|| No. 1 Minnesota vs. Ohio State
Feb. 7, 2013
FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. The Golden Gophers enter the weekend on an NCAA record 36-game winning streak. Their last loss was a 2-1 overtime loss at home to North Dakota on Feb. 17, 2012. The following day, the Maroon & Gold came out and defeated UND, 5-2, in the final game of the 2011-12 regular season. During the streak, the Gophers have outscored their opponents 5.42 to 0.81 and have only trailed for 46 minutes and six seconds, which has all come this season. They have also garnered 17 shutouts and only allowed their opponents to score two or more goals in only seven games.
2. Minnesota is 52-8-1 all-time against Ohio State and has won the last 23 meetings. Over that 23-game span, they have outscored OSU on an average of 6.00 to 1.65. The Gophers' last loss to the Buckeyes was a 4-1 defeat on Oct. 20, 2007 in Columbus, Ohio. Earlier this season, the Maroon & Gold swept OSU, who was ranked No. 6/7, at home, 7-2 and 8-0.
3. The Gophers already hold the longest road winning streak in NCAA history with 21 games and counting, but this weekend the team looks to break the record for most road wins in a season. They are currently tied for the record with 14, so a win on Friday night would give them sole possession of yet another record. This season, the Maroon & Gold have record seven shutouts on the road and only have two games where their opponent scored more than one goal (10-28-12 at North Dakota; 11-24-12 at New Hampshire). They have outscored their opponents 5.2 to 0.6 this season on the road. The Gophers' last loss was a 4-2 defeat at Minnesota Duluth on Jan. 13, 2012.
4. Senior Megan Bozek has a few Minnesota records in sight entering this weekend as she has a chance to surpass former Gopher Winny Brodt's records for points, goals and assists by a defensemen. The Buffalo Grove, Ill. native is just five points shy of breaking Brodt's career point's record. She is also two goals and four assists from surpassing her in the other respective lists. Bozek currently has 41 points this season, which is one under her single season best of 42. She ranks second in the nation in sscoring by a defensemen, just four points behind North Dakota's Monique Lamoureux. Brodt holds the single season record for points by a defensemen with 50.
5. The Gophers enter the weekend with the top combined special teams unit in the nation. Their power play may be the most impressive unit with having a 33.9% success rate (43-127). Bozek and Hannah Brandt have been huge aspects in these power-play opportunities with having eight goals each, which is tied for third in the nation. They have scored a power-play goal in all but three games this season. Minnesota's penalty kill is equally impressive with negating their opponents' special team s opportunities 92.1% of the time (105-114). They have actually outscored their opponents when they play a skater down with 11 shorthanded goals. Five of those have come from Amanda Kessel, which just two shy of tying the NCAA record held by Winny Brodt and Meghan Agosta.
SCOUTING OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes enter the weekend 16-10-2 overall, 11-9-2 in the WCHA and tied for third in the league with Wisconsin and Minnesota Duluth. Since the Holiday Break, they have slipped out of the rankings by going 2-5-1. OSU has struggled to score goals with only having one game which they have recorded more than two goals.
Aly Tarr is the scoring leader for Ohio State with 27 points (9g-18a), while a trio of players are tied for the team lead in goals with 12 (Taylor Kuehl, Paige Semenza and Julia McKinnon).
Chelsea Knapp has started every game in goal for the Buckeyes and has a record of 16-9-2. She has a 2.25 goals against average and a .919 save percentage.