Gophers end January with a sweep of Ohio State

Minnesota won 7-2 on Friday and 7-1 on Saturday.

Freshman Taylor Heise goes for the goal on Friday, Dec. 7 at Ridder Arena. The Gophers won against the Robert Morris Colonials 6-1.

Elle Moulin

Freshman Taylor Heise goes for the goal on Friday, Dec. 7 at Ridder Arena. The Gophers won against the Robert Morris Colonials 6-1.

Erik Nelson

After scoring only four goals last weekend against Wisconsin, the Gophers rediscovered their offensive abilities.

No. 2 Minnesota (24-3-1, 14-3-1-0) swept No. 7 Ohio State (15-11-0, 9-9-0-0) in Columbus, Ohio, winning 7-2 on Friday and 7-1 on Saturday. The Gophers scored at least six goals in consecutive games for the first time since scoring at least six in four consecutive games between Nov. 18 and Nov. 30.

Head coach Brad Frost said he was surprised Minnesota scored that many goals against a top-10 team.

“Offensively, [we] found a new gear,” Frost said. “Being able to score that many goals on the road is an impressive achievement. To sweep out here is hard, but to sweep in the manner that we did is even harder.”

Saturday was a milestone afternoon for Gophers defender Crystalyn Hengler.

Hengler scored her first collegiate goal to open the scoring at 1:41 of the second period while Minnesota was on the power play. 

Hengler said she received the puck from left winger Taylor Williamson, went toward the slot and hoped her shot wouldn’t get blocked by an Ohio State defender. 

“The goalie was screened on the shot so I’m fortunate for that,” Hengler said. “I got hugs once I scored. I got off after I scored and got all these hugs and compliments by everyone on the bench.”

Both teams combined to score seven goals in the middle frame. Center Taylor Heise scored twice and the Gophers also received goals from right wingers Amy Potomak, Alex Woken and Grace Zumwinkle and center Taylor Wente.

Goaltender Sydney Scobee made 21 saves, winning her eighth game of the season. 

Woken said scoring in bunches gives Minnesota confidence.

“It shows how much depth our team has up and down the lineup,” Woken said. “It shows that anyone can put the puck in the net. This weekend shows that we are a powered force.”

Schammel helps Minnesota win game one

Left winger Nicole Schammel said she didn’t realize before the game on Friday that she was one point away from her 100th point in a Gophers uniform.

Schammel recorded her 100th point as a Gopher when she scored a power-play goal at 18:16 of the first period in Minnesota’s 7-2 win over the Buckeyes. It was Schammel’s 10th goal of the season.

“I was excited,” Schammel said. “My teammates hugged me and congratulated me. I didn’t have a huge reaction but it was exciting.”

Besides Schammel, Woken, Zumwinkle and left winger Emily Oden each scored two goals as Minnesota got revenge after losing to the Buckeyes 3-2 on Oct. 20.

Goaltender Alex Gulstene made 19 saves, winning her 16th game of the season.

Minnesota’s next series will be against Minnesota-Duluth (11-11-2, 7-7-2-2) Saturday and Sunday at Ridder Arena. Saturday’s game begins at 4:07 p.m. and Sunday’s game begins at 1:07 p.m.