Gophers in the Frozen Four… Again

March 16, 2016
Three Gopher players, including Lee Stecklein and Amanda Kessel, celebrate during their win over Princeton.

It’s become a familiar tournament for the Minnesota women’s hockey team and their fans—the Frozen Four. And while the Gophers are making their fifth straight appearance, winning the national championship in three of the previous four years, this year Minnesota is the No. 3 seed in the tournament and not favored to win. Regardless, some great hockey is on tap in Durham, New Hampshire.

The Gophers will play a very familiar Wisconsin team, seeded No. 2, on Friday at 6 p.m. CDT. The other semifinal features Clarkson against top-ranked Boston College, sporting a gaudy 39-0-0 record—the same as Minnesota’s entering the Frozen Four in its undefeated title season of 2012-13. The winners play for the title on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Minnesota advanced to its 12th Frozen Four by beating Princeton 6-2 in the NCAA quarterfinal round March 12 at Ridder Arena. The Gophers were paced by a hat trick by Amanda Kessel, who now has 9 goals in 11 games in her unexpected late-season return after two years of fighting concussion symptoms.

The Gophers are seeking their seventh national title, as well as back-to-back titles for a third time, after winning consecutive championships in 2004 and 2005 and again in 2012 and 2013.

Read the tournament notes and watch a video on Kessel’s return to the Gophers.