Of the 26 winning goals that Élizabeth Giguère scored during her collegiate career, a few may have counted more, but none were undoubtedly more beautiful than what the eldest managed on Sunday afternoon at the AMSOIL Arena.

Giguère pulled back the curtain on fifth-ranked University of Minnesota Duluth women’s hockey team’s overtime battle against Minnesota State University Mankato, pushing the Bulldogs past the Mavericks 3-2 in of the final best-of-three game in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association quarterfinals. Giguère’s game-winner came just 2:30 into overtime and propelled UMD into the semi-finals of the WCHA final showdown at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota next Saturday.

The Bulldogs entered their sixth league quarterfinal game with a first-ever weekend lead. Anna Klein scored on UMD’s first power play of the game after rebounding on a Giguère shot at 4:48.

Senior Taylor Anderson doubled the Bulldogs’ lead to open the second period. Anderson fed Kailee Skinner between the circles, and Skinner’s shot attempt ended on Anderson’s backhand for his sixth goal of the season at 2:08 and a 2-0 UMD lead. MSU shot within a point at 7:45 on a Brittyn Fleming goal, but the Bulldogs held a 2-1 lead after the first 40 minutes.

The Mavericks struck early in the third period when Jessica Kondas scored her fourth of the year at 2:30, but the rest of the frame went scoreless, sending both teams into overtime to decide the fourth and final team. league playoffs. tournament next weekend.

Enter Quebec City, a Quebec native, unassumingly composed to add another highlight to her storied career. After taking a long feed from the senior defender Lizi Norton along the right boards on an MSU line change, Giguère drove to the net, patiently dodged a slipping Maverick defender into the slot, then edged MSU goaltender Chantal Burke just enough to force Burke onto the ice. Giguère then skated around the tense Burke and slipped the puck behind the goaltender’s left skate for the game-winning goal in the playoffs.

“I mean there was a nice pass from Lizi against the wall,” Giguère said of his win. “I saw they were changing so we had a chance to go and they kind of dipped throughout the game so I knew as soon as I had the chance , if they told me I was shooting it. So I, I don’t know what happened, but then the puck was in the net. It was just a great game overall, starting with the D and then to me and then I’m just glad we got the win, to be honest.”

Second year goaltender Jojo Chobak made 21 saves en route to the second playoff victory of his career. UMD beat MSU 29-23 and went 1 of 3 on the power play while keeping the Mavericks scoreless in two attempts. Burke had 26 saves for MSU, which finished the season 15-19-1 overall.

The Bulldogs (24-10-1) travel to Ridder Arena next weekend to take on top-seeded University of Minnesota. The puck will fall in the first WCHA Final Face-Off Semi-Final at 1:00 p.m.

BULLDOG NOTES: UMD as a program is now 4-2 in the three-game WCHA Quarterfinal Series…overall, the Bulldogs are now 32-10 in all quarter-final matches and 45-24 in all WCHA postseason games… Elizabeth Giguere scored three game-winning goals this season and leads all active NCAA players with 26 career game-winning goals… Giguère led all players Sunday with two points (1g, 1a)… in all, seven players signed on the sheet Bulldogs scoring… Giguère has now scored 20 or more in four of his five college seasons… with 55 points (20g, 35a), Giguère has also scored 55 or more in four of his five college seasons.

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