March 3, 2018
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The No. 5 Ohio State University women’s ice hockey team gave Minnesota all it could handle, but it was not enough as the Buckeyes fell to the Golden Gophers, 2-0, in their Western Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament semifinal game on Saturday in Ridder Arena.
The Buckeyes (23-10-4, 14-6-4 WCHA) out-shot Minnesota for the game, putting 33 shots-on-goal compared to Minnesota’s 27, but could not get any pucks past Minnesota goaltender Sydney Peters. Amanda Zeglen started in net for the Buckeyes. The freshman made 26 saves as she faced the stiffest competition of her young collegiate career.
After a scoreless first period where Ohio State held a 10-to-6 SOG advantage, Minnesota drew first blood with a Grace Zumwinkle goal in the second period. The freshman fired off a quick wrist shot that snuck past Zeglen to put the Golden Gophers up 1-0 just 2:26 into the second. Minnesota continued to fire away at Zeglen in the second, putting 12 shots on net for the period, but the rookie goaltender made some fantastic plays, along with the OSU defense blocking shots, to keep the deficit at 1-0 heading into the third.
Ohio State refused to go quietly into the dark night, not allowing the Golden Gophers to put any pucks on frame in the opening five minutes of the period. The Buckeyes kept the pressure on, notching 16 SOG in the final 20 minutes, but with an extra attacker on the ice and Zeglen on the bench, Zumwinkle scored an empty netter with 1:00 remaining in the game to ice it, handing the Buckeyes a 2-0 loss.
“I’m humbled and grateful for the opportunity to coach these ladies,” head coach Nadine Muzerall said in her post-game press conference. “Today, unfortunately the puck just didn’t go in the back of the net for us. Zeglen was unreal in net for us in just the eighth start of her career. Sometimes the game doesn’t go your way even when you’ve played well, and that’s what happened to us tonight.”
Charly Dahlquist and Maddy Field led the way for the Buckeyes with seven SOG each. The WCHA Rookie of the Year Emma Maltais tallied six SOG, while Dani Sadek and Tatum Skaggs finished with four each. Sadek made her presence felt on the defensive end as well, blocking four shots. Fellow blue-liner Jincy Dunne got in on the block party as the All-WCHA First Team defender finished with four blocks as well. Lauren Boyle tallied three blocks in the game.
The Buckeyes now play the waiting game to see if they’ll receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament. The NCAA selection show airs online on Sunday, March 4 at 9 p.m. ET.