No. 2 Gophers, Buckeyes Set to Rock Ridder

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Ohio State Ice Hockey

 

(ISN) – MINNEAPOLIS – The No. 2 Minnesota women’s hockey team(23-1-3, 16-1-3-1 WCHA) returns home to host Ohio State (14-10-2, 9-9-2-1 WCHA) at Ridder Arena at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday.

Subscription video via BTN Plus, free audio and live stats will be available at GopherSports.com for both games. Saturday’s game will also air live on Sports Radio 105 FM The Ticket in Minneapolis.

Friday is Rock Ridder Night, and all fans will receive $1 admission. Rock Ridder tickets are on sale now at mygophersports.com or by calling the Gopher ticket office at 612-624-8080. In addition to the Rock Ridder dollar day promotion, the Gophers are offering an upcoming buy one, get one free ticket promotion on all general admission tickets when they host Minnesota Duluth on Saturday, Feb. 14.

ABOUT THE SERIES: MINNESOTA VS. ST. CLOUD STATE

Minnesota is 60-8-2 all-time against Ohio State, including a road sweep over the Buckeyes in November 2014. The Gophers won 4-2 and 5-3, and Meghan Lorence scored her first career hat trick in game two of the series. Amanda Leveille earned both wins in net for the Gophers.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: ST. CLOUD STATE

Under the direction of fourth-year head coach Nate Handrahan, Ohio State (14-10-2, 9-9-2-1 WCHA) was swept by North Dakota with a pair of 1-0 losses last weekend. Prior to the UND series, OSU had won six-straight games. The Buckeyes bring a 9-3-1 road record to Ridder Arena this weekend.

Ohio State is led in scoring by sophomore forward Claudia Kepler (9g-10a), senior forward Taylor Kuehl (7g-10a) and junior forward Julia McKinnon (9g-7a). Six of Kuehl’s seven goals have been scored on the power play. Twenty-one different Buckeyes have contributed one or more points this season.

Freshman goaltender Kassidy Sauve and senior Stacy Danczak have split time in net for the Scarlet and Gray. A native of Whitby, Ontario, Sauve owns a .920 save percentage with a 2.06 goals against average and a record of 8-7-0. Danczak ranks third in the WCHA with a 1.32 goals against average and is fifth in the league with a .936 save percentage; she has a 6-3-2 record with 15 appearances.

GOPHER QUICK HITS

Hannah Brandt has 32 points (11g-21a) during a team-best 12-game point streak and recorded her 200th career point last weekend.
Kelly Pannek leads the nation’s rookies with 34 points (10g-24a) and a 1.26 points per game average.
Dani Cameranesi is tied for second in the nation with five game-winning goals.
Amanda Leveille leads the WCHA with a 1.15 goals against average.
LAST TIME OUT: GOPHERS SWEEP HUSKIES

The Gophers enter this weekend’s series after picking up a road sweep over St. Cloud State. Minnesota was led by Hannah Brandt (one goal, four assists), Maryanne Menefee (three goals, one assist) and Kelly Pannek (one goal, three assists) as the Maroon & Gold won 4-0 and 7-1 over the Huskies. Shyler Sletta made 18 saves to earn her second career shutout in her second career start in game one of the series.

FROZEN FOUR RETURNS TO RIDDER ARENA

The 2015 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four will take place March 20 and 22 at Ridder Arena, and reserved chairback, bench and group tickets are sold out. All-session standing room only tickets are on sale now for $20. Visit MyGopherSports.com or contact the box office by calling 1-800-U-GOPHER for more information.

OFFENSIVE DEFENSE

The Gophers’ defensemen lead the nation’s blue-liners in scoring, averaging 3.63 points per game. Milica McMillen (10g-11a) and Rachel Ramsey (6g-17a) rank sixth and seventh in the nation with 0.88 and 0.85 points per game, respectively. The duo also ranks second and third in the WCHA.

BALANCED SCORING

Thirteen Gophers are in double-figures for scoring, led by Hannah Brandt (23g-33a), Dani Cameranesi (17g-30a) and Kelly Pannek (10g-24a). All 18 skaters have at least one point, and 16 players have scored at least one goal. Brandt and Cameranesi lead the WCHA and rank third and fourth in the NCAA with 2.15 points per game and 1.81 points per game, respectively. Brandt’s 22 goals lead the WCHA and rank second in the nation.

LEVEILLE LEADS WCHA GOALTENDERS

Amanda Leveille leads the WCHA and ranks third in the nation with a 1.15 goals against average. She is second in the WCHA and third in the NCAA with a .946 save percentage. Leveille leads the WCHA and ranks second in the nation with a .905 winning percentage (18-1-2) as well.

SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS

Milica McMillen is tied for third in the nation with seven power-play goals this season, and the Gophers have the nation’s top power-play unit, converting on 31 of 98 opportunities for a .316 percentage.

WINNING WAYS

Minnesota is 119-4-4 in the team’s last 127 games, a stretch that includes an NCAA-record 62-game winning streak (Feb. 28, 2012 through Nov. 17, 2013). The Gophers are 55-2-3 in their last 60 home games, dating back to Feb. 18, 2012.

FROST COACHING MILESTONE ON THE HORIZON

Brad Frost is closing in on his 250th career win as the Gophers’ head coach. Entering this weekend’s series against Ohio State, Frost owns a career mark of 247-39-20 for a .840 winning percentage.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

Minnesota has scored 23 goals in the final two minutes of a period this season, including 13 goals in the final 60 seconds. Dani Cameranesi has scored six of the 23 late goals, including two goals with 19:59 on the clock. Four of the 13 goals in the final 60 seconds have been scored with less than 10 seconds remaining.

BRANDT, GOPHERS REACH SCORING MILESTONE

Hannah Brandt became the seventh Gopher to surpass the 200-career point mark, registering her 200th point on an assist in the Gophers’ 4-0 win over St. Cloud State (Jan. 23). She enters this weekend’s series against Ohio State ranked sixth among all-time Gophers with 203 points on 79 goals and 124 assists. Meanwhile, Meghan Lorence (46g-48a) and Milica McMillen (34g-52a) are getting close to the 100-career point mark as well.

LISTEN TO GOPHER WOMEN’S HOCKEY ON 105 THE TICKET

The Gophers are pleased to announce that Sports Radio 105 FM The Ticket in Minneapolis will broadcast the team’s remaining Saturday regular-season games locally on 105.1, 105.3 and 105.7 FM. The postseason radio broadcast schedule is still being finalized.

GOPHERS SIGN THREE FOR 2015-16

The Gophers have signed Sarah Potomak (Aldergrove, British Columbia), Sophie Skarzynski (Lake Forest, Ill.) and Taylor Williamson (Edina, Minn.) to attend the University of Minnesota and join the team for the 2015-16 academic year.

UP NEXT: GOPHERS SET FOR ROAD SERIES AT NORTH DAKOTA

Minnesota travels to Grand Forks, N.D., next weekend. Puck drop between UND and the Gophers is set for 7 p.m. CT Friday and 4 p.m. CT Saturday at Ralph Engelstad Arena. Video for both games will be available at UNDSports.com. Free audio and live stats will be available at GopherSports.com for both games, and Saturday’s game will air live on Sports Radio 105 FM The Ticket in Minneapolis