MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Taylor Wente scored the game-winning goal with 3:33 remaining in overtime to break a 2-2 tie and secure the 3-2 win and a series sweep for the Golden Gopher women's hockey team over visiting Minnesota State at Ridder Arena on Saturday evening.
Sarah Potomak scored the game-tying goal in the third period to force overtime, and Minnesota (27-4-1, 17-4-1-0 WCHA) also received a goal from Nicole Schammel in the win. Sydney Scobee made 22 saves on 24 shots for her 10th win of the season as the Maroon & Gold outshot the Mavericks, 42-24.
Minnesota State (9-17-5, 3-16-3-2 WCHA) was led by goaltender Abigail Levy, who made 39 saves on 42 shots faced, and Rebekah Kolstad and Brooke Bryant scored goals for the Mavericks.
"An exciting result - I'm really proud of our team for the grit and character that they showed there, in particular in the third period and in overtime," head coach Brad Frost said. "Mankato played extremely well, and Levy was really good. They blocked a ton of shots and made it very difficult to get to the blue paint. But, in the end, we found a way to get the puck there and get it in the net, so I'm really happy for our team."
Schammel put Minnesota up 1-0 with her 12th goal of the season just 3:24 into the game when she buried a feed from Wente. Wente gained possession behind the net, moved around to the left faceoff dot, and found Schammel in the slot to give the Gophers the lead.
However, the Mavericks evened the game at 1-1 before the end of the opening frame and took a 2-1 lead early in period two. Kolstad scored on the power play at the 16:23 mark of the period to tie the game before a puck from Bryant's stick found its way past Scobee to give the visitors the lead at the 7:58 mark of the second stanza.
The Gophers responded midway through the third period when S. Potomak capitalized on a feed from Amy Potomak and Emily Brown. S. Potomak one-timed the rebound off A. Potomak's shot into an open net with Levy out of position after a flurry in front of the MSU netminder.
Wente then sealed the Gophers' 27th win of the season with her 11th goal of the season at the 1:27 mark of the extra period. She poked the puck past Levy after A. Potomak put an initial shot on target for the win. S. Potomak picked up the second assist on the play.
The Gophers were scoreless on two power-play opportunities while the Mavericks went one-for-three with the skater advantage.
Prior to the game, Minnesota honored its eight seniors, Tianna Gunderson, Emma May, Kelly Pannek, Jackie Pieper, Nicole Schammel, Sophie Skarzynski, Sierra Smith, Taylor Williamson.
"It was a special night with it being Senior Night for our eight fantastic seniors," Frost said. "They mean so much to our program. We'll be talking about them for years to come, but we're excited that we still have more hockey to play."
Minnesota wraps up the regular season with a road trip to Bemidji State next weekend. The Gophers and Beavers face off at 3:07 p.m. CT Friday, Feb. 22 and Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn.