There was no love lost between Minnesota and Wisconsin this weekend as they chipped and clawed at each other every chance they could get.
No. 1 Wisconsin needed overtime to beat the No. 6 Gophers 2-1 on Sunday night at the Ridder Arena. Sidney Peters stopped 25 shots and Grace Zumwinkle notched her fifth goal of the year on a power play.
“The battle and compete of our players, the desire they had to win that hockey game. That is everything we want from them,” said head coach Brad Frost.
The Gophers once again found themselves playing from behind after Wisconsin’s Alexis Mauermann found the back of the net off a quick transition after a face-off. However, Zumwinkle’s goal pulled the game even at the 9:10 mark in the second period.
That was her fifth power-play goal of the season, leading the NCAA. The game was tied at one entering the third period.
The Gophers and Badgers battled all night, but at the end of regulation the score remained 1-1. Each team had chances and each goaltender stepped up. In overtime, Baylee Wellhausen became the hero for the Badgers after finding the back of the net after the puck trickled over Peters' shoulder just 1:32 into overtime.
“I just wish we could have come out with a win tonight just to make everybody feel a little better," Frost said. "Our team is disappointed, but as coaches we are really, really proud."
Minnesota (5-4-1, 4-3-1-0 WCHA) and Badgers found themselves in a lot of scrums on Sunday night. One play in particular was when Badgers defenseman Mikaela Gardner and Sidney Peters were poking each other and Peters ended up grabbing her on the ground and prompted Gardner to commit a penalty. The game was full of intensity and for many of the young Gophers, this was their first look at what it is like to take part in the Border Battle.
“It’s easy to get up for Wisconsin, there is not a lot that needs to be said, everyone shows up to the rink ready to go,” Peters said. “I hope that we can keep this energy as we move forward into Mankato next weekend.”
The Gophers lost 3-2 on Saturday night after the Gophers fought back twice to even the score before Wisconsin’s Presley Norby netted the game winner with 5:16 remaining.
"I thought we got better as the game went on and had opportunities to score and win the game," Frost said. "Overall, I am really encouraged with where we are at right now."
The Badgers hopped out to a quick lead after Sophia Shaver scored a backhanded goal just 33 seconds into the game. Lindsey Agnew scored her first goal of the season from a pass behind the net to tie the game up soon after Shaver’s goal. Wellhausen put the Wisconsin (12-0-0, 6-0-0-0 WCHA) up for the second time in the period, scoring from close range.
The second period went scoreless, but in the third, Sophie Skarzynski scored her fourth goal of the season on a shot from the face-off circle from a feed by Cara Piazza.
“I have played with Cara and I since I have been 10, Cara made a heads up play just one timed it,” Skarzynski said.
However, the tie was short-lived as former Ms. Hockey, Presley Norby, from Minnetonka, put the Badgers up 3-2 from a pass from Maddie Rolfes. The Gophers were able to get some decent chances down the stretch, but finished short.