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Gopher Sports: Weekend Recap

A pair of hockey sweeps highlight the weekend

Lexi Ramler is on-fire
Brad Rempel—Gophersports.com

It was another busy weekend for the various Minnesota Golden Gophers sports teams this past weekend. In case you couldn’t keep up with everything, here is a full weekend recap highlighted by a pair of hockey sweeps and a big gymnastics win!

Men’s Hockey:

The #4 Gophers had no trouble with Michigan State this past weekend earning their ninth sweep of the year with a 4-2 win on Friday and a 5-1 win on Saturday.

The Gophers went up 2-0 late in the first period on Friday with goals by Ben Myers and Jackson LaCombe just 2:32 apart. Brannon McManus would make it 3-0 midway through the second period, and Sampo Ranta would add his 15th goal on the season in the third period to complete the scoring for the Gophers. Ranta is now second in the nation in goals.

Saturday night the Gophers got off to a really great start and recorded four goals in the first period chasing Spartan goalie Drew DeRidder. Cullen Munson, Scott Reedy, Ben Myers and Jack Perbix all found the back of the net, and then captain Sammy Walker would add the Gophers fifth goal in the second period. Myers, McManus and Munson would all end up with three points on the weekend for the Gophers while Jack Lafontaine moves to 17-5 on the season and continues to lead the nation in wins.

The Gophers continue to lead the Big Ten by 4 points—which now due to an unbalanced schedule is meaningless. Minnesota leads with a .750 winning percentage over Wisconsin’s .675. An article with all of the conference scenarios will be out later in the week. Minnesota has an unscheduled weekend off this weekend thanks to COVID issues with Penn State—who was to be their opponent.

Women’s Hockey:

The Gophers closed out the regular season with a pair of wins in Bemidji against the Beavers. The Gophers won 6-1 on Friday before an impressive 9-1 on Saturday. Grace Zumwinkle recorded a hat trick on Friday and added an assist for a four point night. The Gophers other three goals came from Crystalyn Hengler, Abigal Boreen and Abbey Murphy. Lauren Bench made 15 saves to get the win over her former team.

On Saturday the Gophers opened the gates of frustration. Zumwinkle added her fourth goal of the weekend as well as another three assists to complete an eight point weekend. Six other Gophers would score in the game including Murphy, Hengler, Madeline Wethington, Emily Brown, Josie Dunn. Taylor Heise and Amy Potomak. Makayla Pahl played the first two periods and made six saves on seven shots. Sophomore Olivia King made her Gopher debut in net in the third period and stopped all four shots she faced.

Zumwinkle’s goal was the 83rd of her Minnesota career moving her into 10th place all time in program history. She still has a chance to catch Gigi Marvin in ninth place who has 87 career goals.

Minnesota is locked into either 3rd or 4th place in the WCHA depending on the result of this weekend’s series between UMD and Wisconsin. They are next in action in two weeks in the WCHA Final face-off at Ridder Arena,

Women’s Gymnastics:

The Gopher women’s gymnastics team tied their second highest score in program history on Saturday when they defeated Rutgers 197.635-195.975. Minnestoa won all four events from the Scarlet Knights and showed their potential as they enter championship season.

Lexi Ramler won the all-around competition for the fourth consecutive week posting a 39.700 score, tying her second best score ever and the second highest score in Minnesota history. Ramler set a career-high 9.975 on vault, posted a 9.950 on bars, a 9.900 on floor and 9.875 on beam.

Senior Mary Korlin-Downs was nearly perfect on the beam to win the event recording a career-high 9.975, earning a 10 from one judge. Ramler took home the event titles on the bars and vault and freshman Mya Hooten and senior Ona Loper tied for the floor title with a 9.925.

Minnesota is back in action at the Big 5 meet where they will face Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio State and Maryland Friday afternoon at Maryland.

