MINNEAPOLIS — The top-seeded University of Wisconsin women's hockey team scored three times in the second period to earn a place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Face-off championship game with a 3-0 victory over No. 4 seed North Dakota in a semifinal game Friday at Ridder Arena.
Junior Carolyne Prevost scored what proved to be the game-winner for UW (33-2-2) at the 6-minute, 18-second mark of the second period. After breaking out of neutral ice with the puck, seniors Geena Prough and Kelly Nash connected with Prevost on a nice three-way passing play before Prevost finished with her 17th goal of the year.
UW took a two-goal lead as sophomore Brianna Decker scored her third short-handed goal of the season after getting a pass from senior Meghan Duggan.
Senior Mallory Deluce scored a power-play goal to give the Badgers a 3-0 lead with 1:46 remaining in the period. Prough and Nash set up the play for their second assists of the night.
Freshman Alex Rigsby (23-1-2) earned her seventh career shutout, stopping 19 shots, while Stephanie Ney fell to 16-7-2 after making 31 saves for the Fighting Sioux (20-13-2).
The Badgers were 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Fighting Sioux came up empty in six chances.
Minnesota 4, Minnesota-Duluth 2
Freshman Amanda Kessel, a Madison native, scored a hat trick to lead the Gophers (26-8-2) past the Bulldogs (22-8-3) in the second semifinal game.
UMD opened up the scoring when Audrey Cournoyer scored at 7:25 in the first period, but Kessel, who was named the WCHA Rookie of the Year on Thursday night, quickly tied it with her first goal.
Kelly Terry put the Gophers ahead midway through the second period and Kessel scored the eventual game-winner at the 12:58 mark. She then completed her hat trick with a short-handed goal at 8:53 of the third period.
Minnesota goaltender Noora Raty had 32 saves to earn her 25th win of the season. She set a school record for wins in a season and sits at 25-6-2 on the year.
UMD's Jennifer Harss had 39 saves in a losing effort.