The #2 ranked Gopher Women's Hockey team got back to its usual winning ways with a road sweep of Ohio State in Columbus. The Gophers got a big performance from their senior leadership in both games of the series.
Friday night, the Gophers got on the scoreboard first when with 27 seconds left in the first period, Maryann Menefee took a feed from Rachel Ramsey and put it past Ohio State goalie Kassidy Sauve to put the Gophers up 1-0 after one period. The Gophers would stretch that lead out to 3-0 after Kate Schipper scored her first goal of the season on the power-play with assists from Rachael Bona and Dani Cameranesi, and Meghan Lorence added a power-play tally with Bona and Schipper picking up the assists. The Buckeyes would come right back as they would score two goals in fourteen seconds on a 5x3 power-play in the middle of the period to cut the Gopher lead to 3-2. However, Minnesota would answer 38 seconds later as Bona would score her second goal of the season and score her third point of the night go put the Gophers back up by two.
Both teams would have good opportunities, but Sauve and Amanda Leveille stood tall stopping all 24 combined shots sent their ways. The Gophers would hang on for a 4-2 victory.
Saturday afternoon the Gophers would go for the sweep in a Gopher/Buckeye battle that would get a tad bit overshadowed by another Gopher/Buckeye battle. The Gophers would strike first again as Lorence scored her second goal of the weekend on the power play midway through the first period. Schipper and Bona would add assists. However, Lorence was just getting started. The Buckeyes would tie the game at 1 just 1:28 into the second period when Sara Schmidt would get a shot past Leveille. However less than two minutes later, Lorence would strike again.
Lorence scored her second goal of the game with assists going to Milica McMillen and Kelly Pannek to put the Gophers back up on top 2-1. The Buckeyes would once again tie the game as Taylor Kuehl would score on the power-play midway through the second period to knot the game at 2. It appeared it would go that way into the second intermission ,but senior Captain Rachel Ramsey had other thoughts. Ramsey took a pass in the top of the slot from Lee Stecklein to put the Gophers u on top 3-2 with 14.9 seconds left in the period.
In the third the Gophers would extend their lead as Schipper scored her second of the season off a feed from McMillen to put Minnesota up 4-2. Lorence would extend the lead to three as she would complete the hat trick with a shorthanded goal with 7:27 gone in the third. She took a feed from Hannah Brandt and beat Sauve. The Buckeyes would add a late goal from Claudia Kepler, but that would be it, and the Gophers would finish the sweep winning 5-3.
Here are Gopher coach Brad Frost's comments following the sweep:
Lorence would finish the weekend with four goals and is now third on the team with eight goals for the season. Brandt and Cameranesi lead the team with 9 each. Leveille picked up both wins go move to 8-1-1 on the season. The Gophers will play a home and home series against Minnesota State-Mankato next weekend. Friday night's game will be in Mankato and the teams will return to Ridder Arena at 4:00 PM on Saturday. The Gophers will then play St. Cloud State in the US Hockey Hall of Fame Women's Face-off Classic at Braemar Arena in Edina on Monday November 24th.