MINNEAPOLIS -- The No. 4 University of Minnesota women's hockey team dropped a 2-1 decision to No. 5 Ohio State in game two of this weekend's series at Ridder Arena on Sunday afternoon. The teams settled for a split in their season-opener after the Gophers won game one 4-0 on Saturday.
Minnesota (1-1-0, 1-1-0 WCHA) once again used an early goal by senior Grace Zumwinkle to take a 1-0 lead, but the Buckeyes answered with a goal by Liz Schepers just 21 seconds later. Tatum Skaggs then gave Ohio State (1-1-0, 1-1-0 WCHA) its first lead of the series, netting the eventual game-winner at the 9:22 mark of the opening period.
Senior goaltender Lauren Bench followed up a 36-save shutout in game one for the Maroon & Gold with a 33-save effort on 35 shots faced on Sunday. Meanwhile, OSU got 25 saves from netminder Andrea Braendli.
"It was an exciting hockey game I think," head coach Brad Frost said. "Obviously we were hoping for a better result, but I'm proud of how we came back in the second and the third in particular and really started to get up on our toes and play the way that we needed to play. The first period, we got out to that early lead, and they answered the very next shift and really from that point on, they took it to us. We were winning face-offs, but they were still getting possession. They were overloading the corners and pucks, and we were having a tough time handling it.
"As the game went on, we got better and better and started applying that same pressure to them, but we just couldn't find a way to put one home there at the end. There were a lot of great chances, in particular in the last five minutes, but it just didn't happen tonight. We'll learn from it and try to be better here going forward."
Minnesota's active career scoring leader, Zumwinkle began her senior season with a three-goal weekend and moved her career total to 127 career points (70g-57a) in 115 career games.
The No. 4 Gophers are slated to travel to Duluth, Minn., for a Friday-Saturday series with No. 8 Minnesota Duluth this week. Puck drop is set for 6:07 p.m. CT Friday and 3:07 p.m. CT Saturday at AMSOIL Arena.