On a historic night for senior captain Megan Bozek, who tallied her 100th-career point, the University of Minnesota women’s hockey team smashed Ohio State, 7-2.
With the anticipation of Bozek achieving a feat that only three other Gopher defensemen had accomplished in program history, the senior captain didn’t let it build up as she helped the Maroon & Gold get on the board midway through the first period.
Freshman Maryanne Menefee battled on the boards with an OSU player before dropping the puck off to Bozek at point. The senior drew back and slapped a shot towards the right pipe, but the Buckeyes’ goaltender Chelsea Knapp batted the shot away. To the Gophers’ luck, the deflection put the puck at the stick of freshman Hannah Brandt, who wrapped it around the back of Knapp and just inside the right side of the goal. Menefee and Bozek were each credited with an assist.
With the assist, the Buffalo Grove, Ill. native joins Winny Brodt, Anne Schleper and Courtney Kennedy as the only Gopher defenseman to notch 100 or more points during their career. Bozek would add another assist later in the game to put her season point total at 12 points, which puts her 11 away from grabbing third on the list and 33 from tying Brodt for the most points by a defenseman.
The Gophers continued to put pressure on Ohio State the remainder of the first period as they held a 13-5 shot advantage, but Minnesota was not content with the 1-0 lead as they scored another goal at 14:29.
Brandt draws a breakaway down center ice and gets a one-on-one with Knapp, but her backhand flick was swatted away by Knapp’s stick. The puck would trickle around the front of the net before a trailing Amanda Kessel slipped in to slap it into back corner of the goal.
In the second period, the Maroon & Gold came out hot with generating two goals in the first half of the period. The first came on a breakaway down the right lane of the ice by Kessel. As the junior skated near the goal, she drew the goaltender and a defenseman before passing across the face of the goal to Rachel Ramsey. All it took for the sophomore from Chanhassen, Minn. was a quick wrist shot to rattle the water bottle, and the Gophers took a 3-0 lead. Freshman Milica McMillen added the second goal of the period on a Minnesota power play at 11:06.
It looked as if the Gophers would carry their 4-0 lead into the third period, but a pair of Minnesota penalties gave Ohio State a five-on-three advantage with under a minute remaining. With the distinct advantage, OSU’s Taylor Kuehl poked in a goal with 17 seconds remaining to nullify Noora Räty’s run for a shutout.
Despite allowing a late goal, the Maroon & Gold entered the second intermission with high spirits as they only allowed 10 shots combine in the first two periods.
Minnesota added a trio of goals in the third period as Brandt scored her second of the game and Kelly Terry and Rachael Bona notched their first.
Kuehl also tallied a goal in the third period for Ohio State, to make the final score 7-2.
The two WCHA foes square off again tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Ridder Arena.