Minnesota battles past Buckeyes

The team finished the weekend with a tie and a victory over Ohio State.

Minnesota forward Hannah Brandt handles the puck against Ohio State at Ridder Arena on Saturday. The Gophers beat Ohio State 3-1 and outshot them 44-15.

Holly Peterson

Minnesota forward Hannah Brandt handles the puck against Ohio State at Ridder Arena on Saturday. The Gophers beat Ohio State 3-1 and outshot them 44-15.

by Grant Donald

Heading into the weekend, Gophers head coach Brad Frost expected to receive Ohio State’s best punch, something that almost came true in both games.

The weekend series was marked by shoving matches, scrums and ejections, but Minnesota was still able to stand tall, beating the Buckeyes 3-1 Saturday and tying 3-3 in regulation and overtime before winning the shootout 3-1 Friday.

“It’s tough. We talk about controlling what you can control all the time, and you can’t control the refs or linesman and their calls,” Frost said. “But at the same time, we need to intelligently be there for each other and stay together.”

The evident physicality Ohio State brought to the series didn’t leave the Gophers unscathed, however.

Frost said senior forward Meghan Lorence suffered an injury Friday night, and after playing half a period Saturday, she didn’t finish the gamef. He said her condition was “day-to-day.”

The injuries didn’t stop there, as sophomore Paige Haley was illegally checked into the boards Saturday and needed assistance getting off the ice. Frost said he didn’t know the extent of her injury, but her arm was in a sling after the game.

“Anytime you see someone go down, it’s not fun no matter who it is,” freshman Kelly Pannek said. “We don’t see a lot of physical [teams] all the time, but we were just focused on protecting our players.”

When the game started to get chippy Friday, the Gophers turned to one of their more physical players, junior Brook Garzone, to raise their physicality as a team.

“We are supposed to protect our players, especially our goalie, so when [Ohio State] shot the puck after the whistle, I kind of got crazy eyes on, and I just went full tilt after her,” Garzone said. “It got me in the penalty box, but I think it was well-deserved.”

As a result of the injuries the Gophers suffered this weekend, sophomore Kate Schipper was moved up to Minnesota’s second line Saturday.

She responded by netting a first-period goal, giving the Gophers a 1-0 lead. Pannek and junior Hannah Brandt added goals in the second period to extend the lead to 3-0 heading into the third.

Minnesota hung on to the lead Saturday, something it wasn’t able to do Friday.

The Gophers blew a 3-1 second-period lead and were forced into a tie, but they prevailed in the shootout thanks to stellar
goalkeeping by junior Amanda Leveille.

“When you win the shootout, you feel like you kind of won the game,” Frost said. “But at the same time, we did give up a two-goal lead, so there is a sense of hollowness to it, too.”

To the Gophers’ credit, they responded right off the bat Saturday as they outshot the Buckeyes 17-1 in the first period.

“We hit [the players] pretty hard in the video here before the game, showed them a lot of the mistakes they made [Friday] night,” Frost said, “They took that to heart and really came back and battled [Saturday].”