The No. 1 Buckeyes took their 10-game winning streak on the road this weekend and pitted it against No. 3 Minnesota’s streak of 12-straight victories, and the two teams atop the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings saw their hot hands reset in a competitive series split.
The Gophers remained unbeaten after the first game in Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, coming away with a 4-2 victory despite strong Buckeye efforts to seal the point margin.
Ohio State broke through Minnesota’s defense on day two to pull away with a four-point win, only allowing one goal to the Gophers.
Both Ohio State and Minnesota maintained even performances throughout the first half of the initial frame until sophomore forward Peyton Hemp put the Gophers on the scoreboard just under 15 minutes in.
Less than one minute into the second period, fifth-year forward Abigail Boreen earned her 19th goal of the season to put Minnesota at a two-score advantage.
The Gophers struck again at 8:44 in the second period when redshirt sophomore forward Abbey Murphy capitalized on a power-play opportunity for her 19th goal of the season, prompting an Ohio State timeout as it saw a 3-0 deficit.
The dynamic shifted following the break when graduate forward Gabby Rosenthal pushed past Minnesota sophomore goaltender Skylar Vetter for the first Buckeye goal of the game and her 16th of the season at 12:36 in the second period.
The Buckeyes saw a chance to tighten the gap even more between Minnesota’s lead when the Gophers received a penalty as the clock ran short during the second frame. Senior forward Jennifer Gardiner took advantage of the power-play opportunity 16 seconds into the final period, her 17th goal of the season, bringing the score to 3-2.
Unable to tie the score in the final minutes, Ohio State fell to Minnesota 4-2 after Murphy notched her second goal of the game.
Minnesota took the lead under seven minutes into the first period after senior defenseman Madeline Wethington secured her second goal of the season.
The Gophers were unable to hold on to the lead for long, however, with Ohio State scoring back-to-back goals just three minutes later.
Freshman forward Sloane Matthews notched the first Buckeye goal, and senior defenseman Hadley Hartmetz earned the second just 19 seconds later after her shot was chipped in by a Gophers stick. It was their fourth and fifth goals of the season, respectively.
Despite two potential power plays for Minnesota in the second period, the score was still 2-1 heading into the third period as the Golden Gophers were unable to capitalize on the opportunities.
Twenty-nine seconds into the final frame, Rosenthal increased the Buckeye lead after she recorded her 17th goal of the season immediately following a power play opportunity.
Almost 14 minutes later, senior forward Kenzie Hauswirth lit the lamp for the sixth time this season as the Buckeyes pulled farther away from the Gophers.
Graduate forward Paetyn Levis earned her 19th goal of the season to seal the game with less than five minutes left, leading the Buckeyes to a 5-1 win over Minnesota.
Ohio State will host St. Thomas in its final regular-season home series starting Friday at 6 p.m. BTN+ will broadcast.
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