|2nd||7:34||WIS||1-0||PP||Sarah Nurse (3)||Emily Clark/4, Mellissa Channell/2|
|3rd||18:32||MIN||1-1||PP||Rachael Bona (1)||Kate Schipper/3, Meghan Lorence/2|
|OT||4:00||MIN||2-1||EV GW||Rachel Ramsey (1)||Dani Cameranesi/4, Hannah Brandt/4|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||OT||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Amanda Leveille (W, 4-0-1)||63:52||1||15||10||13||2||40|
|Ann-Renée Desbiens (L, 4-2-0)||63:56||2||12||10||8||3||33|
MADISON, Wis. - The No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team held a one-goal lead with less than two minutes remaining, but No. 2 Minnesota's late-game heroics proved to be too much, as the Golden Gophers won, 2-1, in overtime on Saturday at LaBahn Arena.
Following a hooking penalty on Baylee Wellhausen with 3:09 left in the game, Minnesota's Rachael Bona, aligned at the top of the right faceoff circle, received a pass from the point. She gathered the puck and stepped toward the net, firing a laser past Ann-Renee Desbiens and into the top left corner of the cage.
The momentum was enough to carry the Gophers (5-0-1, 3-0-1-0) to an overtime victory, as a costly UW (6-2-0, 4-2-0-0) turnover in the neutral zone allowed Minnesota to catch the Badgers in a line change as Minnesota's Rachel Ramsey scored with just a minute left in the extra frame.
"We did a lot of real good things," UW head coach Mark Johnson said, "but unfortunately we gave up a late power play goal and a bounce in overtime. Those are tough ways to lose. The kids have a lot to be proud with the effort they put into today's game. We didn't get the win, but we found out a lot about our team."
The teams combined for 76 shots, as UW outshot Minnesota 41-36. The Badgers forced Levielle to make 40 saves, while Wisconsin netminder Desbiens rivaled with 33 saves of her own-both new career-highs.
"We had some quality opportunities," Johnson said. "Both goaltenders played well but they were able to find a way to put one in the back of the net. We competed hard, we did a lot of good things."
Despite a scoreless first period, the opening 20 minutes of the game were full of opportunities for both squads, and, in particular, Wisconsin's Sarah Nurse.
The sophomore got her first chance halfway through the period, as she streaked down the left side of the ice with a Minnesota player trailing close behind. The Gophers back checker pressured Nurse just enough, though, forcing her to send a shot wide of the net.
The Hamilton, Ontario, native narrowly scored again late in the frame.
Streaking through the neutral zone, Nurse received a pass at the Minnesota blue line from Mellissa Channell. The perfect feed gave Nurse a clear shot at the net, but a backhand-forehand juke was not enough to beat Levielle.
But Nurse's hard work finally paid off at the 7:34 mark of the second period when she gave UW a one-goal advantage on the power play.
Emily Clark fired a low shot on Levielle from just feet away, resulting in a juicy rebound which recoiled right to Nurse standing to the right of the net mouth.
She would not miss on this one, as the forward, who finished with a team-high seven shots, easily buried her third goal of the season to give Wisconsin its first lead of the weekend series.
The Badgers finished 1-for-5 on the man advantage, while Minnesota connected once in six opportunities.
"Minnesota has always had a good power play," Johnson said. "They got an opportunity with a couple minutes left in the game and they capitalized on it. The important thing is we became a better team today than what we showed yesterday."
Wisconsin returns to the ice next Friday as the Badgers hit the road to face Bemidji State. Faceoff next Friday is set for 7 p.m., while Saturday's game is scheduled for a 4 p.m.