The No. 2-ranked Gophers women's hockey team was averaging a Division I-best 4.46 goals per game and had a 14-game winning streak — the longest in the nation — before Wisconsin came to Ridder Arena for a huge two-game WCHA series this weekend.
The Badgers beat Minnesota 2-1 on Friday, holding the Gophers to 21 shots. Only one shot got past junior goalie Kristen Campbell, who came into the game with a 1.14 goals-against average — almost half a goal fewer than anyone else.
"Defensively we played very well but didn't generate as much as we needed on the front end to get some second and third opportunities," Gophers coach Brad Frost said.
Emily Clark's power-play goal in the sixth minute gave the Badgers (21-2, 11-2 WCHA) a 1-0 lead. Nicole Schammel scored for the Gophers 18 seconds into the second to tie it. But just a second under 15 minutes into the middle period, Maddie Rolfes got the eventual winner. It was just the second goal of the season for Rolfes, a junior defenseman from West Des Moines, Iowa, who went to Shattuck St. Mary's in Faribault, Minn.
Alex Gulstene had 24 saves for the Gophers (21-3-1, 11-3-1), who remain in first place in the WCHA with 34 points, one ahead of Wisconsin.
"There was not a lot of offensive play both ways," said Frost, whose team's last loss before this game was 4-1 to the Badgers in late October at their rink. "When you have two good skating teams like that the chances are going to be limited."