MINNEAPOLIS — It took Minnesota three overtimes to punch its ticket to the 2013 Frozen Four as the Golden Gophers battled to a 3-2 triumph against North Dakota on Saturday. Junior Kelly Terry swatted in the game-winning goal with 1:09 remaining in the third period to keep the Golden Gophers’ season alive.
After battling North Dakota and exhaustion, the Gophers (39-0-0) ended the longest game in program history as Terry pounded in a rebound with more than a minute remaining in the third overtime. Senior Mira Jalosuo took the initial shot from the blue line, and sophomore Rachael Bona joined Terry in the scrum in front of the net. Both were credited with assists on the goal.
Both teams tallied a goal in each of the first two periods with the Maroon & Gold jumping to a quick early lead.
It took the Gophers just 52 seconds to claim a 1-0 lead as junior Bethany Brausen forced a North Dakota turnover in their own defensive zone. Brausen dished the puck off to classmate Amanda Kessel below the goal line, where she found freshman Hannah Brandt streaking to the front of the net. Brandt poked the puck by Shelby Amsley-Benzie to give Minnesota the lead.
North Dakota (26-12-1) came storming back, putting 18 shots on goal to the Maroon & Gold’s seven. UND equalized the match at the 14:05 mark, capitalizing on a 2-on-1 opportunity with Ashley Furia slipping a puck by Noora Raty.
The UND goal snapped a 395 minute scoreless streak for Minnesota opponents. The knotted score was carried into the intermission.
In the second period, North Dakota notched its second goal just 29 seconds into the period on a power play.
The Maroon & Gold received a pair of power-play chances in the second period, but it wasn’t until the second opportunity at the 16-minute mark that the Golden Gophers evened the score up at two.
Senior Megan Bozek skated the length of the ice and wrapped around the back of the net. Bozek centered the puck and found Kessel at the far side of the net for the one-timer.
Minnesota went 2-for-7 on power-play situations, while North Dakota was 1-for-2.
With 1:55 remaining in the period, freshman Milica McMillen was called for checking from behind and received a game misconduct. The Gophers skated the remainder of the period a player down and began the third with UND on a 3:05 power play.
From the third period on, the two WCHA rivals battled back-and-forth, but neither team could gain an advantage on the scoreboard.
The victory extends the Gophers’ NCAA-record winning streak to 47 games and advanced them to their second consecutive Frozen Four, which will be held at Ridder Arena on March 22-24.