Goaltender Amanda Leveille turned in a stellar performance as the Minnesota Golden Gophers won their fourth National Championship in five years and their sixth overall. Amanda Kessel led all scorers in the NCAA tournament with 5 goals and 1 assist including the game-winner this afternoon and freshman Sarah Potomak contributed a goal and an assist in the title game.
Things went much the same for BC today as they did Friday with their opposition scoring just seconds into the game. Potomak potted a pass from Brandt just 13 seconds in to put the Gophers on top right away.
After that it was a combination of poor shooting from BC and the great goaltending from Leveille that doomed the Eagles. Boston College turned in probably their two worst performances of the year in the final two games of the NCAA tournament and it ended up costing them.
Credit should also be given to the Minnesota penalty kill, which was mediocre throughout the first half of the season. They killed 24 straight opposition power plays heading into this game and held the Eagles scoreless on four opportunities with the skater advantage.
Despite putting up 33 shots, Boston College frequently looked like they couldn’t get a whole lot going against the Gopher defense. Leveille played lights out, but defenders Lee Stecklein and Megan Wolfe deserve a lot of credit as well for shutting down the Eagles’ high powered attack. The final two NCAA tournament games were just the fifth and sixth times all season that Boston College had scored three or fewer goals in a game.
Putting all that together, here are my three stars of the game:
- Amanda Leveille – I am admittedly not a goaltender fan, but when you come a wonky bounce away from shutting out the nation’s highest scoring team you deserve all the credit in the world.
- Lee Stecklein – One of the biggest questions heading into the game was how the Minnesota defense would fare against BC’s talented forwards. They answered that question pretty definitively today. Leveille was top-quality, but the Minnesota defense had a lot to do with it.
- Sarah Potomak – I made a lot out of the freshman forward’s point-less WCHA tournament. She responded in a big way with 3g and 2a in the NCAA tournament including a goal and an assist in the championship game.
On a final note, it was nice to see both Amanda Kessel back on the ice late this season after missing extensive time with a concussion. Kessel hadn’t played for the Gophers since the 2012-2013 season. She had 11 goals in her 13 games this year, including the game winner in today’s championship.