MADISON, WIS. – The seventh-ranked Gophers women’s hockey team lost 1-0 to No. 1 Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon at LaBahn Arena before a sellout crowd of 2,273.
Junior defenseman Maddie Rolfes scored the game’s only goal at 16 minutes, 9 seconds of the opening period. Sophomore Kristen Campbell made 16 saves for the shutout. It was her NCAA-leading 11th shutout of the season.
“That was the worst goal I’ve ever had I think,” Rolfes said of her fourth goal this season. “It went off someone’s shoulder pad.”
“I wish we could have put one of more on the board,” Gophers coach Brad Frost said, “but defensively we were really sound and gave ourselves an opportunity to win.”
The result gave the Badgers a sweep of this series — they won 4-3 Friday — and their first four-game, regular-season series over Minnesota ever. Wisconsin (29-3-2, 20-2-2), which will have a bye in the WCHA quarterfinals next weekend as the conference champion, beat the Gophers by one goal in all four games.
Sidney Peters had 21 saves for the Gophers (20-10-3, 13-8-3), who were held to their second lowest shot total of the season. No surprise there. Their lowest was the night before when they had 15 shots. This was the first time this season, though, that Minnesota was shut out.
Caitlin Reilly led the Gophers (20-10-3, 13-8-3) with four shots on goal, but the visitors’ top line of Grace Zumwinkle, Taylor Wente and Nicole Schammel combined for just one,
The Gophers were 0-for-4 on the power play, the Badgers 0-3.
Next Minnesota, the WCHA’s third seed, will host sixth-seeded St. Cloud State in a best-of-three series starting Friday at Ridder Arena. The winner of that will advance to the WCHA Final Faceoff March 3-4 at Ridder.
The Gophers have a 39-game unbeaten streak against the Huskies, dating to October 2010, but it was 37-game winning streak until the two teams tied 3-3 in St. Cloud on Feb. 2. Minnesota beat the Huskies 5-2 the next day.
“[We’re] looking forward to getting into the playoffs,” Frost said, “knowing there are a lot of important games left to be played.”
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