MADISON, WIS. – Nine seconds. That's all it took for the Gophers to regain the lead.
After No. 1 Wisconsin had rallied to tie the score, Catie Skaja scored an unassisted goal at 5 minutes, 7 seconds of the third period which ultimately gave the No. 5 Gophers a 3-2 women's hockey victory over Badgers.
It was the second game-winner and sixth goal of the season for Skaja, a senior who played for New Prague High School.
"A great win here tonight on the road against an undefeated, No. 1 team," Gophers coach Brad Frost said. "The kids just played with a ton of passion and grit and heart. It is just so fun to see them get rewarded for how hard they have been playing here this year.
"Really looking forward to enjoying this one tonight and trying to get the sweep here tomorrow."
Minnesota (13-4, 8-3 WCHA) took a 2-0 lead in the first period when Taylor Heise scored early (0:27) and Emily Oden late (18:47).
Wisconsin rallied on Casey O'Brien's goal in the sixth minute of the second period. And then the Badgers (15-1-1, 11-1-1) tied the score — ever so briefly — on Maddie Wheeler's goal at 4:58 of the third.
Lauren Bench made 31 saves for the Gophers. Kennedy Blair had 24 stops for Wisconsin.
The Badgers were averaging five goals per game — they had opened this season with 12 consecutive victories until a scoreless tie with Bemidji State.
But Heise, just named national player for the month for November, got Minnesota off to a good start with her first-minute goal.
A good omen.