Over the holiday weekend, after the Lady Gophers were finished trouncing all over the New Hampshire Wildcats, I did a little reflecting on the season thus far. I’d like to sum up my conclusions with a famous quote by boxer Muhammad Ali:
“It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”
The women’s hockey team is certainly doing their job. They’ve been taking down everything in their path this season, opponents and records alike. So far, so many records have been broken, tied or are close to being broken that it makes my head spin trying to keep them all straight – and it’s not even December yet!
It’s no surprise then, to report that yet another NCAA record belongs (partially) to the Gophers; as of Sunday, the team is now tied with Mercyhurst for the title of most consecutive road wins, at 15 apiece. The honor came after the Gophers completed the sweep of the Wildcats, winning 10-2 on Saturday and 4-0 Sunday. The sweep extends their winning streak to 24 games while the team is 16-0-0 on the season.
Here’s some other things you should know about what happened this weekend:
- Minnesota had seven different players score on Saturday, with freshman defender Lee Stecklein recording her first and second career goals on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. She’s been playing well and was long overdue for a goal this season, so congratulations are in order to her for getting that monkey off her back.
- Two short-handed goals were scored this weekend, one by Kelly Terry on Saturday and another by Amanda Kessel on Sunday. That goal puts Kessel at four on the season, just three shy of tying the NCAA record for short-handed goals in a season.
- Freshman Amanda Leveille recorded her second career start as she shutout the Wildcats Sunday with 16 saves. Noora Raty was out Sunday, possibly because of food poisoning. According to her Twitter account, “rare steak” may be the culprit.
- New Hampshire played three different goalies Saturday – to no avail. Their first goal came late in the first period after they mustered together a solid effort and the second was a power play goal.
- Noora Raty recorder her 90th career win on Saturday, which puts her only 10 wins away from tying the NCAA record.
- Maryanne Menefee and Brook Garzone both sat out this weekend for violating team rules. As far as we can tell, it has something to do with academics. While having to sit two forwards isn’t ideal, the team (clearly) has more than enough talent to overcome this.
Next up is rivalry weekend, as Minnesota hosts Wisconsin at Ridder Arena. The last time the Gophers played the Badgers was for the NCAA Championship, so a heated rematch is in order. The Gophers will try to break Ridder arena’s attendance record on Saturday. Tickets will be sold for $1. The puck drops at 2 p.m.