Jan. 21, 2017
Minneapolis, Minn.— Ohio State held a lead for much of the game, but two third period goals from Minnesota were the differences in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Golden Gophers.
“I’m very proud of our team,” head coach Nadine Muzerall said after the game. “They executed everything we’ve been practicing and everything we’ve been talking about on film. We just had a shorter bench and we were a little gassed. They did everything but it was just 10 minutes too long of a game.”
After a scoreless first period, Julianna Iafallo notched her fifth goal of the season to put Ohio State up 1-0. Maddy Field poked the puck free behind Minnesota’s net and it squirted out to Iafallo, who went stick side right by the goalie to give her team the lead. In that second period Minnesota peppered Kassidy Sauve with 18 shots, and the Buckeyes’ goaltender stopped every one of them
“She’s phenomenal,” Muzerall said of her goalie. “She’s an All-American, she’s fantastic. She’s been our backbone all year. It’s unfortunate how the first goal went it, that was uncharacteristic of her. But she kept us in the game. She controlled her rebounds and got whistles for us when we needed them. She played intelligently and composed.”
That first goal Muzerall reference came 10:48 into the third period and tied the game at 1-1. The Golden Gophers second goal came about six minutes later and gave them the lead for good.
In total Sauve stopped 31 shots on the night, over half of those coming in the second period. Ohio State recorded eight shots on goal, including Iafallo’s goal. On defense Jessica Dunne and Dani Sadek blocked four and three shots, respectively.
For Muzerall it was the first time she took in a hockey game as a visitor. She was an All-American for Minnesota and has won national championships as both a player and coach.
“That was actually really odd,” she said of returning to Ridder Arena. “There were a lot of emotions going through my mind, being a part of the inaugural program here and watching the growth and seeing the banners. I still have that pride in my heart for what my class and the girls that followed have accomplished. But that time’s over. I’m building a program at OSU.”
Tonight marked the third time this season that Ohio State scored first against Minnesota and, despite not coming away with victories in any of those games, there’s no doubt this team will be back on the ice tomorrow ready to compete.
“They don’t have any doubt in this team,” Muzerall said of her players. “They still believe, they’re going to come out firing and guns blazing because that’s who we are.”
These teams will face off again on Saturday at 3:07 p.m. ET