Dec. 3, 2016
Columbus, Ohio— Ohio State (8-8-2, 4-8-2 WCHA) capped a great weekend of hockey with a 2-1 win over No. 9 North Dakota (7-6-5, 5-4-4-2 WCHA) on Saturday afternoon. A pair of freshmen- Rebecca Freiburger and Samantha Bouley- supplied the goals and Kassidy Sauve stopped 43 shots in the victory, the second over a ranked opponent this season.
“Any time you play in our league it’s going to be a battle,” head coach Nadine Muzerall said after the win. “North Dakota came out hot in the first period and we were on our heels. But we stayed consistent in the second and third while they seemed to be dying out a little bit as the game went on. We just had to start simplifying our game. It also says a lot when you’re third line produces both goals, we needed that secondary scoring.”
It’s true, North Dakota did come out hot in the first period, but the Buckeyes were the ones who came away with the goal. In the final minute of the period Freiburger found the back of the net to give Ohio State a 1-0 lead heading into the intermission. UND tallied 19 shots that period compared to 7 for OSU, but the only shot that mattered came off the stick of the freshman.
“I actually made a bad pass up the middle,” Freiburger explained when asked about her goal, “and Sam Bouley hustled for it and the puck just sort of popped out. Liv Halvorson was screening out front and the puck just came right to my stick.”
It was the third goal of the season for Freiburger, with an assist being credited to Bouley
“I give a lot of credit to North Dakota,” Muzerall said of her opponent’s play in the first 20 minutes of the game. “They were the better team that period. We found a way to keep them out of the goal and of course Sauve was sensational.”
Coming out for the second period, it was the Fighting Hawks who struck first. Sarah Lecavalier fired a shot by Sauve to knot the game up at 1-1 just 76 seconds into the period.
After assisting on the first goal, it was Bouley who netted the game-winner. It came at the 4:14 mark of the second period when she corralled a loose puck right in front of the net, backhanding it right by the UND goalie for her fourth goal of the season. Teammates Jincy Dunne and Halvorson added assists on the play; it was Halvorson’s initial shot that led to the loose puck.
Muzerall was glad to see two of her freshmen scoring the goals in today’s victory, saying: “It’s something to look forward to, to have those girls on the team for the next four years.”
There were just a pair of penalties in the game, one per team and both coming in the first period. Ohio State killed the lone penalty it committed, extending its streak to 12 games without allowing a power play goal.
“We take an immense amount of pride in our penalty kill and the girls have been executing it perfectly,” Muzerall said of her team’s impressive feat.
“Today was a big game for us, it was hard fought,” Freiburger said of Ohio State’s performance on Saturday. “North Dakota came in and played hard. Our team battled all the way through and we were rewarded for all our hard work.”
With an undefeated weekend against a ranked opponent now in the books, the Buckeyes look to host No. 1 Wisconsin on Dec. 9-10 at OSU Ice Rink. More information to follow on Ohio State’s two-game series against the Badgers.