Women's Frozen Four: UW 5, UMD 1
BOSTON (AP) -- National scoring leader Hilary Knight scored twice and assisted on Erika Lawler's two goals in top-seeded Wisconsin's 5-1 victory over defending champion Minnesota Duluth on Friday in the NCAA women's hockey semifinals.
With the victory in the rematch of the last two title games, Wisconsin advanced to face Mercyhurst -- a 5-4 winner over Minnesota in the second semifinal -- in the final Sunday. Wisconsin won titles in 2006 and 2007.
"I'm excited for the senior class," said Badgers coach Mark Johnson, a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic championship team. "It'll be there fourth time playing for the national championship. For them, it's a great way to finish their career as a Badger."
Knight scored a power-play goal, and Lawler had a pair of power-play scores in a 5:20 span of the second period to make it 3-0. Two of the power-play goals came as a result of a hit-from-behind major and game misconduct on Duluth's Elin Holmlov.
"I've got my own opinion of what I saw," Duluth coach Shannon Miller said, adding one of her players said Holmlov had merely tripped Brooke Ammerman.
Knight added her NCAA-best 44th goal of the season in the third period, and Kayla Sanders also scored for the Badgers (33-2-5).
Wisconsin goalie Jessie Vetter lost a bid for her 14th shutout of the season when Jaime Rasmussen scored with 4:52 left.
Duluth finished the season 26-9-4.
In the second semifinal, Meghan Agosto scored two goals and third-seeded Mercyhurst (31-5-0) scored five straight goals and then held off No. 2 Minnesota.
The Lakers, making their first trip to the Frozen Four, survived a three-goal charge by the Golden Gophers to win their 17th straight game.
"A lot of people looked at us as underdogs," Agosto said. "It's one game (Sunday), anything can happen."
Gigi Marvin had two goals and two assists for Minnesota, which scored during a 6-on-3 with 1:17 left to make it 5-4.
"Obviously, we're extremely disappointed," Minnesota coach Brad Frost said. "The last 40 minutes we played as well as we played all year."
Minnesota freshman goalie Alyssa Grogan, who gave up three goals on 10 shots and was pulled after the first period, was suffering from food poisoning and was receiving intravenous fluids throughout the day.
Agosto scored her 40th and 41st goals of the season. Jesse Scanzano set up three goals,, and Valerie Chouinard had a goal and an assist for the Lakers, who led 5-1 before Minnesota (32-5-3) rallied.
"It doesn't matter that we haven't played in the Frozen Four -- we have no doubts," Agosto said.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)