Q-Pac Tops NCAA Field
Minnesota forward Bethany Brausen (16) takes a shot at Boston University goalie Kerrin Sperry (1) in the women's Frozen Four NCAA Championship college hockey game, Sunday, March 24, 2013, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
Top-ranked Quinnipiac is the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA hockey tournament despite a loss in its conference tournament semifinals.
The Bobcats are joined by UMass-Lowell, Minnesota and Notre Dame as the No. 1 regional seeds in the 16-team field announced yesterday.
Quinnipiac (27-7-5), which lost to Brown 4-0 in the East Coast Athletic Conference semifinals, is the No. 1 seed in the Northeast Regional and will play Canisius on Saturday in Providence, R.I. The other two teams playing in Providence are ECAC champion Union and defending national-champion Boston College.
The rest of the field features Wisconsin, Denver, New Hampshire, Yale, North Dakota, Niagara, St. Cloud State, Miami (Ohio) and Minnesota State.
Despite failing to earn home ice for its Hockey East quarterfinal series with Providence, UNH won’t have to go far to start its latest NCAA effort. The Wildcats will meet Denver on Friday night in Manchester.
The Frozen Four is in Pittsburgh.
Notre Dame Wins
Last CCHA Title
Detroit — Austin Wuthrich broke a tie 29 seconds into the third period and Notre Dame went on to win the final Central Collegiate Hockey Association championship, 3-1 over Michigan yesterday.
All of the CCHA’s teams have found other conferences to play in next season.
Notre Dame will be in Hockey East, and Michigan will play in the Big Ten.
Anders Lee and Jeff Costello also scored for Notre Dame (25-12-3), and Steven Summerhays stopped 20 shots. Derek Deblois scored for Michigan (18-19-3), which had its steak of 22 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances snapped. Steve Racine made 30 saves.
Win NCAA Crown
Minneapolis — Amanda Kessel scored twice, and the Gophers breezed by Boston University 6-3 to finish the first perfect season in the 13-year history of NCAA women’s hockey.
Mira Jalosuo, Hannah Brandt, Milica McMillen and Rachel Ramsey also scored for the Gophers (41-0), who won their second straight national championship — and fourth overall — and stretched their record winning streak to 49 games. Their last loss was to North Dakota on Feb. 17, 2012, more than 13 months ago.
Sarah Lefort, Marie-Philip Poulin and Jenelle Kohanchuk had goals for the Terriers (28-6-3), whose 10-game winning streak ended. They also lost in the title game in 2011.
Three Western Collegiate Hockey Association teams have won all 13 championships. Minnesota Duluth has five and Wisconsin has four.
Noora Raty made 21 saves for the Gophers, who never trailed after needing overtime to outlast Boston College in the semifinals and triple overtime to top North Dakota in the quarterfinals. This was more like most of Minnesota’s regular season matchups. The Gophers trailed in only a handful of games while cruising through the WCHA.
Now they’ve made a convincing case as the best team ever in this young sport. Wisconsin went 36-1-4 in 2007 and 37-2-2 in 2011 to win national titles, but never has one school dominated from October through March quite like this Minnesota bunch.
Kessel, who won the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award on Saturday as the top player in the country, added two assists. Maryanne Menefee had three helpers, and Ramsey had two. McMillen might’ve had the most impressive sequence of the afternoon when she hustled back to thwart a short-handed breakaway by BU late in the second period. McMillen stole the puck, sent it back to Minnesota’s offensive zone and polished off the power play by zipping a slap shot past goalie Kerrin Sperry for a 4-1 lead with 12 seconds remaining before the intermission.
Jalosuo scored on a power play and Brandt had a short-handed goal in the first period to put the Gophers in front. Ramsey scored in the final frame to add to the cushion and Kessel fittingly capped her performance with an empty-netter.
Kessel, the brother of Toronto Maple Leafs star Phil Kessel, finished her junior year with 46 goals and 55 assists. Raty and defender Megan Bozek were the other finalists for the Kazmaier honor. Raty received the Most Outstanding Player award for the NCAA tournament.
The sellout crowd at cozy Ridder Arena, home ice for the Gophers, chanted “perfect season!” as the final seconds ticked down before the entire Gophers team flung helmets and sticks in the air on the way to pile on Raty in celebration in front of the net.
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