Gopher Women’s Hockey wins first postseason conference title since 2018
The No. 3 Gopher Women’s hockey team took down the No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes 3-1 at Ridder Arena on Saturday afternoon, to capture their first WCHA tournament championship since 2018.
The Gophers and Buckeyes skated evenly for the first fifteen minutes of play, until Savannah Norcross netted her second goal of the season to give Minnesota (29-5-3) a 1-0 lead. The Gophers and Ohio State (31-5-2) both put thirteen shots on goal in the first.
At the end of the first period, Ohio State was assessed a major penalty, giving the Gophers five minutes on the power play. Minnesota was unable to convert but got another chance with thirteen minutes to play in the second and extended the lead on Abbey Murphy’s 28th goal of the year.
Ohio State cut the Gophers’ lead in half as Gabby Rosenthal scored with just over three minutes to play in the second period. Minnesota immediately regained momentum as Peyton Hemp notched her third point of the weekend not a minute later. The Gophers led 3-1 after two periods of play.
Midway through the third period Ohio State went on the powerplay, but Minnesota’s defense stood strong against the top power-play team in the country for a third time. The Gophers slammed the door on the Buckeyes in the final period of play, stopping all 13 shots to secure the tournament title.
Skylar Vetter started in goal for Minnesota, making 34 saves in her 26th win of the season. Amanda Thiele started in goal for the Buckeyes, stopping 36 shots in the loss.
All-WCHA Tournament Team:
- Abbey Murphy, F, Minnesota (Most Outstanding Player)
- Taylor Heise, F, Minnesota
- Peyton Hemp, F, Minnesota
- Madeline Wethington, D, Minnesota
- Sophie Jaques, D, Ohio State
- Skylar Vetter, G, Minnesota
“Anytime you win a championship and raise a banner is awesome,” said head coach Brad Frost. “We won the regular season conference championship last year, which is a very hard trophy to win, but that one is more of a culmination of an entire season. To be able to win in a tournament format is a big deal for this group because they haven’t done that in a while. We’re very excited for them to be able to hoist a banner and lift a trophy.”
• Today’s win marks the Gophers’ first WCHA Tournament Championship since 2018.
• Minnesota moves to 3-1-1 against Ohio State this season.
• With a goal today, Abbey Murphy has now scored in eight-straight games.
By winning the WCHA tournament, the Gophers receive an automatic qualification for the 2023 NCAA Division I women’s hockey tournament. First round matchups will be announced at 11am on Sunday, March 5 on ESPNews.
Courtesy: University of Minnesota Sports Information