The University of Minnesota women’s hockey team buckled down in the second and third periods to overcome an early Ohio State lead to pullout a 5-3 victory to sweep the Buckeyes. Junior Amanda Kessel netted two third period goals, while senior Megan Bozek notched her 42nd career goal, which is a Golden Gopher record for defensemen.
The Buckeyes caught the Gophers off guard in the first period as they took an early 1-0 lead at 4:53 as Kari Schmitt flicked a shot off Noora Raty’s glove and across the goal line.
Bozek answered for the Maroon & Gold at the 8:04 mark as she wrapped around the net and snuck the puck under the OSU goaltender’s pads. The senior’s goal was the 42nd of her career and broke former Gopher Winny Brodt’s goals record for defensemen.
Despite surrendering the lead, Ohio State was able to reclaim the lead at 16:17 with a power-play goal from Tina Hollowell. The Buckeyes held a 10-9 shots on goal advantage entering the intermission.
The Gophers, who have only trailed entering the second period three times this season, came out in the second with a vengeance. The top-ranked team netted a pair of goals in the second to take a 3-2 lead.
Freshman Maryanne Menefee scored the first goal of the period at 9:20 when she rebounded a Kessel backhand and flicked the puck into an open net. Meghan Lorence netted the second at 14:42 with a wrist shot from in between the two faceoff circles.
The Maroon & Gold extended the lead to 4-2 early in the third period on Kessel snipe from the right faceoff circle, but OSU retaliated with a goal from Kara Gust at 8:16. The one-goal lead would not stand for long though as Kessel lit the lamp against 50 seconds later to make it 5-3.
Kessel finished the game with a team-high four points (2g-2a), while Menefee had three (1g-2a).
Ohio State pulled their goalie for the final two minutes of the game, but the additional skater was not enough to get a puck by Räty and the Gopher defense.
Räty finished the game with 23 saves to record her 28th win of the season and the 104th of her career.
The Gophers have now accumulated 30 wins in a season for the sixth time in program history. Head coach Brad Frost has done now reach the 30-win mark three times in his six seasons at the helm.
Minnesota is back in action next weekend as they play host to Bemidji State. Friday night’s game against the Beavers will begin at 7 p.m., and Saturday’s contest is slated for 4 p.m.