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2016 Frozen Four: Minnesota ends Boston College's undefeated season to win NCAA Title

Sarah Potomak scored 13 seconds into the game and Amanda Leveille made 32 saves in a 3-1 victory.

Minnesota celebrating the program's fourth national championship in five years.
Minnesota celebrating the program's fourth national championship in five years.
Matt Dewkett

The Gophers once again are adding to its dynasty in women's hockey.

Putting the one in 40-1, Minnesota (35-4-1) defeated previously undefeated Boston College 3-1 in Durham, NH to win the program's sixth NCAA national championships. (The Gophers also won the 2000 AWCHA championship prior to the NCAA sponsoring women's ice hockey.) It's the second straight championship won by Minnesota and fourth in five years.

That total is the most by one school, breaking a tie with Minnesota Duluth.

With both schools having played overtime games in the Frozen Four semifinals, Sunday's championship needed no time to get going.

Minnesota led 1-0 13 seconds into the game thanks to Friday's OT hero, Sarah Potomak, getting the fastest goal in NCAA championship history. Playing like a grizzled veteran, the 18 year-old freshman scored her 15th goal of the season.

That total held until 24 year-old Minnesota sixth-year senior Amanda Kessel rocketed a shot through Eagles goalie Katie Burt 8:31 into the third period. Sophomore Kelly Pannek made it 3-0 less than five minutes later before Makenna Newkirk got Boston College (40-1-0) on the board with 5:53 remaining.

Gopher senior goaltender Amanda Leveille ended her career with 32 saves. Two years after struggling in a national championship loss, she put on one of her best performances when it mattered most. Boston College had several chances to tie the game with shots as well as 1:03 with a two person advantage in the first period. Alex Carpenter, the nation's leading scorer, was held without a point for only the second time in the last two month.

The Eagles entered the game looking to become the second team to ever finish the season undefeated. After coming back from a 2-0 deficit against Clarkson to defeat the Golden Knights in the semifinals, Boston College was unable to find the same magic against the Golden Gophers.

Instead, Boston College, making its first appearance in the national championship, could not solve Minnesota's defense and forward depth matching its own in a battle of the top two team offenses this season.

Potomak was named the Frozen Four's most outstanding player. Kessel, finishing with 11 goals in 13 games since returning from two seasons away with post-concussion issues, ended the NCAA Tournament with 5 goals and an assist in 3 games. Those two were joined by their teammates Leveille and redshirt junior defender Lee Stacklein on the all-tournament team.


Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation mostly covering both the University of Minnesota and Big Ten. You can also follow him on Twitter --