After a scoreless first period where the Gophers' Natalie Darwitz hit a pipe and a crossbar, the Gopher power play unit went to work.
In a scramble in front of Wisconsin goaltender Meghan Horras, Darwitz put home a rebound for the Gophers' first score at the 5:19 mark of the second period.
Just under ten minutes later and with just nine seconds to go in a Wisconsin holding penalty to Meghan Mikkelson, Darwitz again found the back of the net. With Wisconsin's two forwards out of position on the top of the defensive box, Darwitz got a clean shot from the slot and beat Horras for the second power play goal at 15:01 of the period. Another former US Olympian, Lyndsay Wall, assisted on both goals.
The final goal of the third period came just seven seconds into a Wisconsin interference penalty on Molly Engstrom. Wall shot the puck from the high slot and beat Horras over the shoulder. Darwitz had the assist on the goal.
When the Badgers and Gophers were even strength, the Badgers were able to play with the No. 1 ranked team in the country. But it proved difficult for the Badgers to stop a power play that went three for five on the day. The Badgers went zero for four on the power play including a five-minute major and game misconduct for checking from behind that took Minnesota's other Olympian, Krissy Wendell, out of the game at 16:01 of the first period.
The Badgers (4-1 overall, 0-1 WCHA) and Gophers (3-0 overall, 3-0 WCHA) face off again tomorrow at 2:05 p.m. at the Kohl Center in the concluding game of their two-game WCHA series.
UM 1: Natalie Darwitz (2) from Danielle Ashley (1) and Lyndsay Wall (4), PP, at 5:19.
UM 2: Darwitz (3) from Wall (5) and Kelly Stephens (4), PP, at 15:01.
UM 3: Wall (1) from Darwitz (4), PP, at 16:16.
Score by period
Shots on goal by period
UM: Jody Horak 27
UW: Meghan Horras 24