Gophers sweep Ohio State on the road to remain unbeaten

After a close 6-5 win on Friday, the women won Saturday’s game 6-1 in Columbus.

John Hageman

The Gophers womenâÄôs hockey team started their Western Collegiate Hockey Association schedule on a high note this weekend, as they swept Ohio State with wins of 6-5 on Friday and 6-1 on Saturday in Columbus. The team is now 4-0-0. Minnesota won the back and forth battle Friday, despite not scoring on any of its three power play opportunities, while OSU scored on three of seven. Junior forward Terra Rasmussen got the Gophers on the board first, scoring at 11:06 in the first period, but Ohio State tied the game up on a power-play goal at 17:04. Minnesota took the lead back when junior Laura May intercepted a pass and scored at 18:11. The Gophers took the 2-1 lead into the second and wasted no time extending their lead as sophomore Sarah Erickson scored just 15 seconds into the period. OSU answered with a goal from Minttu Tuominnen at 5:20. Freshman Becky Kortum scored her first goal with Minnesota when she knocked in a backhander at 16:26, but OSUâÄôs Melissa Feste cut the lead down to 4-3 at 16:52. Junior Emily West gave the Gophers some breathing room as she scored a one-on-one goal at 18:18 in the second. The Buckeyes cut the lead to one at 2:37 in the third, but Erickson gave Minnesota a two-goal lead with just over five minutes remaining in the game on an unassisted goal. Ohio StateâÄôs Hokey Langan scored with 21 seconds left in the game, but it proved to be too little too late as the Gophers took the victory, 6-5, despite being outshot 22-6 in the third period. SaturdayâÄôs game proved to be a much more one-sided victory as the Gophers won easily, 6-1. Erickson had her first career hat trick Saturday, giving her five goals over the weekend, but said that it was more of a team effort than her individual ability that won the games. âÄúIt wasnâÄôt about five goals for me,âÄù Erickson said. âÄúIt was a good team effort this weekend.âÄù Freshman Sam Downey had her first collegiate goal as she gave Minnesota an early lead Saturday scoring at 2:29 in the first. Freshman goalie Noora Räty allowed only one goal with 29 saves and posted two assists in SaturdayâÄôs contest âÄî the first time a Gophers goalie has had two assists in one game. While there were several standout performances in Columbus, 15 different Gophers scored a point over the weekend . âÄúThatâÄôs unbelievable for the team,âÄù Erickson said. âÄúPeople are stepping up when needed and thatâÄôs huge for our team. ThatâÄôs what weâÄôre going to need all season long in order to be successful.âÄù Minnesota only scored once in eight power play chances over the weekend, which is something head coach Brad Frost said the team needs to work on. âÄúAnytime we get opportunities, we need to make sure that we cash in,âÄù Frost said. âÄúIf you can maintain possession and get some good chances, thatâÄôs a positive sign, and I think we did a pretty good job of that. But obviously weâÄôd love to see the puck go in the net a little more.âÄù The Gophers come back home to take on Minnesota-Duluth next Friday and Saturday at Ridder Arena.