It took 24 saves for University of Minnesota goalie Noora Raty to record career win 101 Friday night at Ridder Arena. Her opponents from the University of Minnesota-Duluth took that many shots on goal but Raty earned the shutout.
The win sets the NCAA career record for wins by a goaltender and gave the Gophers the necessary three points to claim the WCHA regular season championship outright in the 5-0 win versus UMD.
Offensively, Minnesota was bottled up for the the first two periods as the Bulldogs held the Gophers to just a shorthanded goal in the first period by Becky Kortum and an impressive Amanda Kessel goal in the second period set up by Megan Bozek and Hannah Brandt, who fed Kessel with a behind the back pass for the game’s second score.
Raty and UMD goalie Kayla Black each faced 15 shots after two periods of play, but Minnesota cemented their mark as the No. 1 team in the country when they added three more in the final period of play.
The win for Minnesota puts them now at 27-0-0 overall on the season and 21-0-0 in WCHA play. This is the first outright regular season title for the Maroon and Gold since the 2008-2009 season.
The shutout for Raty is her 37th in her career and she is now just three shutouts away from setting the NCAA record for that mark as well.
Kessel, who came into the game as the nation’s leading scoring with 75 points, matched her season average with three points in the win as she scored and assisted on two of the three third period goals to go along with her second period beauty.
“We’ve been breaking records and doing a bunch of different things throughout the whole year and still coming back the next night and playing extremely hard. So nothing changes for us, we won the conference championship and that will now go on a shelf and we will continue to try and get a win here (tomorrow) and continue to peak towards playoffs,” said Brad Frost after the game.
Minnesota will carry their unbeaten streak to tomorrow’s series finale versus Minnesota-Duluth at Ridder Arena. Game time is scheduled for 2:36 p.m. and will be broadcasted live on the Big Ten Network.