No. 3 Minnesota fell 3-2 to defending national champion Wisconsin in Madison on Friday night.
Still battling an undisclosed injury, Jen Schoullis did not play for the Gophers.
The Badgers jumped out of the gate early and scored two goals in the game's first four minutes of play. Carolyne Prevost scored her second goal of the game near the end of the period to extend the lead to 3-0.
Senior defenseman Anne Schleper put Minnesota on the board with her first goal of the season, a wrap-around at the 11:11 mark in the second period.
Freshman Rachael Bona made it a 3-2 game when she scored her first collegiate goal on a breakaway early in the third period. Minnesota, however, was unable to tie the game.
The Gophers failed to capitalize on late power-play chances. Minnesota pulled goalie Noora Raty in a last-minute effort to even the score, but the Badgers held on to improve their record to 5-0.
The teams will complete the series on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis.