For a dominant victory, tonight's NCAA Quarterfinal certainly didn't start out they way Minnesota would have liked like. While the final stat sheet was all Gophers, the first minute belonged to Princeton with Jamie McDonell scoring only 29 seconds into the game for the Tigers. From there on out though? It was all Minnesota.
The first period was an offensive showcase for Hannah Brandt and Amanda Kessel. Brandt evened the game with a power-play goal at 4:47. Kessel then took over to give the Gophers a 2 goal lead at the break; scoring a shorty at 6:01 and then following it with a power-play goal of her her at 17:35. Hopefully the U will have video of her shorty up at some point, as I've been told it was an amazing goal.
The second period was a scoreless affair...until it wasn't. Minnesota scored 3 goals in the final six minutes of the period to put the game completely out of reach. Sarah Potomak scored at 14:24, Dani Cameranesi scored at 16:36, and Amanda Kessel completed her hat trick with a goal at 17:02 in the second period.
Princeton tacked on a final even strength goal with a mere 3 seconds left in the third period and the celebration was on at Ridder Arena!
Wisconsin's 6-0 over Mercyhurst means the Gophers will face a familiar foe in the Frozen Four. The Badgers lead the season series 3-2, with a sweep in Madison and a WCHA Tournament title win over the Gophers at Ridder. You can expect that next weekend's game will be hard fought and I'm certainly looking forward to it.