Gophers women’s hockey split series with Badgers

Minnesota tallied a shutout Saturday, but allowed eight goals Sunday.

Sophomore defender Sophie Skarzynski handles the puck at Ridder Arena on Oct. 29, 2016, where the Gophers beat St. Cloud State 3-0.

Maddy Fox

Sophomore defender Sophie Skarzynski handles the puck at Ridder Arena on Oct. 29, 2016, where the Gophers beat St. Cloud State 3-0.

by Tommy Sletten

It was a tale of two games for No. 2 Minnesota’s first series against rival No. 1 Wisconsin.

The Gophers’ two outings starkly contrasted each other. They won the first on in a 2-0 shutout Saturday, but then lost the second on Sunday 8-2.

This marked the first time Minnesota has given up eight goals since Nov. 7, 1999 against Harvard, a game they lost 8-3.

“Yesterday we played a real solid 60 minutes, just a complete effort,” said head coach Brad Frost. “Tonight, we were on our heels right from the get-go and it really was an opposite game.”

Minnesota (14-2-2, 12-2-2 WCHA) saw an impressive defensive showing on Saturday, where redshirt junior goalie Sidney Peters had 37 saves — a career high — to earn her shutout.

Senior forward Kate Schipper scored midway through the second period with a power play goal off an assist from senior forward Dani Cameranesi.

The goal marked Schipper’s 100th career goal with Minnesota and Cameranesi’s assist marked her 200th career point in a Gophers uniform.

Schipper finished the game with two goals, as she scored an empty-netter late in the third period.

Sunday’s game was just the opposite for the Gophers, as they looked out of sync from the start, and lost 8-2.

“The big difference was executing all over the ice and just having consistent effort,” said forward Kelly Pannek said. “We just couldn’t match the level of play from the night before, and I think that’s what made the difference.”

Both teams scored early, as junior forward Caitlin Reilly responded to Wisconsin’s first period game-opening goal with a goal of her own.

However, Wisconsin (15-2-1, 11-2-1 WCHA) came back with three goals in less than two minutes, pushing the score to 4-1 in favor of the Badgers.

Senior defenseman Megan Wolfe scored the next and seemingly put Minnesota back in the game.

But the rest of the game was all Wisconsin.

The Badgers put two more goals in the net in the second frame, before Peters was pulled in favor of freshman goalie Serena D’Angelo.

After her career night, Peters allowed six goals and accumulated just 13 saves.

However, D’Angelo and the rest of the team fared no better in the final period, as Wisconsin rattled off two more goals to reach the final score of 8-2.

“We didn’t get the goaltending we needed tonight, and didn’t help our goalies out tonight, either. It was a disappointing night,” Frost said.

The Gophers were also disadvantaged, playing the game without top goal scorer Cameranesi, who suffered a lower body injury the night before.

The teams are always closely matched. The series marks the first split between the two programs since 2011.

Minnesota will hit the road again next weekend to play Boston University, its final series before the winter break.

Senior captain Lee Stecklein said she sees this last series as a chance to finish strong before the break, and move on from this past weekend.

“We’re just going to have to use this last series to reset from what happened this weekend, find a way to move on and end on a good note,” she said.