MINNEAPOLIS -- It was 63 games ago that North Dakota defeated Minnesota, and in between that time the Gophers never lost. That all changed on Sunday afternoon when No. 4 UND claimed a 3-2 win against No. 1 Minnesota at Ridder Arena.
North Dakota (9-2-1, 7-2-1-1 WCHA) bookends Minnesota’s (13-1-0, 11-1-0-0 WCHA) 62-game winning streak, having won previously on Feb. 17, 2012 at Ridder Arena. The 62-game streak was an NCAA record.
UND’s freshmen helped lead the charge as Kayla Gardner, Gracen Hirschy and Susanna Tapani scored the three UND goals. Additionally, Lexie Shaw was in net for UND, posting a career-high 32 saves for her third win of the season.
After falling flat on Saturday, North Dakota came out in the first period, scoring all three goals within the first 13 minutes of the game.
At the 6:12 mark, Gardner gathered a puck from a Minnesota defender in front of the Gophers’ goal and fired a shot back on net past goalie Amanda Leveille to give UND a 1-0 lead.
Just four minutes later, Michelle Karvinen and Tapani created pressure in the Minnesota zone, and after an initial shot from Tapani, Karvinen dished the puck up to Hirschy who then blasted a slap shot past Leveille.
Minnesota then took its first and only penalty of the game at the 11:35 as defenseman Milica McMillen was called for hooking. On the ensuing power play, freshman defender Halli Krzyzaniak fired a shot wide looking for a deflection. The shot rebounded off the back wall and Meghan Dufault fired the puck on net. Leveille made the first save, but Tapani was at the far post for the rebound and tapped the puck in for her fourth goal of the year.
Minnesota came out more focused in the second period, scoring two power-play goals. Rachel Ramsey took a slap shot from the point that beat Shaw through traffic for the first Gopher goal of the game. Sarah Davis then cut UND’s lead to one scoring at the 9:15 mark of the second period.
North Dakota gained back some lost momentum to even up play for the rest of the period, as the two teams retired for the second intermission with UND leading 3-2.
In the third period, both teams engaged in a slugfest, but neither side could find the back of the net. Shaw proved to be the difference maker in the third period, making 13 saves including four on the penalty kill. North Dakota had multiple golden opportunities to take back a two-goal lead, but couldn’t convert.
However, North Dakota wouldn’t need any more than three goals as UND held on to force a scoreless third period and take the 3-2 lead.