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Good news, bad news for Gophers women, who fall victim to Buckeyes' rally in shootout loss

Leading 3-1 and 4-3 in the third period, the second-ranked Minnesota Gophers ran into late penalty trouble which allowed an Ohio State rally, but still claimed four of six conference points on the weekend.

Ohio State's Jenna Buglioni slides the puck past Minnesota goaltender Skylar Vetter for the shootout-winning goal Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022 at the OSU Ice Rink in Columbus, Ohio.
Contributed / Ohio State Athletics

COLUMBUS, Ohio — It was a classic “good news, bad news” afternoon for the Minnesota Gophers women’s hockey team on Saturday. They fell 5-4 in a shootout to top-ranked Ohio State, but feel good about heading west with four of a possible six WCHA points.

Still, with leads of 3-1 and 4-3 in the third period, the Gophers’ chances for a sweep were done in by four penalties in the final 20 minutes, which opened the door for the Buckeyes to rally.

“You don’t love to see four penalty kills in the third, but we had a power play goal, we had a shorthanded goal and two even strength goals,” said Gophers coach Brad Frost. “But obviously, being up 3-1, you’d like to close it out.”

Goals by Abbey Murphy early in the first and third periods, along with some stellar defense and goaltending, fueled the Gophers’ lead. Skylar Vetter, who started both games in goal this weekend, had 27 saves for Minnesota (7-0-1 overall, 7-0-1 WCHA) in the shootout loss.

The Buckeyes (9-1-0, 9-1-0) got a pair of power play goals from Sophie Jaques and another from Makenna Webster along with 27 saves from goalie Raygan Kirk.


As they had done in the series opener, the Gophers jumped out to an early lead. Scoring on a power play and at even strength for a two-goal advantage barely three minutes into the contest.

Ohio State appeared to get on the board a short time later, when their first shot on goal of the game was tipped in front of Vetter. She appeared to cover the puck but it slipped from the goalie’s grasp and slid over the goal line a split second after the whistle sounded. Called a goal on the ice, the Gophers challenged the play and it was ruled no goal following a lengthy review. The Buckeyes finally did solve Vetter later in the first, cashing in during a scramble in front of the net.

“This is a learning opportunity, and when you’re having a learning opportunity in (October) rather than in January or February, that’s a good thing,” said Gophers forward Taylor Heise, who scored shorthanded to give her team a 4-3 lead, before Jaques tied it again.

Minnesota had a power play in the extra session but missed a golden opportunity to win when Murphy’s point-blank shot went just wide of the net.

Ohio State 5, Minnesota 4, SO

Minnesota 2-0-2-0—4

Ohio State 1-0-3-0—4

First period — 1. MN, Abbey Murphy 7 (Gracie Ostertag, Madeline Wethington), 2:23, (PP). 2. MN, Josefin Bouveng 4 (Peyton Hemp, Emily Zumwinkle), 3:10. 3. OS, Makenna Webster 1 (Levis, Emma Maltais), 14:42. Penalties — Paetyn Levis, OS (body checking), 1:06; Sophie Jaques, OS (slashing), 10:12; Brooke Bink, OS (roughing), 17:12; Catie Skaja, MN (holding), 17:12; Gabby Rosenthal, OS (tripping), 19:25; Madison Bizal, OS (roughing), 19:53; Abbey Murphy, MN (roughing), 19:53.


The duo coached together at Hamline for six seasons and under Brad Frost with the Minnesota Gophers for a season. They take over a Pioneers program that was among Minnesota's best in 2022-23.
The New Prague native is a two-time U18 gold medalist and was a prep standout before producing 146 points in 160 games over five seasons in maroon and gold.
In an unexpected move, the two-time national champion player will not be back with the U of M after two seasons working for head coach Brad Frost and helping her alma mater to the Frozen Four.
With much of his offense returning, we expect coach Bob Motzko will add three forwards, three defensemen and a goalie to a roster that was within a few minutes of winning the NCAA title in April.
After leading the Gophers offensively in his final college season, some thought NHL success was inevitable for the Finnish forward. After battling injuries in the AHL, he is back in Europe.
Larson has international experience from his stint as an Olympic assistant coach in 2022, while Miller will be working his seventh World Juniors for Team USA, and looking for his third gold medal.
A prep state champion as a sophomore, Begley spent parts of the last two seasons in the NAHL, most recently with the Wisconsin Windigo where he was the team's top-scoring defenseman.
Starting next season, men's and women's season-ticket holders for the Minnesota Gophers will be able to return seats they cannot use and get credit for future season ticket purchases.
The defenseman originally from southern California was a four-year regular on the U of M blue line, and a first-round pick of Buffalo in 2019.
Transfers from St. Lawrence, Princeton and UMD will help bolster the Gophers on the back end next season as they try to find a way back to the Frozen Four and repeat as WCHA tourney champs.
The Minnesota Gophers center led the team in scoring on the way to a Big Ten title and a trip to the NCAA title game, and recently announced he will return for a sophomore college hockey season.
Fargo native Trent Wiemken has gone 8-1-1 in the Robertson Cup playoffs as the mainstay goalie for the Austin Bruins playoffs while working with former Minnesota Gophers goalie Nick Lehr's coaching.

Second period — No scoring. Penalties — Rosenthal, OS (slashing), 5:11.

Third period — 4. MN, Murphy 8 (Grace Zumwinkle, Ostertag), 0:53. 5. OS, Jennifer Gardiner 5 (Webster), 10:47. 6. OS, Jaques 9 (Webster, Emma Maltais), 12:47, (PP). 7. MN, Taylor Heise 4 (Skaja, Ostertag), 13:53, (SH). 8. OS, Jaques 10 (Madison Bizal, Maltais), 14:26, (PP). Penalties — Bench (served by Madison Kaiser), MN (too many players), 5:12; Lizi Norton, MN (hooking), 8:16; Crystalyn Hengler, MN (slashing), 10:47; Murphy, MN (hooking), 13:24.

Overtime — No scoring. Penalties — Rosenthal, OS (tripping), 0:27.

Shots on goal — MN 8-9-7-7—31; OS 9-11-9-2—31. Goalies — Skylar Vetter, MN (31 shots-27 saves); Raygan Kirk, OS (31-27). Power plays — MN 1-of-5, OS 2-of-4. Referees — Christopher Binkley, Sarma Pone. Linesmen — Tyler Iffland, Tim Katrinak. Att. — 319.

Jess Myers covers college hockey, as well as outdoors, general sports and travel, for The Rink Live and the Forum Communications family of publications. He came to FCC in 2018 after three decades of covering sports as a freelancer for a variety of publications, while working full time in politics and media relations. A native of Warroad, Minn. (the real Hockeytown USA), Myers has a degree in journalism/communications from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He lives in the Twin Cities. Contact Jess via email at jrmyers@forumcomm.com, or find him on Twitter via @JessRMyers. English speaker.
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