No. 2 Minnesota tied No. 1 Wisconsin 3-3 in overtime at Ridder Arena tonight. Wisconsin won the shootout 1-0, getting the extra shootout point for the conference standings.
Minnesota started a bit slow in the first period, and gave Wisconsin a power play opportunity just one minute, 12 seconds into the game when Sarah Erickson went to the penalty box for slashing. The Badgers scored near the end of the power play, as Carolyne Prevost found the net at 2:56, assisted by Briana Decker and Brooke Ammerman. The Gophers had a power play opportunity several minutes later, but only had two shots and goal and didn't score. Minnesota tallied just four shots on goal in the opening period, while Wisconsin had 16.
The Gophers came back in the second period looking much sharper than in the the first period. Anne Schleper got the Gophers on the board, tying the score at 1-1 with a goal 13 minutes and 49 seconds into the period. The goal marked the 100th point of Schleper's career, making her the third Minnesota defenseman to reach the 100 point milestone, along with former Gophers Courtney Kennedy and Winny Brodt. After Schleper's goal, the Gophers had several other strong chances in the second period, but the score remained 1-1 going into intermission. After being severely outshot in the opening period, the Gophers led in shots 17-6 in the second period.
Briana Decker gave the Badgers a 2-1 lead when she scored five and a half minutes into the third period, assisted by Brooke Ammerman and Carolyne Prevost. Eighteen seconds later, Wisconsin went on the power play as Becky Kortum went to the penalty box for the Gophers. Minnesota was able to hold the Badgers scoreless during the power play. Decker got called for cross checking five minutes later, giving Minnesota a power play opportunity, and this time, the Gophers capitalized. Jen Schoullis got the goal to tie things up at 2-2, assisted by Schleper and Amanda Kessel.
Wisconsin took a one-goal lead again when Brooke Ammerman got her first goal and third point of the game, bringing the score to 3-2 in favor of the Badgers just over 14 minutes into the period. Carolyne Prevost and Stefanie McKeough were credited with assists. The Gophers didn't give up and tied the score again at 17:52 on a goal by Megan Bozek. Kessel and Sarah Erickson had assists on the game-tying goal. Jen Schoullis put the puck in the net with just under two minutes left in regulation, but the officials called off the goal as the puck went off Schoullis' hand. The third period ended at 3-3, sending the game to overtime, Minnesota's first overtime game of the season. The third period ended up with 14 shots for each team.
Both teams had chances in the third period, but with stellar goaltending from both Noora Raty and Alex Rigsby, neither team was able to score. Minnesota was able to keep play in Wisconsin's zone for the majority of the period. Wisconsin's Alev Unser took a penalty with just under two minutes remaining in overtime, giving Minnesota a power play for the remainder of the extra period. Minnesota was not able to score on the power play. Schleper took a shot in the last seconds of the game, but wasn't able to put the puck in the net. The Gophers recorded six shots in the overtime period, while Wisconsin had just one.
For the first time in nearly two years, Minnesota went to a shootout. The last time the Gophers competed in a shootout was Feb. 12, 2010. As the home team, Minnesota chose to shoot first. Kessel took the attempt, but Rigsby made the save. Ammerman shot for Wisconsin, and also missed. Erickson was up next for the Gophers, but did not score. Decker took the next attempt for the Badgers, with a save by Raty. Bozek took the final shot for Minnesota, but missed. Hilary Knight took the final shot for Wisconsin, and scored, giving the Badgers the shootout win and the extra point in the WCHA standings.
The Gophers and Badgers meet again tomorrow, with a start time of 4 p.m. at Ridder Arena. General admission tickets are just $1, and the entire Minnesota team will be signing autographs after the game.