Gophers Sweep Buckeyes for 19-1-0 Start
Dec. 8, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Sophomore Milica McMillen (St. Paul, Minn.) recorded a career-high four points to lead No. 1 Minnesota to a 5-1 win and a series sweep over Ohio State at OSU Ice Rink Sunday afternoon.
McMillen's four points included two goals and two assists. Senior Sarah Davis (Paradise, N.L.) added two goals, including a short-handed tally, and fellow senior Baylee Gillanders (Kyle, Sask.) capped the scoring with her third goal of the season.
"It was a hard-fought win here tonight," head coach Brad Frost said. "It was great to see our players come out and play so well after a good game yesterday. I'm proud of the way our kids battled and competed all day in the midst of some pretty tough circumstances."
In a physical game, the Gophers were called for a season-high 11 penalties (22 minutes). Ohio State (5-11-2, 2-10-2-0 WCHA) took nine penalties for 29 minutes, including a five-minute major and a game disqualification for Cara Zubko for checking from behind. Both teams finished 1-for-7 on the power-play.
With the win, Minnesota closes out the first half of the season with a 19-1-0 overall mark (13-1-0 WCHA), the second-best first-half record in Gopher women's hockey history.
"The team played great, and finishing off the first half 19-1 is just fantastic," Frost said. "Overall, a great day, a great weekend and a great first half."
The Gophers got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead at the 4:03 mark of the first period when McMillen found the back of the net. However, the Buckeyes responded with a goal by Danielle Gagne at 15:45, and the teams headed into the first intermission in a 1-1 tie.
Minnesota took control of the game with four second-period goals, beginning with Davis' short-handed goal just 33 seconds into the period. McMillen scored her seventh of the season on the power play less than two minutes later. Davis and Gillanders added even-strength goals at 6:18 and 15:07, respectively, to close out the scoring, and the teams skated to a scoreless third period.
The Gophers outshot the Buckeyes, 48-13. OSU senior goaltender Lisa Steffes made 43 saves and fell to 3-5-1 on the season, and sophomore Amanda Leveille (Kingston, Ont.) made 12 saves in her 19th win of the year.
Minnesota now has a four-week hiatus from competition for the holiday break. The Gophers return to action in 2014 when they host Ohio State at Ridder Arena, Jan. 10-11, 2014.