Volleyball:

The #5 Gopher volleyball team has a split weekend, but when that occurs at #4 Nebraska, it’s still a pretty good result. Minnesota dominated the Huskers on Friday night claiming a 3-1 win by scores of 25-15, 20-25, 26-24, and 25-23. Stephanie Samedy was insane once again leading the Gophers with 27 kills. Regan Pittman set a career high and tied a school record with 14 blocks on the night tying her with Molly Lohman who set the mark against Michigan in 2017. As a team the Gophers recorded 20 blocks, the highest total for the Gophers since 2002, and the highest by any school in the country since the NCAA changed the match scoring to 25 points in 2008.

Nebraska got their payback in a 3-0 sweep of the Gophers on Sunday morning giving Minnesota their first loss on the season. The Gophers looked off throughout the match and it showed dropping the sets 17-25, 15-25, and 22-25. Minnesota was led by Taylor Landfair who had 14 kills while Samedy had 12. Minnesota also missed Adana Rollins who missed the match due to a non-covid illness.

The Gophers return home this weekend to host Michigan at the Pav.

Wrestling:

The Gophers finished their regular season on a positive note earning a 29-10 over Northwestern at the Pav. The Gophers completed the regular season with a 7-2 record and will now prepare for the Big Ten Championships at Penn State in two weeks.

The Gophers won eight of the ten matches over the Wildcats and got a pair of upset wins with #11 ranked Patrick McKee beating #4 ranked Michael DeAugustino at 125 pounds and unranked Michael Blockhus defeating #12 Yahya Thomas at 149 pounds. #1 Gable Steveson continued his perfect run through the conference easily claiming a 16-1 technical fall over Jack Heyob.

Soccer:

The Gopher soccer team kicked off their spring 2021 season with a scoreless 0-0 tie against Nebraska on Sunday afternoon at the Rec Sports Dome. Gopher goalkeepers Maddie Nielsen and Megan Plaschko combined for a four save blank sheet. The Gophers got off 12 shots, but only two of those were on goal and the saves were made by Cornhusker keeper Makinzie Short.

The Gophers hit the road to the Mitten state for a pair of games against Michigan and Michigan State this weekend.

Men’s Basketball:

The Gophers lost to Illinois 94-63 at the Barn. The recap is here. The less said the better.

Women’s Basketball:

It wasn’t any better for the Gopher women who lost to #9 Maryland 94-62 in College Park, Maryland. Minnesota was without their star guard Sara Scalia who missed the game will non-covid illness. Point guard Jasmine Powell injured an ankle in the second quarter and did not return. Kadi Sissoko was the only Gopher in double figures with 16 points.

The Gophers host Nebraska at the Barn on Thursday night.

Women’s Tennis:

The Gopher women’s tennis team dropped a pair of home conference matches this weekend 4-3 to Nebraska on Friday and 5-2 to Iowa on Sunday.

Nebraska took the doubles point in their match and then won three of the six singles matches to get the win. Minnesota got singles wins from Rachel Hanford, Ekin Ercetin and Juliet Zhang.

Sunday against Iowa went mostly the same. The Hawkeyes picked up the doubles point and then won four of six singles matches to claim the victory. Minnesota got wins from Ercetin and Lucia de Santa Ana in the singles matches.

Men’s Tennis

The Gopher men dropped their first two Big Ten matches of the season with a 4-3 loss to Michigan State and a 6-1 loss to Michigan over the weekend.

On Saturday in East Lansing the Spartans took the doubles point and then won three of the six singles matches to claim the victory. Minnesota got singles wins from Jackson Allen, Sebastian Vile, and Vlad Lobak. The match was tied at 3 and came down to the final singles match but Minnesota’s Dylan Heap would lose the match after leading 4-1 in the third set and falling in a tiebreaker to Michigan State’s Nick Williams.

The Gophers would have less success at #15 Michigan on Sunday falling 6-1. The Gophers took the doubles match in a huge upset as the team of Siim Troost and Vlad Lobak defeated the #2 ranked Wolverine team of Andrew Fenty and Mattias Siimar 7-6. The Gophers also got a doubles win from Bodin Zarkovic and Daniel Martin.

The Wolverines then won all six singles matches to ice the match.