THE ASSOCIATED PRESS—HAMDEN, Conn.
Clarkson ended Minnesota’s two-year run as NCAA women’s hockey champions. Shannon MacAulay scored on a breakaway with 4:16 left in the third to help give Clarkson a 5-4 victory on Sunday.
The Golden Knights are the first team aside from Wisconsin, Minnesota Duluth or Minnesota to win the national title in women’s hockey.
The Golden Gophers featured senior Sarah Davis of Paradise in the lineup. Davis, who played her minor hockey in Newfoundland and was a member of the province’s 2007 Canada Winter Games team, was part of the Minnesota team which won the past two NCAA titles.
Davis had 19 goals and 47 points in 39 games with Minnesota this year.
She scored the first goal of the game Sunday.
“We didn’t care how many national championships they’d won,” Clarkson captain Carly Mercer said. “This was our year.”
Minnesota (38-2-1) came in unbeaten in 26 games. That followed a 62-game winning streak, including last year’s perfect season.
When Maryanne Menefee and Rachael Bona scored quickly to tie it 3-3 in the second, it looked as if the Gophers would soon be back on top yet again.
But it was Clarkson senior defenceman Vanessa Plante breaking the tie with 8:28 left in the game, taking a pass at the point from Vanessa Gagnon after Patty Kazmaier Award winner Jamie Lee Rattray gained the zone.
MacAulay stole the puck and scored on a nifty move on a breakaway, and Clarkson had all it needed, even after Minnesota tried to rally.
“It’s obviously tough to be in this situation,” Minnesota coach Brad Frost said. “We’ve been on the other end of it. We know how great it feels.
“Our kids were successful. They were so successful,” he added. “The culture of our team is unbelievable.”
Minnesota got back to the national final, Frost noted, despite losing six seniors, three of whom played in the Olympics, along with two other Olympians for the season.
“After opening weekend against Colgate,” he said, “I think a lot of people were wondering what we were going to be.”
With files from The Telegram