condon and A.J. Michaelson all had goals for the Gophers. Condon's goal came just before the end of the second period which gave No. 2 Minnesota momentum going into the third. Erik Haula had three assists for the Golden Gophers while goalie Adam Wilcox made 19 saves as the U still outshot Bemidji State 41-22. Minnesota will play in the WCHA Final Five at the Xcel Energy Center starting Friday.