ERIE, Pa. - Aerin Frankel made 26 saves and Skylar Fontaine scored her fifth game-winning goal to lead top-ranked Northeastern (22-1-1) back from a two-goal deficit with three unanswered goals and a 3-2 overtime win over No. 6 Minnesota Duluth (12-7-0) on Thursday in the Women's Frozen Four at Erie Insurance Arena. The Huskies push their NCAA-leading unbeaten streak to 22 games and will play in their first-ever NCAA National Championship Game.
Fontaine finished with a goal and an assist and set the all-time scoring record at Northeastern for a defenseman with 122 points. Frankel earned her NCAA-leading 20th win, while Maureen Murphy and Katy Knoll scored for the Huskies. Brooke Hobson, Veronika Pettey and Andrea Renner all had helpers for Northeastern.
Despite outshooting Minnesota Duluth 16-5 in the second period, the Huskies trailed by two goals for the first time all season long. With the season on the line, Murphy scored just 42 seconds into the third period on the power play, her second power-play goal of the season. Continuing to outwork the Bulldogs on both ends of the ice, the Huskies got the equalizer from Knoll on a close rebound with just over 14 minutes remaining in the game.
Northeastern carried the play throughout regulation play, but could not find the go-ahead goal. The Bulldogs had a great chance in the final seconds to win the game, but Frankel came up with a huge glove save to send the game into the extra session.
The OT session was mirroring the third period, with the Huskies outplaying the Bulldogs at both ends of the ice, but just could not get the game winner. Just when it looked like the game was heading into double-overtime, Fontaine found the puck on her stick on the far end and skated in to beat the Minnesota Duluth netminder with 26.3 seconds left in OT to lift the Huskies over the Bulldogs and into the national title game.
The Huskies outshot the Bulldogs 43-15 over the final three periods, and 47-28 in the game. The 47 shots by Northeastern is the sixth most by any school in the Women's Frozen Four.
No. 1 Northeastern will await the winner of No. 2 Wisconsin and No. 3 Ohio State on Saturday. The game will be nationally-televised on ESPNU and puck drop will be at 7:30 p.m. This will be the first-ever national championship game for a Northeastern team.