Feb. 8, 2018
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 5 Ohio State University women’s ice hockey team heads to Mankato, Minnesota for a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series with the Minnesota State Mavericks this weekend. Friday’s game is set for a 7:07 p.m. ET start on Friday, while Saturday’s series finale gets underway at 3:07 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Last Time Out
The Buckeyes (19-7-4, 12-4-4 WCHA) used phenomenal performances from a handful of players to sweep the then No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers. Friday’s game turned into a goaltender battle as the two top goalies in the WCHA squared off. Emma Maltais scored the lone goal on Friday, lighting the lamp just 15 seconds into the second period. From there the Buckeyes used a 21-to-2 shots-on-goal advantage in that second period to take Wisconsin out of their comfort zone, eventually completing the 1-0 shutout. Kassidy Sauvé made 26 saves in her eighth shutout of the season as Ohio State out-shot Wisconsin, 27-26, only the second time Wisconsin had been out-shot all season. On Saturday, the Badgers responded as you’d expect the top team in the nation to, and scored the opening goal of the contest less than five minutes into the game. After Wisconsin took a 1-0 lead into the second, Ohio State took over. Maltais netted her second goal of the weekend to tie the game, and Charly Dahlquist followed that up with the eventual game winner. As the Badgers desperately tried to tie the game in the closing moments with an extra attacker, Tatum Skaggs stole the puck and deposited it into the back of the net, securing a 3-1 win and a sweep for the Buckeyes.
Emma Maltais leads the WCHA with 36 points and 23 assists. Her 1.29 points-per-game and .82 assists-per-game with .82 also lead the league. Skaggs leads the WCHA with 19 goals and .63 goals-per-game and her 33 points are second only to Maltais in the conference. Kassidy Sauvé’s eight shutouts are good for second in the WCHA and are tied for second in the nation. Her 786 saves lead the conference and come in at third in the nation. The Buckeyes already have five players with at least 20 points, the highest total since the 2013-14 season. With Maltais and Skaggs already over the 30-point threshold it marks the first time since the 2010-11 season where multiple players tallied over 30 points.
Over the last week the Buckeyes have brought home a load of awards, starting with three WCHA Player of the Month awards for the month of January that were announced last Friday. Kassidy Sauvé earned the WCHA Goaltender of the Month award after her efforts in net led to four wins over top-10 ranked teams, including a shutout of then No. 9 Robert Morris. Tatum Skaggs led the team in points in January, which led to her being named the WCHA Offensive Player of the Month. Finally, Emma Maltais earned her third WCHA Rookie of the Month award despite missing an entire series with she played overseas for Canada in the Nations Cup.
A monumental weekend against then No. 1 Wisconsin led to that trio earning a whole new set of honors, as they swept the WCHA weekly awards announced on Tuesday, while Sauvé earned NCAA honors for the second time this year. The goaltender was selected at the No. 1 Star of the Week by the NCAA, as well as being named the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week for her efforts in the Wisconsin sweep. Sauvé made 60 saves on the weekend, including 26 in Friday’s shutout. She only allowed one goal all weekend, and ended the weekend with a .984 save percentage. Maltais netted goals in both games of the series, and tallied an assist on the game winning goal in Saturday’s game. Skaggs tallied four points in the series after assisting on three of the goals scored, and scoring the fourth goal herself.
Quoting the Buckeyes on the Minnesota State Series
OSU Head Coach Nadine Muzerall: “The Mavericks played great against Bemidji last weekend, so we know that we’re they’re coming into the weekend with some confidence. We’ll have to build off our success last weekend and remember that we’re still playing a WCHA opponent, they’re part of the best conference in women’s hockey for a reason.”
Forward Tatum Skaggs: “We know that every WCHA team can bring it so we can’t take them lightly. We have to prepare for Mankato the same way that we prepared for Wisconsin.”
Forward Emma Maltais: “We’ve got to keep doing what we’ve been doing. Last weekend was great, but we came into the week focused on this series. We know that if we want to get to the top we have to respect every team we face and treat them like the top team in the country.”
About The Mavericks
Minnesota State (4-23-1, 2-18-0 WCHA) trails the Buckeyes in the all-time series, 58-12-8. OSU swept the Mavericks earlier this season in Columbus. Brittyn Fleming leads the Minnesota State offense with 17 points from four goals and 13 assists. The Mavericks’ top goal scorer is Jordan McLaughlin with eight goals on the year, she also has six assists for 14 total points. Corbin Boyd rounds out the Minnesota State double-digit scorers with 12 points from three goals and nine assists.