Gophers Complete Sweep of Badgers 4-3 in Overtime
MINNEAPOLIS – Kelly Pannek scored the game-winning goal with 54 seconds remaining in overtime as the No. 3 Golden Gopher women's hockey team earned a 4-3 overtime win and series sweep over No. 2 Wisconsin in front of 3,091 fans at Ridder Arena Saturday afternoon.
Pannek led the Gophers with three points on one goal and two assists. Minnesota (29-3-1, 24-3-1-0 WCHA) also received two points each from Kate Schipper (1g-1a), Cara Piazza (1g-1a), and Dani Cameranesi (2a), and Amanda Leveille made 31 saves in the win.
The Gophers took an early 2-0 lead and led 3-1 midway through the second period, but Wisconsin (30-3-1, 24-3-1-1 WCHA) tied the game early in the third period on penalty shot goal by Annie Pankowski. Pannek's game-winner secured the sweep after Minnesota won 4-0 in game one on Friday.
"Well, what a great game here tonight," head coach Brad Frost said. "Obviously a lot of ebbs and flows, back and forth. Great start for us just like last night. Wisconsin, to their credit, pushed back, and after getting down a couple times, they were able to tie the game up there in the third.
"Just great resiliency from our team - we weren't perfect here tonight. It was a little more of a classic Minnesota-Wisconsin matchup where both teams were exchanging blows. Everybody had chances."
The defending national champion Gophers begin their national title defense by hosting No. 7 seed Ohio State in a WCHA First Round best-of-three series at Ridder Arena next weekend. Games times for the first round series with OSU are set for 7 p.m. CT Friday, Feb. 26, 4 p.m. CT Saturday, Feb. 27, and if necessary, 2 p.m. CT Sunday, Feb. 28. The Gophers are the No. 2 seed in the WCHA postseason, which continues with the 2016 WCHA Final Faceoff at Ridder Arena March 5-6