MINNEAPOLIS — Doug Woog Night ended exactly as it should have on Saturday night at 3M Arena at Mariucci — with the Battle Hymn of the Republic signaling a Gopher sweep after Minnesota hockey took down No. 6 Ohio State 4-1 in this weekend's Big Ten series finale.
Minnesota (10-10-4 overall, 5-5-4-3 Big Ten) celebrated the late All-American captain and former head coach of the Gophers by securing the program's first Big Ten sweep of the season and putting together its most complete weekend of the season. The Gophers combined for 10 goals on the weekend and are 5-1-0 to start the second half of the season.
Brannon McManus tallied a three-point night for the second time this weekend with a goal and two assists while Ben Meyers did the same and now has seven points in the last six games for Minnesota. Sampo Ranta added a goal and an assist for his second-straight multi-point game while Bryce Brodzinski opened the night with an unassisted goal to get the home squad going in the first period.
Jack LaFontaine made 28 saves to pick up the win and improve to 6-6-3 on the season while Tommy Nappier made 34 saves to fall to 12-7-2 for the Buckeyes. Carson Meyer scored the lone goal for Ohio State (15-8-3, 8-6-2-0), spoiling a shutout for LaFontaine after the Gophers had already built a 3-0 lead through 40 minutes.
Minnesota outshot Ohio State 38-29 on the night — tying for the team's highest shot total of the season. The Gophers were 1-for-4 on the power play with Meyers' third period tally to reclaim a three-goal lead at 4-1 while the Buckeyes were 1-for-2 on the advantage.
After going 22 games to open the season without a three-point performance, Minnesota recorded three in this weekend's sweep of the Buckeyes, including two from McManus, who combined for two goals and four assists on the weekend.
"It was great…I'm proud of our guys to play like that," Minnesota coach Bob Motzko said. "It was great to have the Woog family here, so they could feel Gopher Nation and the love they have for Doug — the Wooger. We have to keep the Wooger jerseys — we're 2-0 with the Wooger jerseys. We might need to have a discussion about keeping them. We're auctioning them off, but we might not be mailing them until the offseason."
Up next: Border Battle road trip
Minnesota continues the Big Ten grind next weekend with a two-game series at Wisconsin.