March 1, 2014
Duluth, Minn. – The Ohio State women’s hockey team kept its season alive with a 3-2 victory in game two of its best-of-three first round playoff series with Minnesota Duluth Saturday night at AMSOIL Arena.
OSU (15-16-5) and UMD (14-14-6) will meet for the deciding game three Sunday night at 6:07 p.m. CT with the winner to advance to the WCHA Final Face-Off March 7-8 in Bemidji, Minn. It marks the first time the Buckeyes have gone to a third game in a first round series since 2007-08 when they lost to St. Cloud State in three games.
The Buckeyes faced two, one-goal deficits in the contest but battled back each time before going ahead for good at 6:11 of the third period. Senior goaltender Lisa Steffes had another stellar performance between the pipes, finishing with 32 saves for the Buckeyes.
The game-winner came on the Ohio State power play, a large factor in the game for OSU, as junior Kari Schmitt fired one past UMD goaltender Kayla Black for her ninth goal of the season. Senior Ally Tarr and junior Sara Schmitt assisted on the score, their team-leading 21st and 20th helpers of the season, respectively.
Following a scoreless opening period the Bulldogs broke through for the game’s first score at the 9:27 mark of the second to take a one-goal lead. Zoe Hickel fired one into the back of the net after a nice set up from Meghan Huertas and Ashleigh Bryaliuk to give UMD a 1-0 advantage.
The Buckeyes would tie the game at 1-1 less than three minutes later while on the power play as sophomore Kendall Curtis stuffed one inside the right post for her eighth of the year at 12:05 of the period. Freshman Claudia Kepler and senior Annie Svedin were credited with the assists on the scoring play.
UMD once again went up by one score after Jamie Kenyon, who had the lone goal in game one of the series, was able to beat Steffes at 3:51 of the third period.
It didn’t take long for the Buckeyes to respond as Tarr tied the game at 2-2 only 16 seconds later on her 11th of the season after being set up by junior Taylor Kuehl.
The Bulldogs pulled Black for an extra attacker with just under two minutes to play in regulation but Steffes and the Buckeyes defense stood tall and sealed the win for OSU.
Ohio State finished 2-5 on the power play while holding the Bulldogs scoreless on one attempt. Black stopped 13 of 16 shots faced in the contest.