COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 9/8-ranked women’s ice hockey team couldn’t complete the conference sweep on Saturday as the No. 2-ranked Minnesota Gophers topped the Buckeyes in game two, 4-2. With the loss, the Buckeyes move to 5-3-2 (3-3-2 WCHA) and the Gophers improve to 9-1-0 (5-1-0 WCHA).
“We have to be a team that’s more consistent,” head coach Nadine Muzerall said. “We can’t always rely on the same players as they get tired, and we have to have our second and third liners step up a bit more. They all did it yesterday and that’s why I think we were successful.”
Ohio State 2, Minnesota 4
The Top 10 matchup between Ohio State and Minnesota started in similar fashion to game one, as the Buckeyes tallied the first goal of the game. Freshman Jenn Gardiner scored her first career goal in the 12th minute of the period. With time winding down, the Gophers put one past Andrea Braendli but the goal was disallowed on a high stick call. At the end of the first the Buckeyes led 1-0 and edged the Gophers in shots, 10-9.
Minnesota took control of the second period, putting up two goals and taking the lead heading into the final 20 minutes. In the eighth minute, Grace Zumwinkle scored her third goal of the weekend to tie the game at 1-all. The Buckeyes withheld the Gophers’ 13 shots of the period until Amy Potomak gave Minnesota the 2-1 lead with 41 seconds remaining. The Gophers outshot Ohio State 14-9 in the period and Braendli tallied 12 saves.
Three goals were scored in the final period of play, including two by the Gophers to put the game out of reach for Ohio State. In the 15th minute, Zumwinkle scored her second of the day, matching her total from game one and extended the Minnesota lead 3-1. Just over a minute later, the Gophers lit the lamp again, this time from Taylor Heise. With the 4-1 Minnesota lead going into the final minutes of play, Liz Schepers put away her first of the day and third of the weekend. The goal makes Schepers the Buckeyes’ leading scorer this season with seven overall. Braendli tallied 33 saves on the day.