Ohio State was a thorn in the side of the Gophers women's hockey team again Saturday. And there's a chance the teams haven't seen the last of each other.
Tatum Skaggs scored 4 minutes, 56 seconds into overtime to lift Ohio State to a 4-3 victory over the Gophers in the semifinals of the women's WCHA Final Faceoff on Saturday at Ridder Arena.
Ohio State (23-8-6) advanced to Sunday's championship game for the first since 2001 with its third victory of the season over the Gophers. The third-seeded Buckeyes will face top-seeded Wisconsin, which defeated Minnesota Duluth 4-1 in Saturday's first semifinal.
"Not the result that we wanted, obviously," Gophers coach Brad Frost said. "We were hoping and wanting to play for a championship tomorrow and we are not going to be able to do that, but I'm proud of our team. We played a pretty solid game."
The Ohio State-Wisconsin winner will earn the WCHA's automatic bid to the eight-team NCAA tournament field. The Gophers (27-6-3) are expected to receive an at-large bid when the field is announced Sunday night, and there's a possibility that they could face the Buckeyes again.
"Hopefully we get to extend our season and play again next weekend and learn from things a little bit," Frost said.
The Gophers had a 44-game unbeaten streak vs. Ohio State from 2007 to '17 and lead the all-time series 76-15-5, but the Buckeyes are 7-6-1 against the Gophers over the past three seasons.
Skaggs' winning goal, her second goal of the game, came off a rebound of a shot by Liz Schepers.
"Turned the puck over a couple times and couldn't get it out when we needed to there on a couple of their goals, including the one in overtime, but it's hockey," Frost said. "I'm sure they wanted different things to happen on their three goals against, and we obviously wanted different things to happen on the four goals against for us. But I like how we played."
The Gophers outshot the Buckeyes 17-3 in the first period, and led 2-0 early in the second period after a pair of goals by Amy Potomak.
Skaggs scored 62 seconds after Potomak's second goal to get the Buckeyes within 2-1.
Late in the second period, the Buckeyes tied the game on Jenn Gardiner's first goal, and, after a Gophers power play goal by Taylor Heise, tied it again with 7:27 remaining in the third period on Gardiner's second goal. The Gophers went on the power play less than a minute later but couldn't score, and the game went into overtime — the first in the WCHA semifinals since 2017.
The Gophers outshot the Buckeyes 41-28, including 33-15 through two periods. Andrea Braendli made 38 saves for the Buckeyes.
Wisconsin 4, Minnesota Duluth 1: Sophie Shirley had a goal and assist and WCHA Player of the Year Abby Roque scored a power-play goal as the top-seeded Badgers advanced to the championship game for the sixth consecutive season. Badgers goalie Kristen Campbell had 34 saves as the Bulldogs outshot Wisconsin 35-30.