Bethany Brausen got the first goal and then the last goal to put her captain's stamp on a 5-2 victory for Minnesota in Columbus on Friday night. The Ohio State Buckeyes were much tougher than when they came to Minneapolis earlier in the year, but didn't have enough to knock off the top team in the country. OSU will try again at Noon for Saturday's tilt.
Things got going right away when junior captain Bethany Brausen got her third goal of the season, knocking it past OSU goalie Chelsea Knapp. Minnesota controlled the entire period and had a healthy lead in shots at the end of the period, 13-6.
The second period started with a Milica McMillen penalty, but the Gophers were able to turn that into a positive when Megan Bozek put away a shorthanded chance near the end of an OSU power play. Bozek's 14th of the season gave the Gophers some breathing room at 2-0. The lead wouldn't last though, as OSU rallied for two unanswered goals by Danielle Gagne and Hokey Langan, to tie it up. OSU would then get a couple of penalties and put the Gopher power play unit on the ice. OSU was very disciplined, as those were the only two penalties of the game for them. The second penalty would cost the Buckeyes as Amanda Kessel netted a power play goal and the eventual game winner. Kessel's 38th of the season gave Minnesota back the lead, 3-2, going into the third period.
The Gophers would put the game away with two goals in the final 20 minutes to seal their 29th victory of the season. Rachael Bona snagged her 12th and Brausen got her fourth. Minnesota outshot the Buckeyes 36-20 in the game. Noora Raty made 18 saves to get her 103rd career victory.
The defense was able to pitch in and help with the offensive load quite nicely. Baylee Gillanders and Rachel Ramsey each pitched in a point, while Bozek and Mira Jalosuo got two points a piece.
Here is an interview with the OSU head coach, Nate Handrahan after the game.
Here is a link to the boxscore.
In other WCHA action:
-Bemidji State came roaring back to force overtime with North Dakota, but lost in the extra frame, 4-3.
-Brianna Decker had three points and Alex Rigsby got a shutout in the Wisconsin Badgers 6-0 win over St. Cloud State.
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