Top-ranked Gophers swept in record fashion at Wisconsin

Minnesota’s current hold on No. 1 isn’t going to last long.

After rising to the nation’s top spot this week, the Gophers women’s hockey team was swept in a two-game series against the team it deposed, dropping a 6-3 decision to second-ranked Wisconsin at LaBahn Arena Saturday in Madison, Wis.

After getting blanked, 5-0, in Friday’s opener, the Gophers (8-3-0) fell behind quickly again before tying the game, 2-2, on goals by Grace Zumwinkle and Amy Potomak. Zumwinkle scored on a power play in the final 90 seconds of the first period, and Potomak tied the game just 2:33 into the second.

“Well, a good hockey game here tonight. Not the result we wanted, but our team fought,” Gophers coach Brad Frost said.

The Badgers (6-2-0) regained the lead on a power-play goal by Britta Curl at 11:07 of the second period, but Josey Dunne responded just 41 seconds later to knot the game at 3-3 through 40 minutes. Daryl Watts finished with two goals, including an empty-netter with 54.4 seconds remaining to ice the victory.

The 11 goals were the most Wisconsin had ever scored against Minnesota in a two-game series.

Goaltender Lauren Bench, who was pulled after surrendering four goals on Friday, finished with 22 saves. Wisconsin’s Kennedy Blair made 23 saves, and the Badgers outshot Minnesota, 28-26.

“Unfortunately we were just climbing back each period, so it was difficult to get that go-ahead goal,” Frost said. “We showed some really good signs of who we can be and who we want to be, so we’re excited to see that moving forward.”

Zumwinkle’s was the 75th of her career. She is now tied for 11th in career goals, matching Bobbi Ross’s career total from 2004-07.

Minnesota doesn’t resume play until a series at Ohio State Jan. 29-30.