No. 1 Minnesota splits series with No. 5 Ohio State

The Gophers, on Hockey Day Minnesota, beat the Buckeyes after falling at Ridder Arena a day earlier.

The Gophers play Ohio State as part of an outdoor game at Parade Stadium in Minneapolis on Saturday, Jan. 18. (Anna Landis / Minnesota Daily)

The Gophers play Ohio State as part of an outdoor game at Parade Stadium in Minneapolis on Saturday, Jan. 18. (Anna Landis / Minnesota Daily)

Matthew Kennedy

The Gophers returned to home ice during Hockey Day Minnesota and beat the Ohio State Buckeyes 2-1 on Saturday after falling in what was their worst performance of the season in a 4-1 loss the day earlier.

Minnesota drops its second game in regulation all season

Besides a goal from Taylor Heise to tie the game in the first period, this is a game head coach Brad Frost and company would like to forget. 

“Well, a tough one here tonight,” Frost said. “Quite frankly, we got our butts kicked. There’s not much more to say tactically. We need to put this behind us and be a whole lot better tomorrow.” 

The Gophers were outshot 34-22 and had their worst finish to date this year, giving up three second-period goals to the Buckeyes. Ohio State has been Minnesota’s toughest competitor this year; it is the only team that has beaten them twice. The usual high-octane offense of Grace Zumwinkle and the Potomak sisters was shut down by the dominant defensive effort by Ohio State.

The Gophers finished Hockey Day Minnesota with a win Saturday

On Hockey Day Minnesota, the Gophers rebounded nicely playing outside in the cold. The girls thrived on defense and goaltending with Sydney Scobee stopping 29 shots.

“It was freezing but it made for a perfect Minnesotan hockey environment,” freshman Madeline Wethington said. 

Unlike the second period on Friday, the Gophers held the Buckeyes without a goal and got one of their own, leading to a 2-1 victory. Emily Oden scored the eventual game-winning goal. The Buckeyes managed to fire off more shots than the Gophers but lost eight more faceoffs. 

“It was pretty amazing to be a part of Hockey Day Minnesota,” Frost said. “When we got the call in the summer, it was obviously really exciting. Then to actually be able to be a part of it here today, to be on TV — you know our sport unfortunately doesn’t get on TV a whole lot, so we wanted to make sure it was as good of a product as possible, and it was a great day.”

Up next, the Gophers travel east to Madison, Wisconsin next weekend in another clash versus bitter border rivals. The two teams met earlier this season as the Gophers swept Wisconsin.