This past weekend the No. 8 Wisconsin women's hockey team traveled to Minneapolis for a pair of border battle showdowns with the No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers and came out with a split.
Friday, the Badgers earned an overtime victory, beating the Gophers 4-3 on sophomore forward Carolyne Prevost's goal in the extra frame. However, the Badgers didn't fare as well the following night, falling 3-2 in disappointing fashion.
Friday night the Gophers started fast and got out to the early advantage. Minnesota sophomore forward Sarah Erickson scored just 32 seconds into the game. Two minutes later, freshman Sam Downey scored for Minnesota to put to the Gophers up 2-0.
Despite the early two-goal deficit, the Badgers were able to battle back. With 43 seconds left in the first period, Wisconsin sophomore forward Brooke Ammerman scored to cut the Minnesota lead in half.
The Badgers then came out strong for the second period with senior captain Jasmine Giles leading the way.
Three minutes into the period, Giles took a pass from junior forward Mallory Deluce and fed it to Ammerman. Ammerman gave it back to Giles on the give and go, and Giles tied the game on the breakaway goal.
On a power play later in the period, Giles put the Badgers on top after taking the puck from behind the net and backhanding it into the goal to give the Badgers a one-goal lead.
The score would remain that way until the waning seconds of the third period. With Wisconsin still up one late in the game, Minnesota pulled its goalie in favor of an extra attacker. The Gophers capitalized, as junior forward Emily West tied the game with only 17 seconds left on the clock.
However, the end this night belonged to Wisconsin. In the final minute of overtime, Deluce carried the puck up the ice and beat a defender before dishing to Prevost in the crease. Prevost was able to tip the puck through the five hole for the game winner.
The victory secured home ice advantage in the first round of the WCHA tournament for the Badgers and was the first loss on home ice all year for the Gophers.
The following night it was the Badgers starting quickly, as Giles netted her third goal of the series off a pass from Deluce to give the Badgers the early lead about a minute and a half into the game.
The Gophers knotted the game at 1 with just under eight minutes to play in the first period on a power play goal from sophomore defenseman Anne Schleper.
But the Badgers responded. Three minutes later, Deluce found the back of the net after Giles took the puck up the ice and found her on the backdoor to give Wisconsin the 2-1 lead. That was how the score remained until late in the third period. With just over five minutes left in the game and the Gophers on a power play, Minnesota sophomore defenseman Kelly Seeler fired a slap shot that found its way past Badger senior goalie Alannah McCready for the equalizer.
Then, with just under two minutes left in the game, Minnesota senior forward Chelsey Jones found the puck in a scramble and put it in for the game winner.
The win gave Minnesota its second straight WCHA title. With the series split, the Badgers finished fourth in the WCHA and will face Ohio State in the first round of the WCHA playoffs.
—uwbadgers.com contributed to this report.