Gophers come from behind with three goals in the last 10 minutes for the 4-2 win

COLUMBUS, Ohio – After scoring in the opening minute and leading twice in the game, the Ohio State women’s hockey team looked to be on its way to an upset of No. 5 Minnesota, but the Golden Gophers staged a comeback with three goals in the last 10 minutes to win 4-2 Friday night at the OSU Ice Rink.

The Buckeyes fall to 12-11-2 overall and are 6-11-2-2 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. Minnesota, who is unbeaten in its last eight games, is 12-6-1-1 in the league and 17-11-1 overall.

Ohio State jumped on the board during its first possession with junior Melissa Feste scoring 21 seconds into the game. Freshman Ally Tarr carried the puck up from the Buckeye zone and fed it to Feste. She tucked it in at the right post for her fourth goal of the season. Linemate Natalie Spooner picked up the second assist, her first of two in the game.

The Buckeyes held on to their 1-0 lead until the last minutes of the second period. Amanda Kessel fired in a one-timer at 18:26 off a pass from behind the net by Jen Schoullis to even the score at the second intermission.

Tarr and Spooner connected again to return the lead to Ohio State 5:18 into the third. Spooner centered the puck from along the boards to Tarr stationed at the left doorstep. She jammed it in for her third goal of the year and moved the score to 2-1.

Minnesota then began its scoring outburst of three goals in a 2 minute, 40 second span at 10:26 when Sarah Erickson scored on a wrist shot set up by Kessel and Anne Schleper. Megan Bozak tallied the go-ahead goal at 12:46 from the right faceoff circle with an assist from Bethany Brausen.

The Gophers upped their lead to two goals when Schepler scored at 13:06 while charging toward the OSU net, with Kessel and Erickson collecting the assists.

Overall, Minnesota had a 43-35 advantage in shots. Both teams were scoreless on the power play with the Buckeyes 0-of-6 and Gophers 0-of-5.

Rookie goaltender Lisa Steffes, the reigning WCHA Rookie of the Week, made 39 saves including eight against the Minnesota power play but moves to 12-11-2. Noora Raty (16-4-1) stopped 33 shots for the Gophers.

Ohio State and Minnesota will conclude their season series with a 4 p.m. game Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink. Admission, as always, is free and there will be a “Skate with the Buckeyes” session after the game.

Game notes:

  • The two points by Ally Tarr were a season-high.
  • It was the 12th time Natalie Spooner had multiple-points 18 games played this season, but it was her first multi-assist game.
  • Melissa Feste has four points in the last four games.
  • Lisa Steffes has stopped 30 or more shots 13 times this season.