Hockey World Blog

Minnesota Stuns Boston College for Women’s Hockey Title

The 2016 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four was expected to be a high-scoring shootout as it featured four of the top five scorers in the nation. The old saying “Defense Wins Championships” played true to the end as Minnesota posted a 3-1 upset victory over Boston College to win their fourth national title in five years.

The Golden Gophers win their sixth title overall, all since 2004. With the win, they overtook Minnesota-Duluth for most titles since the Division I tournament began for women during the 2000-01 season. The Bulldogs won their last title in 2010 and the Golden Gophers have won four titles since.

Boston College entered the championship game sporting a 40-0-0 record and looking to complete a perfect season. They were attempting to become the second team from the eastern United States to win the national title and the first team since the 2013 Minnesota to do so undefeated.

Boston College were given their best test in the national semifinal against Clarkson. They trailed 2-0 in the second period before scoring two in regulation and the game winner just under a minute into overtime. It was the second time they played past 20 minutes all season, with the other occurrence being a 4-3 regular season win over Boston University in November.

In the title game, it was all-Minnesota from the opening puck drop as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player – Sarah Potomak -scored 13 seconds into the game, setting a new record for the championship’s fastest goal.

The Gophers would double their lead in the third period when Amanda Kessel scored at 8:31. A Boston College comeback seemed insurmountable at 13:12 when Kelly Pannek put a low shot past Katie Burt. Just after a minute after that goal, the Eagles did score when Makenna Newkirk scored.

The credit should be given to both defensive units, as they managed to keep the four leading scorers (BC’s Alex Carpenter, Haley Skarupa; UM’s Dani Cameranesi and Hannah Brandt) all season long from lighting the lamp. Only Brandt recorded a point as she assisted on the first goal of the contest.

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