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Minnesota beats Boston College 3-1 for women’s hockey title

March 20, 2016

After guiding his team to an undefeated run to the women’s hockey title in 2013, Minnesota coach Brad Forst said he’d tip his cap to the next team with a perfect season.

Forst and his Gophers stopped that team on Sunday, beating undefeated Boston College 3-1 and winning its second straight national championship.

“We didn’t talk once about ending their perfect season,” Forst said. “It was all about playing in the national championship game and doing our best and going out there and try and win it.”

Sara Potomak had a goal and an assist to lead Minnesota. Potomak scored 13 seconds into the game and Minnesota added two more before BC scored its only goal.

“I wouldn’t consider myself a superstar,” Potomak said. “It’s pretty easy when you’re playing with players like (Amanda) Kessel and (Hannah) Brandt and when you have Lev (Amanda Leveille) in net. You have so much confidence out there so to be honest, I just thought it was a great team win and if Hannah didn’t pass me that puck, it would have never gone into the net.”

The win gave Minnesota (35-4-1) the repeat against the Eagles (40-1-0), who were seeking their first title. The Eagles notched their first win in the Frozen Four with a 3-2 win over Clarkson on Friday at Whittmore Center in Durham, New Hampshire. They were previously 0-5 in national semifinals.

“It’s incredible for BC to even to go 40 wins in a row, that’s really hard. The NCAA has a lot of talented teams, so congratulations to them,” Leveille said. “I didn’t play very much my freshman year but it was still an absolute blast to be on the team and I can’t say it enough I’m so grateful to be a part of this program and team.”

Minnesota defeated Harvard last season in the Frozen Four final.

After the early goal, both teams got stellar play from their goaltenders. Leveille had 32 saves while Katie Burt had 31 for Boston College.

Kessel scored with less than 12 minutes left in the game to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead, then Kelly Pannek scored her team’s third goal. Makenna Newkirk scored with less than 6 minutes to play to end the shutout.

Boston College coach Katie Crowley was named coach of the year for the second straight time. Her team set NCAA season records for points (588) and assists (376).

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