HAMDEN, Conn. -- The Cornell women's hockey season came to an end in the Frozen Four, as the Big Red fell to second-seeded Minnesota in the national semifinal Friday in the United People's Center. This was the fourth time in program history that the Big Red advanced to the Frozen Four and first time since 2012.
"I'm really proud of our group," said head coach Doug Derraugh. "We played a real strong team game today and I'm proud of what we accomplished all year long. We've had our shares of ups and downs, but this a team that has come together and has played really hard as a team. That's something for our group is that it was a total team effort this year."
The Golden Gophers had most of the chances in the first 15 minutes of the game, but senior goaltender Marlène Boissonnault stood tall.
Bossionnault had one of her biggest saves of the contest in the first period on a Golden Gopher breakaway. Minnesota sent the puck forward to Sarah Potomak, who was all alone in the neutral zone. Potomak charged in uncontested and tried faking out Boissonnault, ultimately firing the backhand. With Boissonnault sprawled out she reached back and made the save to keep the game scoreless. Just under 30 seconds later the Golden Gophers had another prime opportunity with a shot from Grace Ostertag that went off the post.
Cornell had one of its top offensive opportunities of the first with around four and a half minutes left. Jaime Bourbonnais entered the zone and ended up sending it along the boards to Maddie Mills. Mills sent a backhanded pass to Amy Curlew in the slot, who put the puck on net but it was swallowed up by Minnesota goaltender Alex Gulstene.
The shot ignited the Big Red offense that had just three shots on net prior to Curlew's chance. Cornell finished the first period with eight shots on net.
Minnesota took the lead with 7:51 left in the second period with a power play goal from Nicole Shammel, who put home the loose rebound after Boissonnault turned away the initial attempt.
The Golden Gophers held the Big Red to just three shots on net in the second period. The Big Red generated some chances in the latter half of the third period. One of its top chances came near the seven-minute mark. Kristin O'Neill brought the puck into the zone and charged towards the net. O'Neill fired a backhander on the doorstep but was denied.
The Golden Gophers tacked on an empty-netter in the final minute of the contest to put them ahead, 2-0.
NOTES TO KNOW
- The Big Red finished with 24 wins, which is the most since the 2013-14 season and is tied for the fourth most in program history.
- The senior class finished with an overall mark of 78-38-18 over the course of their careers.
- Bosssionnault finished her career with a goals against average of 1.79, which ranks third in program history. Additionally, her .917 save percentage ranks fourth all-time. She finished the contest with a total of 25 saves on 26 shots faced.
- Both teams had two power play opportunities. The Golden Gophers were 1-2, while the Big Red was 0-2.