The Minnesota Golden Gophers women’s hockey team recieved the #4 seed in the NCAA Tournament Sunday night and will host the WCHA Champion Ohio State Buckeyes in a NCAA Quarterfinal at 4PM on Saturday at Ridder Arena. It will be a rematch of the WCHA semifinal Saturday at Ridder that saw the Buckeyes defeat the Gophers 4-3 in overtime in their fifth meeting of the season. Ohio State holds a 3-2 season series edge over the Gophers headed into Saturday’s game.
Minnesota entered the weekend ranked #3 in the pairwise but the loss on Saturday to the Buckeyes coupled with Northeastern winning Hockey East allowed the Huskies to leap the Gophers for the #3 spot. Along with the Gophers and Buckeyes, the Wisconsin badgers are the #2 NCAA seed and will host Clarkson in a semifinal Saturday in Madison.
The Buckeyes are one of the hottest teams in the nation at the moment. Ohio State went int Madison and took four points from the Badgers three weeks ago, and now have won or tied eight games in a row. The Buckeyes won the WCHA Championship with a pair of overtime wins, 4-2 over Minnesota in the semifinal and 1-0 over Wisconsin in the title game. Tatum Scaggs scored both game winners for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State matches up well with Minnesota and has a 3-2 season edge in the series. The teams each split series on their home rinks, and then the Buckeyes picked up the win on Saturday. Minnesota will need to figure out a way to stop Ohio State if they want to advance to the Frozen Four in Boston in two weeks.
Whomever advanced between Minnesota and Ohio State will most likely see #1 seed Cornell in the NCAA semifinal. The Big Red will host the CHA winners Mercyhurst in the semifinals. The winner of the Wisconsin/Clarkson game will face the winner of #3 seed Northeastern and Princeton in the semifinals as well.
We will have a bigger preview of the NCAA semifinal between the Gophers and the Buckeyes later this week here on TDG.