MINNEAPOLIS -- Seniors Lauren Bench and Grace Zumwinkle led the No. 4 University of Minnesota women's hockey team to a 4-0 win over No. 5 Ohio State in the teams' season-opener at Ridder Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Bench logged a 36-save shutout in her Gopher debut as the goaltender transferred to Minnesota as a graduate student this season after playing her undergraduate career at Bemidji State. Zumwinkle scored a pair of goals, including netting the game-winner on the first shot on goal of the game. Madeline Wethington also tallied two points on a pair of assists while Josey Dunne and Taylor Wente found the back of the net for the Maroon & Gold as well.
Zumwinkle opened the scoring for Minnesota (1-0-0, 1-0-0 WCHA) just 28 seconds into the game and Dunne doubled the lead midway through the second period with her first career goal in her first game as a Gopher. Zumwinkle netted her second of the game with 4:24 remaining before Wente put away an empty-net goal with 2:53 remaining.
Ohio State (0-1-0, 0-1-0 WCHA) received 14 saves from goaltender Andrea Braendli as the visitors outshot the Gophers, 36-18, for the game. Both teams were scoreless on the power play with Minnesota going 0-for-1 and Ohio State finishing the game 0-for-2 with the advantage.
Zumwinkle's goal at the 28-second mark of the game was the fastest goal by a Gopher in a season-opener in program history. Zumwinkle bested a record held by Gophers alumna and Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall, who scored at the 1:45-mark of a season-opening match-up with St. Cloud State on Oct. 15, 1999.
The Gophers and Buckeyes wrap up this weekend's season-opening series at 2:07 p.m. CT Sunday at Ridder Arena.