The Minnesota women’s hockey team was unable to hand No. 1 Wisconsin its first loss of the season, allowing the Badgers to continue their 20-game winning streak.
After losing Saturday’s game to the Badgers 3-1, the sixth-ranked Gophers scored a pair of goals in the final two minutes to pick up a 3-3 overtime-tie on Sunday in WCHA action.
Wisconsin drew first blood early in the second period Saturday when it scored two goals in just under two minutes.
During a delayed Minnesota penalty, Badgers freshman forward Meghan Duggan scored with 16:37 remaining in the period.
Less than two minutes later, junior forward Jinelle Zaugg added another Wisconsin goal, her ninth of the year.
Minnesota (3-2-1 overall, 2-1-1 WCHA) tried to start a comeback in the closing minutes of the second though, when junior forward Erica McKenzie scored a power-play goal, bringing her team within one.
But the Gophers were unable to make up that goal, and Duggan added another power-play score for Wisconsin halfway through the third to seal the win.
“Friday night was kind of a tough one for our team,” McKenzie said. “We just didn’t have it going.”
Unlike Saturday’s series opener, Minnesota got on the scoreboard first during Sunday’s game when senior forward Andrea Nichols notched her fifth goal of the season with 11:24 left in the first period of play.
“We talked about getting a better start with more intensity, and we switched our lines around a little bit (for Sunday’s game),” coach Laura Halldorson said.
Wisconsin (7-0-1, 5-0-1) answered right back two and a half minutes later when sophomore forward Kayla Hagen scored.
After a scoreless second period, the Badgers went on a run in the third, scoring two-straight times to give Wisconsin a two-goal cushion with less than 10 minutes to play.
Down by two with just 1:12 to play in regulation, sophomore defenseman Dagney Willey scored her first goal of the year by lifting the puck over the glove of Wisconsin sophomore goaltender Jessie Vetter.
“Sunday’s game was a positive for us,” Willey said. “We definitely picked it up, and showed what we were made of. We played with a lot of heart.”
Down by just one goal and with one minute left in the game, Halldorson pulled sophomore goaltender Brittony Chartier for the extra skater.
As the seconds wound down, Minnesota kept the pressure on Vetter, firing six shots on goal in the final minute.
The extra attacker paid off for the Gophers when sophomore forward Gigi Marvin scored the game-tying goal with just two seconds left in the game.
“We had six people out there, all busting their butts,” Marvin said. “(Nichols) got in it in the corner and swung it to the net. I just whacked it in.”
The game concluded with a scoreless five-minute overtime, giving both teams a point in the WCHA standings.
Chartier had 51 saves in the series, allowing six goals. For Wisconsin, Vetter made 39 stops while allowing four goals.
“Putting up four goals against Wisconsin is promising, even though we did lose the first one,” McKenzie said. “They’re a good team and it was a good weekend.”