Nov. 18, 2017
BEMIDJI, Minn. — The No. 5 Ohio State University women’s ice hockey team used an explosive second period to take control of its Western Collegiate Hockey Association series finale with the Bemidji State University Beavers, winning 5-4 on Saturday afternoon at the Sanford Center.
The Buckeyes (10-2-2, 8-2-2 WCHA) found themselves in an early hole when Clair DeGeorge scored for BSU at the 9:02 mark of the first. 39 seconds later Emma Maltais scored the equalizer to tie it at 1-1. The tie did not hold for long though, as Grace Zarzecki scored her second goal of the year at the 10:18 mark to give OSU the 2-1 advantage. The Beavers responded quickly, as Mak Langei found the back of the net to tie the game. Bemidji would take a 3-2 lead into the break after Sylvia Marolt scored with 2:24 left in the period. Liv Halvorson and Charly Dahlquist picked up the assists for the Buckeyes in the opening frame.
Ohio State continued to fire away at Erin Deters in the Bemidji net, but could not hit the back of the net for the first half of the period. The levee, however, broke shortly after the midway point. Maddy Field tied it for OSU with a power-play-goal at the 12:12 point. The Buckeyes took the lead on a Julianna Iafallo goal, her seventh of the season, with 3:15 to play in the period. Finally, McKenna Wesloh netted the first goal of her college career to put OSU in front 5-3 with 2:04 left in the period. Assists went to Field, Maltais, Iafallo, Liz Schepers, Jincy Dunne, and Kassidy Sauvé in the second.
Bemidji chipped away at the Ohio State lead in the third when Emma Terres scored a power-play-goal to make it 5-4 OSU with 12:23 remaining in the game. The Beavers pulled their goaltender with 1:24 to play, but could not score an equalizing goal as the Buckeyes won, 5-4.
The trio of Iafallo, Field and Maltais all finished with two points each. Dunne led the Buckeyes in blocked shots with three.
The total team effort on both the offensive and defensive ends in the second is what truly changed the game for the Buckeyes, and head coach Nadine Muzerall shared how she helped spark that effort. “After the first I challenged the team to take more pride in their defense, we were thinking too much about our offense and not showing the discipline I know we’re capable of. The team buckled down in the second and showed that they can make changes mid-game when they need to.”
The Buckeyes now look to a Thanksgiving weekend showdown with the Robert Morris University Colonials next weekend. Game one of that series is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. ET start on Friday.