MINNEAPOLIS -- Sophomore Makayla Pahl made 36 saves and Emily Brown scored the Gophers' lone goal, but No. 2 University of Minnesota women's hockey team fell 2-1 to visiting No. 4 Ohio State in game one of this weekend's series at Ridder Arena on Friday evening.
The teams played a scoreless first period, and Minnesota (9-6-1, 9-6-1 WCHA) was led by Pahl's 17 saves over the opening 20 minutes. Ohio State (10-5-0, 10-5-0 WCHA) got on the board in the second period with goals by Emma Maltais and Paetyn Levis and took a 2-0 lead into the final stanza.
The third period saw the Gophers outshoot the Buckeyes 15-8, and Brown spoiled OSU goaltender Andrea Braendli's shutout with her second goal of the season in the final minute after Minnesota pulled Pahl for the skater advantage but the Maroon & Gold could not find the equalizer.
For the game, OSU had a 38-22 advantage in shots on goal. Both teams were scoreless on the power play as Minnesota was 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and 0-for-2 on the power play.
"Tough result here tonight, in particular in the second period, just not moving our feet and not playing as aggressive as we needed to play and Ohio State took advantage of that," head coach Brad Frost said. "We made a push in the third but at this point in the season, if you only play one period, it's just not going to work. Back to the drawing board, and we'll see what tomorrow brings."
Minnesota will honors its five seniors, Lauren Bench, Emily Brown, Olivia Knowles, Taylor Wente, and Grace Zumwinkle in a ceremony prior to game two with Ohio State on Saturday. Brown and Zumwinkle are set to play in their 130th games of their Gopher careers as the duo has not missed a game during their four years.
The Gophers host the Buckeyes in game two of this weekend's series at 1:07 p.m. CT Saturday.