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Minnesota splits first border battle of the season

Minnesota defeated Wisconsin 1-0 on Saturday but lost 4-1 on Sunday.
Forward Emily Oden reaches up to grab the puck at Ridder Arena on Friday, Oct. 19.
Image by Jack Rodgers
Forward Emily Oden reaches up to grab the puck at Ridder Arena on Friday, Oct. 19.

The first border battle of the season ended in a split.

No. 1 Wisconsin (9-1-0, 3-1-0-0) defeated No. 3 Minnesota (7-2-1, 5-2-1-0) 4-1 on Sunday at LaBahn Arena in Madison, Wisconsin after losing 1-0 to the Gophers on Saturday. 

Minnesota had scored at least two goals in each of the first eight games of the season, but the streak came to an end this weekend.

Head coach Brad Frost said the Gophers didn’t possess the puck as much as they did on Saturday.

“Credit Wisconsin,” Frost said. “They came out after losing yesterday and played well right off the bat. The final scores says it was 4-1, but it was a closer game than that.”

Wisconsin right winger Sophie Shirley opened the scoring at 15:43 of the first period. Minnesota responded less than two minutes later when left winger Emily Oden skated into the slot and received a backhand pass from center Kelly Pannek. Oden buried a one-timer past Wisconsin goaltender Kristen Campbell for her third goal of the season. The goal came at 17:35 of the first period.

Oden said she came onto the ice moments before she scored.

“I saw that [Pannek] had the puck behind the net and had full posession,” Oden said. “I crashed the net into an open lane. She was able to give a nice pass.”

Badgers defender Natalie Buchbinder scored the game-winning goal at 13:38 of the second period. Gophers goaltender Sydney Scobee made 25 saves but lost her second consecutive game.

Oden said Scobee played well enough to win but Minnesota didn’t give her enough offensive support.

“Beating a team once is one thing, but beating them twice is a hard thing to do,” Oden said. “[Wisconsin] came out hard and dominated the offensive zone the first and second periods. We [had] some defensive breakdowns. It’s a team loss.”

Gophers hand Badgers their first loss

Fans at LaBahn Arena witnessed a goaltending duel. In the end, goaltender Alex Gulstene and Minnesota came out on top.

Minnesota defeated Wisconsin 1-0 on Saturday, ending the Badgers’ eight-game winning streak.

Defender Emily Brown scored the game’s only goal on the power play at 7:53 of the third period. Brown took a snap shot that beat Campbell, who was screened by Gophers center Taylor Wente. It was Brown’s second goal of the season.

Brown said it felt great to score and win against Wisconsin.

“We played well as a team for 60 minutes,” Brown said. 

Gulstene made 27 saves for her fifth win of the season and her second consecutive shutout. She has not allowed a goal since Oct. 12.

Minnesota’s next series will be against Bemidji State (0-7-1, 0-3-1) at Ridder Arena Friday and Saturday. Friday’s game begins at 6:07 p.m. Saturday’s game begins at 4:07 p.m. 

Frost said the Gophers shouldn’t take Bemidji State lightly even though the Beavers are winless this season.

“They’ve got the ability to beat anybody,” Frost said. “We need to make sure that we’re ready to go.”

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