Photo courtesy of Golden Gophers Athletics
As the Lamoureux sisters enter their final season at North Dakota, expectations for the program were high. Instead, North Dakota suffered a setback at the hands of the undefeated Minnesota Golden Gophers. The weekend sweep saw the Gophers extend their unbeaten streak to 17 (dating back to last season), and are 3 wins away from tying the program record.
The October 27 win saw both teams play a stout defensive match for the first two periods. The first stanza was scoreless despite North Dakota outshooting Minnesota by a 10-5 mark. In the second period, Tori Williams would give the Fighting Sioux a 1-0 lead at the 18 second mark. Minnesota would score 39 seconds later as Megan Bozek continued her remarkable season.
Despite the home ice advantage, the Fighting Sioux were overwhelmed in the third period. Although the first 12 minutes of the final stanza did not see any team score, Rachel Bona provided Minnesota with its first lead of the contest at the 12:30 mark. From there, Milica McMillen buried the puck past Jorid Daginfrud as the score increased to 3-1.
At the 17:30 mark, Brooke Garzone logged the first goal of her NCAA career as North Dakota faced an insurmountable 4-1 lead. With only one second left in the contest, Hannah Brandt logged an empty net goal as North Dakota was on the losing end of a 5-1 score.
Of note, Garzone was not the only Golden Gophers player to reach a milestone in the contest. Noora Raty earned career win 84 to become the Golden Gophers all-time leader for wins.
In the following game, Amanda Kessel recorded the first shot of the game for Minnesota, which resulted in a goal. The assist went to Hannah Brandt as the Golden Gophers enjoyed a quick 1-0 lead. Although North Dakota outshot Minnesota by a 7-4 mark, Noora Raty was impenetrable.
Meghan Dufault, the freshman from Winnipeg would log the first goal of her NCAA career as she tied the score at 1 apiece. Assists went to Becca Kohler and Josefine Jakobsen as Dufault scored a backhand goal from a rebound past Noora Raty. The 12:52 mark of the second would see Amanda Kessel score her second of the contest as the Golden Gophers regained the lead.
During the 17th minute of the second, Kelly Terry would score the third goal for Minnesota, as the sweep now seemed inevitable. Before the end of the second, Dufault would score her second goal of the game, as she took a pass from Josefine Jakobsen. Monique Lamoureux-Kolls also earned an assist on the goal as Minnesota’s lead was now reduced to a 3-2 count.
Heading into the final period, the first 15 minutes were scoreless. Despite stout defensive play on the part of North Dakota, Milica McMillen grabbed the puck during a scramble and gave Minnesota its fourth and final goal of the game. The Golden Gophers outshot North Dakota by a 33-18 mark in the 4-2 final.
This season, the Gophers have a 10-0 start for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign, when the Gophers featured Natalie Darwitz on a national championship squad.