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Gophers and Bulldogs set for rematch in NCAA Quarterfinals

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Women’s Hockey | 03/11/2022 09:49:00

MINNEAPOLIS – The No. 2-ranked Golden Gopher women’s hockey team will face Minnesota Duluth in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs defeated the Crimsons, 4-0 on Thursday to qualify to set up a rematch of last weekend’s WCHA final showdown. Saturday’s quarterfinal is at 2:00 p.m. at Ridder Arena with the winner advancing to the 2022 NCAA Frozen Four at University Park, Penn.

Last Time Out: Gophers Fall in Conference Title Game
Minnesota (29-8-1) failed to sweep the WCHA for the sixth time in program history with a 3-2 overtime loss to Ohio State in the WCHA Final Faceoff title game. On Saturday, the Gophers qualified for the championship in convincing fashion with a 5-1 win over Minnesota Duluth. Senior Striker Catie Skaja scored 51 seconds to set the tone for a dominant outing. Crystalyn Hengler, Abigail Boreen, Taylor Heiseand Emily Brown each scored in the semi-final victory. On Sunday, the Maroon & Gold lost a 2-0 third period lead and suffered their fourth overtime loss of the season.

Rematch with the Bulldogs
The Gophers and Bulldogs will meet exactly one week after Minnesota’s 5-1 win in the WCHA Tournament. The Gophers are 3-2 against their northern rivals this season, winning the last two games by a combined score of 7-2. The last time these two teams met in the NCAA Tournament was in 2017 – in which the “U” took a 1-0 win at AMSOIL Arena. Saturday’s game will be the fourth time these two WCHA teams have met in the tournament. Minnesota has won twice, while Minnesota Duluth’s only win came in the 2010 Frozen Four semifinals.

Tournament time
Minnesota enters the NCAA Tournament as the No. 2 seed — the highest seed for the Gophers since 2015. The “U” holds a tournament record of 26-12-1 this weekend. end with sights on the program’s eighth national title. In NCAA games before the Frozen Four, the Maroon and Gold are 11-3 and 11-1 overall at home. The last time Minnesota failed to reach the Frozen Four while hosting the quarterfinals was in 2008.

NCAA quarterfinal games
No. 1 Ohio State vs. Quinnipiac: 12/3, 4:00 p.m. CT (Columbus, Ohio.)
No. 2 Minnesota vs. Minnesota Duluth: 3/12, 2:00 p.m. CT (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
No. 3 Northeast vs. Wisconsin: 3/12, 12:00 p.m. CT (Boston, Mass.)
#4 Colgate vs. #5 Yale: 3/12, 2:00 p.m. CT (Hamilton, NY)

Dynamic Duo
Attackers Taylor Heise and Abigail Boreen currently leads the NCAA in points. The teammates posted career years with Heise’s 66 points and Boreen’s 58 points in 38 games. The last time Minnesota had two skaters who recorded more than 60 points in a season was in 2015-16 — Dani Cameranesi (66) and Hannah Brandt (61). Heise is four points away from becoming the first Gopher to record a 70-point season since Brandt in 2014-15.

Awards Season
Senior by Taylor Heise The list of accolades has grown significantly as the striker has been named WCHA Player of the Year, WCHA Offensive Player of the Year, HCA Co-National Player of the Month and WCHA Player of the Month for the second consecutive month, and a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. Heise is the first Gopher to win Conference Player of the Year honors since Sydney Baldwin in 2018. Peyton Hemp continued his pre-season Rookie of the Year honor by being selected as WCHA Rookie of the Year on Tuesday. Hemp is the 10th Minnesota Conference Rookie of the Year in program history and the first since Madeline Wethington in 2020.

Focus on the first period
In 38 games this season, Minnesota has scored first in 31 of them. The Maroon and Gold are 24-6-1 in games where they find the back of the net first and 5-2-0 in games where the opposition scores first. Senior Striker Taylor Heise leads the team with seven first goals this season, including two in the first 40 seconds. The first 20 minutes proved crucial to Minnesota’s success this season. Leading after the first period, the Gophers are 22-0-1. When trailing or tied after the first period, the Gophers are 7-8-0.

Mark milestones on the horizon
Senior Taylor Heise continues to climb the program ranks as Minnesota’s leading active scorer with 160 career points (67g-93a) in 133 career games. senior red shirt Amy Potomac (49g-61a) is the second active Gopher to surpass 100 points. Senior Abigail Boreen (38g-50a), senior Emily Oden (27g-61a) and fifth grade Emily Brown (20g-66a) are next closest to the century mark. Fifth year Olivia Knowles (17g-61a) is closing in on 80 career points. Amy Potomac is one goal away from 50 career goals.

25th season
The 2021-22 season marks the 25th season of Gopher women’s hockey. To celebrate the first quarter century of Gopher women’s hockey, Minnesota will wear special “25 seasons” patches on their jerseys, among other celebrations throughout the season.

The quest for the eighth national title continues
Minnesota has won seven national championships (2000, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016) and is seeking a historic eighth national crown in 2021-22.