Blake Cashman cited injury concerns and future football prospects in his decision to sit out the Quick Lane Bowl.
Though Gophers forward Brent Gates Jr. tallied the tie-breaking goal late in the third period to put the Gophers ahead 4-3, it was goaltender Mat Robson who saved the game for Minnesota. He stopped 50 of 53 shots on goal in the series finale against No. 15 Michigan on Saturday.
The Gophers will now play two games at No. 15 Michigan Friday and Saturday at the hostile Yost Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Head coach Bob Motzko said he remembers one of the times his team played there, when he was a coach at Miami of Ohio.
In the official standings, the Gophers marked two ties this weekend against No. 5 Ohio State. In terms of conference play, the Buckeyes scored late in the 3-on-3 sudden-death overtime to take two extra Big Ten points on the line in the weekend series.
Minnesota's struggles continued in a 3-2 double-overtime loss to Ohio State at 3M Arena at Mariucci. The game officially ended in a tie, but Ohio State got an extra point in conference standing with the overtime victory.
Tyler Sheehy described himself as a little "snake bit" through the first part of the season. The second-year captain notched just three points in the first nine games of the season.
Minnesota beat Wisconsin for the first time since 2003, taking Paul Bunyan's Axe back to Dinkytown for the first time in over a decade.
Minnesota got one step closer to an even-strength record Friday with a convincing conference win over Michigan State 7-2.
Cashman's journey from walk-on to defensive leader for the Gophers will come to an end after this season, potentially against Wisconsin on Saturday.
Senior Eric Schierhorn and junior Mat Robson have almost evenly split games this year, as the net-minders keep consistent play while the defensive core struggles.