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icehockey-women-nc flag | March 8, 2014

Going to the finals
Shelby Amsley-Benzie's 35 saves keeps Wisconsin off the board in North Dakota's win

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Led by a shutout effort from goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie, North Dakota defeated No. 2 Wisconsin 1-0 on Friday evening to advance to the championship game of the 2014 WCHA Final Face-Off at the Sanford Center.

Amsley-Benzie made 35 saves against the Badgers to seal the victory for North Dakota, recording her second shutout of the season.

North Dakota improves its record to 20-11-4 overall, marking the fourth consecutive season that UND has reached the 20-wins plateau.

With only 3:14 left in the second period, Meghan Dufault scored to give North Dakota the 1-0 lead. Dufault’s original shot was deflected away, but she pounced on the rebound and buried it past Wisconsin goaltender Alex Rigsby. The goal was only the second scored by UND on Rigsby all season.

No. 1 Minnesota 4, Minnesota-Duluth 1

BEMIDJI, Minn. – The No. 1 Golden Gopher women's hockey team scored four unanswered goals, including three in the third period, to secure a 4-1 win over No. 4 seed Minnesota Duluth in the semifinal round of the 2014 WCHA Final Face-off at the Sanford Center Friday night.

Minnesota (35-1-1) rallied after falling behind 1-0 early in the second period to advance to the WCHA championship game for the sixth-straight year. The Gophers will face No. 3 seed North Dakota (20-11-4) in the 2014 title game.

Junior Rachael Bona scored the game-winning goal on the power play at the 7:47 mark of the third period after senior Kelly Terry tied the game at 1-1 in the second period. Sophomore Milica McMillen and freshman Dani Cameranesi also scored in Minnesota's come-from-behind win.

Bona and Cameranesi each recorded a goal and an assist, and freshman Kate Schipper had two assists to lead the Gophers.

Sophomore goaltender Amanda Leveille made 21 saves as the Gophers outshot the Bulldogs 36-22. UMD goaltender Kayla Black made 32 saves.

No. 8 Mercyhurst 2, Syracuse 1

ERIE, Pa. -- Senior Kaleigh Chippy of Mercyhurst scored two goals to propel the Lakers 2-1 past Syracuse in the College Hockey America semifinals Friday afternoon.

The Lakers advance to the CHA Championship game for the 13th consecutive season on Saturday.

One minute into the second period, the Lakers were awarded a power-play opportunity. Junior Shelby Bram took the faceoff to begin two minutes with the Lakers one man advantage. Off the faceoff, senior Kaleigh Chippy skated through traffic in the faceoff circle and took a wrist shot at the hash marks. She beat Orange goaltender Jenesica Drinkwater to the near side corner of the net.

At the 16:16 mark of the middle period, the Orange took advantage of a power play their own and tied the game at 1. Syracuse's Allie LaCombe scored the tying goal after shooting an odd-angled shot from the right side of Makela. Melissa Piacentini and Brittney Krebs both were awarded the assists.

Chippy gave Mercyhurst the lead on another power-play goal at the 9:43 mark of the final period. Bram rotated the puck to the point where sophomore J'nai Mahadeo was waiting at the point. Mahadeo then cycled the puck to Chippy at the left side of Drinkwater. Chippy used the screen of an Orange defenseman and lifted the puck just under the shoulder of the goaltender.

Rochester Institute 4, No. 10 Robert Morris 1

ERIE, Pa. -- Rochester Institute (19-15-3) advanced to the College Hockey America Championship game for the first time after defeating Robert Morris (24-8-3) 4-1 in the league semifinal from Mercyhurst Ice Center on Friday evening. The Tigers will face top-seed and host Mercyhurst on Saturday.

Kourtney Kunichika led the third-seeded Tigers with a goal and an assist, while Melissa Bromley, Carly Payerl, and Cassie Clayton also scored for the Tigers, who have now won a Division I team-record six cosnecutive games. In net, Ali Binnington, the CHA Goaltender of the Year, made 25 saves to pick up her 15th win of the season. Binnington has allowed just five goals during the past six games, stopping 172 of 177 shots during that stretch.

Rebecca Vint scored Robert Morris' lone goal midway through the third period to cut the RIT lead to 2-1. In net, Jessica Dodds took the loss, stopping 24 shots.