Frozen Four: Minnesota tops Wisconsin to advance to championship
DURHAM, N.H. -- Sarah Potomak scored the game-winning goal in overtime to give Minnesota a 3-2 win over rival Wisconsin and send the Golden Gophers to their fifth-straight national championship game at the Whittemore Center Arena Friday night.
Potomak's game-winner came at the 15:00 mark of overtime when she picked off a Badger defenseman in the UW zone and fired it past Badger netminder Ann-Renee Desbiens to seal the 3-2 win.
Minnesota (34-4-1) received goals from Taylor Williamson and Amanda Kessel during regulation. Lee Stecklein led the Gophers with two points on a pair of assists, and Amanda Leveille made 37 saves in the win.
The game marked the third-straight national semifinal win for the Gophers over Wisconsin (35-4-1). The Badgers were led by Desbiens' 38 saves and received goals from Sophia Shaver and Emily Clark.
The Gophers took an early 1-0 lead on a goal by Williamson. Stecklein worked the puck into the Wisconsin zone and fed a pass to Williamson in the slot, where the freshman fired a shot past Desbiens just 2:15 into the game.
Wisconsin's Shaver then scored an unassisted tally to tie the game at the 11:35 mark of the opening period when she intercepted a pass in the Gopher end and one-timed it past Leveille.
The game remained tied at 1-1 until the final 20 seconds of the second period when UW's Clark banged a rebound into an open net after Leveille made the initial save on a shot by Sam Cogan.
Kessel scored the game-tying goal just 27 seconds into the third period off assists from Hannah Brandt and Stecklein. The Badgers controlled play most of the final frame, but the teams required overtime to settle their sixth meeting of the season.