Gophers women’s hockey receives No. 2 overall seed for NCAA Tournament

The University of Minnesota women's hockey team is the No. 2 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament and is seeking its eighth national title. ((credit: University of Minnesota Athletics))

The University of Minnesota women’s hockey team is back in the NCAA Tournament, and will host a regional next weekend despite a heartbreaking 3-2 loss in overtime to Ohio State on Sunday in the championship game of the WCHA Women’s Final Faceoff.

In a game you could watch on Fox 9 Plus, the Gophers got out to a 2-0 lead before the Buckeyes rallied to tie it 2-2 and force overtime. Just 23 seconds into the extra session, Ohio State scored to win the WCHA Final Faceoff title and earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs.

The Gophers enter the NCAA Tournament 29-8-1 after having a nine-game win streak snapped. They’re 15-5 at Ridder Arena this season, and Sunday’s loss to the Buckeyes was their first home loss since Jan. 15.

The good news for Minnesota is it will host an NCAA quarterfinal next Saturday afternoon, with a trip to the Frozen Four on the line. The Gophers will face Thursday’s winner between Minnesota-Duluth and Harvard. The Gophers beat the Bulldogs 5-1 on Saturday to reach the Final Faceoff title game. The Gophers have not faced Harvard this season.

"Our team is very excited to be in the NCAA Tournament and to be hosting a quarterfinal matchup," Gophers’ coach Brad Frost said after getting the No. 2 seed. "Our team has been very consistent throughout the season and has earned our seed. We are looking forward to our game on Saturday."

The Gophers are making their 19th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. They’ve won seven national titles, and missed the tournament just three times in the program’s 22 years.