No. 2 Minnesota earned a series sweep of Ohio State, winning 3-1 at Ridder Arena. Jen Schoullis and Megan Bozek each had multiple-point games, each earning a goal and an assist in today's game. The Gophers improve to 17-3-0 and 11-3-0 in conference play, while Ohio State moves to 9-7-2 and 6-7-1 in WCHA games.
The Gophers took an early lead, as junior defenseman Megan Bozek scored six minutes into the game. Jen Schoullis and Amanda Kessel had assists on the goal. The goal was Bozek's ninth of the season. Both Ohio State and Minnesota had some close chances in the period, but with outstanding goaltending for both teams, the score remained 1-0 through the end of the period. Ohio State had a slight advantage in shots on goal in the opening period with seven to Minnesota's five.
Less than two minutes into the second period, Jen Shoullis extended Minnesota's lead to two with a goal, assisted by Amanda Kessel and Megan Bozek. Ohio State responded with a goal from Laura McIntosh 13 minutes into the period to narrow Minnesota's lead to one. Natalie Spooner assisted on the goal for the Buckeyes. Late in the period, Spooner sustained an injury and left the bench to be evaluated by the athletic trainer. The score remained at 2-1 going into the second intermission. After being outshot 7-5 in the first period, the Gophers had an 11-7 advantage in shots in the second period.
Both teams were scoreless through most of the final period. Spooner returned to the game for Ohio State and had several scoring chances, as did McIntosh. Emily West had some close chances for the Gophers, but wasn't able to score. The Gophers outshot Ohio State 17-6 in the final period. Neither team had power play opportunities in the final period as the Gophers and Buckeyes managed to stay out of the penalty box. Ohio State pulled Lisa Steffes from the net with a minute and 17 seconds left on the clock, giving the Buckeyes six skaters on the ice. Amanda Kessel took advantage and scored her only goal of the game with an empty net at 19:23, giving the Gophers a 3-1 lead.
Junior Noora Raty made 19 saves in goal for the Gophers, giving her 46 saves on the weekend. Raty is 15-3-0 this season. Lisa Steffes tallied 30 saves for the Buckeyes and is now 7-5-0 on the season.
Following today's game, the Gophers are on a three-week break and will return to action on Jan. 6-7 when they host No. 1 Wisconsin.