|1st||9:35||MIN||1-0||EV GW||Dani Cameranesi (30)||Brook Garzone/9, Kate Schipper/24|
|2nd||6:04||MIN||2-0||EV||Lee Stecklein (8)||Amanda Kessel/4, Hannah Brandt/34|
|2nd||15:48||MIN||3-0||EV||Dani Cameranesi (31)||Megan Wolfe/21, Kelly Pannek/25|
|2nd||17:15||MIN||4-0||PP||Dani Cameranesi (32)||Sydney Baldwin/16, Kate Schipper/25|
|3rd||13:29||MIN||5-0||EV||Kate Schipper (14)||Dani Cameranesi/35|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Ohio State (10-25-1)||0/1||5/10||0|
|Ohio State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Alex LaMere (L, 8-17-1)||60:00||5||11||7||7||25|
|Amanda Leveille (W, 25-3-1)||60:00||0||11||5||9||25|
MINNEAPOLIS - Led by a hat trick from 2016 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award top-10 finalist Dani Cameranesi and a 25-save shutout from Amanda Leveille, the No. 2 Golden Gophers defeated Ohio State, 5-0, to win the WCHA First Round best-of-three series and move on to next weekend's WCHA Final Face-off.
Minnesota (31-3-1, 24-3-1-0 WCHA) took the best-of-three series in two games after a 5-2 win on Friday night. In Saturday's 5-0 win, Cameranesi led the way with four points, adding an assist to her hat trick. The Gophers also received goals from Kate Schipper (1g-2a) and Lee Stecklein (1g), and Leveille's 25 saves secured her ninth shutout of the season.
Ohio State (10-25-1, 6-21-1-1 WCHA) recevied 25 saves from goaltender Alex LaMere as the Gophers outshot the Buckeyes, 30-25.
"I thought our team came out with good jump here today," head coach Brad Frost said. "Any time you can keep the zero on the board, that's obviously a positive thing. Our power play got us one tonight, and the penalty kill was great. Staying out of the box all weekend except for once paid dividends as well. We're excited to win and advance."
Cameranesi scored her first of the night at the 9:35 mark of the first period off assists from Brook Garzone and Schipper before the Gophers found the back of the net three times in the second period.
"I think the difference maker was getting a goal in the first period," Cameranesi said. "We struggled with that yesterday and didn't get one until late in the second, so they were able to keep themselves in the game. We just came out with a lot of heart and passion today."
Stecklein gave Minnesota a 2-0 lead at the 6:04 mark of the middle frame before Cameranesi added two more, scoring at 15:48 and netting her NCAA-best 13th power-play goal of the season just 1:27 later to complete the hat trick.
"It always feels pretty good to score like that, but obviously it's a team game and I definitely didn't do any of that by myself," Cameranesi said. "I was able to be set up a lot by my teammates, and we were able to get going, which is what we were looking for. "
Schipper scored her 14th goal of the season for the Gophers off an assist from Cameranesi with 6:31 remaining to seal the 5-0 victory.
"That line with Schipper, Kelly Pannek and Dani is really causing problems for other teams," Frost said. "We really have two first lines with Hannah's line and Kelly's line. It was great to see Dani put those in and it was a great boost here tonight. We're really excited to be moving on and playing North Dakota next week."
The rest of the WCHA Final Face-off field is set as No. 6 seed Minnesota Duluth upset No. 3 seed Bemidji State with a 2-1 overtime win Saturday after winning 5-1 on Friday. Top-seeded Wisconsin cruised past No. 8 seed Minnesota State with 4-0 and 6-0 wins, and No. 4 seed North Dakota took care of No. 5 seed St. Cloud State with a pair of 6-1 victories.
The four WCHA First Round winners, No. 1 seed Wisconsin, No. 2 seed Minnesota, No. 4 seed North Dakota, and No. 6 seed Minnesota Duluth, will be in action at Ridder Arena next weekend for the 2016 WCHA Final Face-off on Saturday, March 5 and Sunday, March 6. Wisconsin and Minnesota Duluth face off at 2 p.m. CT, and Minnesota and North Dakota will meet in the second semifinal at 5 p.m. Saturday with the winners advancing to Sunday's championship game at 2 p.m.
WCHA Final Face-off tickets are on sale now. All-tournament packages are priced at $20 (general admission bench for seniors/students and youth), $25 (general admission bench for adults) and $35 (reserved chairback). Packages include two tickets - one ticket for Saturday, March 5 which includes access to both semifinal games, and one ticket for the WCHA championship game.