COLUMBUS, OHIO – Just as they did in their first meeting of the season, the No. 3-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes got another split with the No. 2 Gophers, beating them 3-1 on Saturday afternoon after losing the series opener 7-4 the day before.
"Hard-fought battle here tonight," Gophers coach Brad Frost said. "Proud of our team, they play well. Unfortunately we couldn't find a way to get the equalizer there and giving up that empty-netter.
"Wish the result was different, but proud of our team and the way they competed."
The Buckeyes (9-5 overall/WCHA) took a 2-0 lead on goals by Tatum Skaggs on a power play nearly 16 minutes into the game and by Sara Seekkinen with 49 seconds left in the second period.
Emma Maltais scored OSU's third goal, an empty-netter with 13 seconds to play.
The Gophers (9-4) scored with one second left in the second period. Abigail Noreen got her fourth goal this season and second in two games. Olivia Knowles and Amy Potomak had the assists.
Grace Zumwinkle led the Gophers with six shots on goal but was a minus-2.
Goalie Amanda Thiele stopped everybody but Noreen for the Buckeyes, finishing with 29 saves. Gophers backup goalie Makayla Pohl stopped 41 shots.
After Friday's loss, Ohio State coach Nadine Muzerall said, "Offensively we did a lot of great things. We needed to bear down defensively. Four of the five goals, minus the empty-netter, were things we could have easily prevented."
In the season-opening series between these teams on Nov. 21-22 at Ridder Arena, Minnesota beat Ohio State 4-0 in the first game but lost the second 2-1.