The top two teams in the nation traded wins in Minneapolis this weekend.
No. 2 Minnesota (22-3-1, 12-3-1-0) defeated No. 1 Wisconsin (21-3-0, 11-3-0-0) 3-1 on Saturday at Ridder Arena after falling 2-1 on Friday. Left winger Nicole Schammel scored twice as the Badgers allowed three goals in a game for the first time since Oct. 19.
"An awesome game here and a great atmosphere," head coach Brad Frost said. "We were much more composed. We were able to break the puck out better and generate more [chances] offensively. This should give our team a lot of confidence going into the stretch."
Defender Sophie Skarzynski opened the scoring at 15:44 of the first period. Schammel passed the puck to Skarzynski, whose wrist shot beat Badgers goaltender Kristen Campbell after it deflected off a Wisconsin defender. It was Skarzynski's third goal of the season and her first goal since Nov. 23.
"I was pumped," Skarzynski said. "Now that I'm back [on defense], I look to make the simple plays. Schammel had a great pass to me on the blue line as I was entering the zone. I picked my head up, saw an open slot and shot."
Schammel doubled Minnesota's lead at 12:38 of the second period. Her shot hit Campbell's mask, popped up into the air and landed into the net.
Schammel said it was one of the strangest goals she's ever seen.
"Everyone was like, 'Oh my gosh. It might go in.' And it went in," Schammel said. "Grace Zumwinkle and Taylor Wente were crashing the net hard. A lot of props to them to make Campbell scramble on that one."
After Wisconsin cut Minnesota's lead to 2-1 less than 30 seconds after Schammel's goal, Schammel scored again at 6:08 of the third period. It was Schammel's ninth goal of the season and her first multi-goal game of the season.
Goaltender Sydney Scobee made a career-high 37 saves, winning her seventh game of the season.
"I was seeing the puck well," Scobee said. "I had good communication with my teammates. They always had my back in case there was a rebound, so that gives you a lot of confidence as a goaltender."
Wisconsin ends Minnesota's 14-game winning streak
The Gophers' win streak ended the same way it began — on home ice.
Wisconsin defeated Minnesota 2-1 on Friday night, ending Minnesota's 14-game winning streak.
Frost said he expected a tight, one-goal game.
"When you have two good skating teams, the chances are going to be limited," Frost said. "Defensively, we played well, but didn't generate as much as we needed to on the front end to get second and third opportunities. The result is scoring one goal and most nights, that's not going to get it done."
The Badgers opened the scoring at 5:20 of the first period on the power play. Wisconsin center Emily Clark buried a wrist shot past Minnesota goaltender Alex Gulstene. It was Clark's seventh goal of the season.
Schammel evened the score for Minnesota 18 seconds into the middle frame, scoring her seventh goal of the season. Schammel and Wente skated two-on-one into the offensive zone. Schammel flicked a shot past Campbell as the crowd erupted into cheers.
Cheers soon turned to silence when Wisconsin defender Maddie Rolfes scored off a faceoff at 14:59 of the period. It was Rolfes' second goal of the season. It would hold up to be the game-winning goal as neither team scored in the third.
Gulstene made 24 saves but lost her first game of the season.
"It's tough," Gulstene said. "To lose to Wisconsin at home, it stings."
Minnesota's next series will be against No. 5 Ohio State (15-8-0, 9-6-0-0) Friday-Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. Friday's game begins at 5:07 p.m. and Saturday's game begins at 2:07 p.m.
Frost said the Buckeyes will be another difficult opponent for the Gophers.
"They're fast [and] are a lot like us and Wisconsin," he said. "It's a tough place to play at their rink."