NCAA hockey: Gold for the women, Grand Rapids for the men

March 24, 2013

Women rule: The record-setting Golden Gophers women's hockey team crowned an already perfect season with the final touch Sunday: the NCAA women's national championship with a 6-3 victory over Boston University.

Terriers at Gophers: 3/24/13.
VIEW GALLERY »A jam-packed crowd at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis roared as Amanda Kessel led the charge with a four-point afternoon (2 goals, 2 assists) as the Gophers ran the table for the season, winning every game with not a loss or tie to mar the record. Kessel won the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award on Saturday. She was also named to the all-tournament team. Goalie Noora Raty was voted tournament MVP.

The best women's hockey team in NCAA history thus caps its perfect season at 41-0 to win back-to-back championships. They're the only team ever to post a perfect season in NCAA women's hockey. The win was the Gophers' fourth NCAA championship and fifth national title overall.

Well done, Coach Brad Frost and the dominating Gophers women!

Meanwhile, the guys will keep playing: After their surprise ouster in the semifinals of the WCHA Final Five on Friday, the Gopher men found out they'll play Yale in the West Regional at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. in the NCAA first round. Minnesota is the top-seeded team in the region. The game will be played this Friday afternoon.

The Gophers knew going into the Final Five finale that they were already a lock for an NCAA playoff berth. Perhaps their loss to Colorado College in the second Friday semi- is a blessing after all -- at least to the WCHA. It means that the eventual tournament champion, Wisconsin, will continue its season, too. That's something that was just about dead before the Badgers knocked the Final Five's No. 1 seed, St. Cloud State, out of the tournament Friday afternoon.