MINNEAPOLIS -- Nicole Schammel broke a 3-3 tie with 3:23 remaining and Taylor Wente iced the win with an empty net goal in the final minute as the No. 2 University of Minnesota women's hockey team secured a 5-3 win and series split with visiting Minnesota Duluth at Ridder Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Minnesota (25-4-1, 15-4-1-0 WCHA) responded with its 25th win of the season after falling to the Bulldogs, 3-2 in overtime, in game one of this weekend's series on Saturday. In Sunday's win, the Gophers received multiple points from Schammel (1g-1a), Wente (1g-1a), Sarah Potomak (1g-1a), and Taylor Heise (2a) and Sydney Scobee made 26 saves in net against the Bulldogs.
The Gophers were two-for-two on the power play, including Schammel's game-winner, while holding Minnesota Duluth scoreless on two opportunities with the skater advantage.
"It was a great, hard-fought game tonight," head coach Brad Frost said. "I loved the response from our team after losing in overtime yesterday. To come out and get three goals in the third period to break the 2-2 tie and come away with three points was huge. Duluth is a very good team, and they are playing really well right now. We had to fight for everything we got tonight. Our power play was really good, and it was a fun weekend overall."
Minnesota Duluth (12-12-2-2, 8-8-2-2 WCHA) was led by three points from Gabbie Hughes and a two-point effort from Anneke Linser (1g-1a). Maddie Rooney made 39 saves as the Gophers outshot the visitors, 44-29, for the game.
The teams played a back-and-forth game that was ultimately decided when Schammel scored her 11th goal of the season, solving Rooney on the power play and breaking a 3-3 tie with under four minutes remaining. UMD pulled Rooney for the extra attacker in the game's final 90 seconds, and Wente capitalized with her 10th goal of the season, sealing the win with an empty-net goal with 37 seconds on the clock.
"We knew that we had to stick with our game plan and trust the process, and by doing that, we were able to win today," Schammel said.
The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission on a goal by Linser despite the Gophers holding a 12-6 advantage in shots on goal over the opening period.
Minnesota responded in the second period when Catie Skaja got the scoring started for the Gophers, scoring her fifth of the year off a feed from Olivia Knowles and Abigail Boreen at the 3:10 mark of the middle frame. S. Potomak gave the Gophers their first lead of the game just 1:11 later with her sixth of the season and second of the weekend but the Bulldogs responded 51 seconds later on a goal by Ryleigh Houston, and the teams took a 2-2 tie into the second intermission.
"Rooney's a really good goalie," Skaja said. "My line was fortunate enough to get a lot of shots on goal, so we were lucky that one went in."
Amy Potomak put Minnesota up by one with a power play goal early in the third period, but the Bulldogs again responded, tying the game at 3-3 on a tally by Hughes midway through the third. However, Schammel and Wente put the game away for Minnesota in the final five minutes, and the Gophers skated away with the win.
Up next, the Gophers have a weekend off from competition before returning to Ridder Arena to host Minnesota State in its final home series of the regular season at 7:07 p.m. CT on Friday, Feb. 15 and 4:07 p.m. CT on Saturday, Feb. 16. Minnesota is set to celebrate its eight graduating seniors prior to Saturday's game against the Mavericks along with holding Bloomington Community Weekend, Eagan Community Weekend, Season Ticket Holder Appreciation Night (Friday), and Fan Appreciation Day (Saturday) during the series.