MINNEAPOLIS — Mercyhurst’s dream of a national championship ended on Friday with a 4-1 loss to Boston University in the semifinals of the NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Championship at Ridder Arena.
BU advances to its second national title game in program history. The Terriors (28-5-3) won their program-record 28th game of the season and will face top-ranked and undefeated Minnesota (40-0-0) on Sunday afternoon (4 p.m.) for the national championship.
Mercyhurst trailed, 4-0, before Christie Cicero scored on assists from Chtristine Bestland and Vaila Higson to end the shutout bid. Mercyhurst ends its season 29-7-1.
Four different Terriers scored including seniors Jenelle Kohanchuk, Isabel Menard and Kathryn Miller. Junior co-captain Marie-Philip Poulin added a goal as well and Kohanchuk also tallied an assist for a two-point evening.
• In the other semifinal, Sarah Davis scored 1:39 into overtime as Minnesota beat Boston College, 3-2, for its 48th straight victory.
“The team found a way, just like they have all year,” Minnesota coach Brad Frost said.
Davis took a pass from Bethany Brausen, skated to the left to deke goalie Corinne Boyles and put a shot behind the sprawling netminder. The third member of the line, Meghan Lorence, also got an assist.
Minnesota (40-0-0) scored late in the third overtime to beat North Dakota, 3-2, in the quarterfinals last Saturday.
“I’m smiling like a fool now, but it’s a great day,” Davis said.
If one were to pick a potential winning scorer for Minnesota, Davis and her linemates would be far down the list behind the likes of Amanda Kessel, Hannah Brandt and Megan Bozek, who have combined for 95 goals. Davis’s goal was her seventh of the season.
“From day one, we’ve been talking about how the depth of our team is probably our biggest strength,” Frost said. “I’ve got all the confidence in the world in all our lines, so I knew there was a chance they could score just like any other line.”
Brandt and Becky Kortum scored third-period goals for the Gophers. Noora Raty finished with 26 saves.
Minnesota led the country in scoring at 5.36 goals per game, and Boston College was second at 4.36, but each is also known for its defensive prowess. With the exception of the power-play chances, the game was so up-and-down that a team rarely spent 15 seconds in offensive end before the opponent controlled the puck and began to break out of their zone.