Jan. 20, 2018
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 7 Ohio State University women’s ice hockey team used an offensive onslaught and a devastating defensive effort to defeat the No. 5/6 University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, 5-1, clinching the first series sweep against Minnesota in program history on Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink.
The Buckeyes (17-5-4, 10-2-4 WCHA) never trailed in the game and outshot Minnesota 26-to-24. Kassidy Sauvé had another great game in net, making 23 saves on the afternoon. The goaltender would have notched more saves if not for the Buckeyes blocking 10 shots in the game, led by Lauren Boyle’s three blocks. Maddy Field proved to be the biggest offensive spark in the contest, netting two goals to help clinch the sweep.
Ohio State took an early lead when Tatum Skaggs lit the lamp for the 16th time this season, tied for the WCHA lead, on an un-assisted goal at the 7:25 point of the first. Just 30 seconds later Liz Schepers found the back of the net to give OSU an early 2-0 lead. Julianna Iafallo and Maddy Field earned the assists on the second goal, which sent OSU into the locker room with the 2-0 lead.
The second period saw more of the same from Ohio State, only this time Field was the one scoring the goal instead of assisting on it. Field’s goal came at the 9:21 mark of the period, and only 26 seconds passed before Rebecca Freiburger scored her fifth goal of the season to put the Buckeyes up 4-0. Lauren Spring assisted on both goals that gave OSU the commanding 4-0 lead heading into the third.
As Minnesota tried to mount a comeback in the third, Sydney Baldwin netted the lone goal of the day for the Golden Gophers with just under 10 minutes left in the game. The rally would be short lived as the Buckeye’s defense locked down the Minnesota attack for the rest of the game. With 2:10 to play, Field crashed the net and deposited the puck into it to score her second goal of the game, and put an exclamation point on the game, sealing the 5-1 win for Ohio State.
“I am so proud of these girls. We threw a lot at them this week and they responded by adapting and executing,” Ohio State Head Coach Nadine Muzerall said. “This weekend is a true testament to their ability as players and to their character. It was really nice to see their effort pay off, and the joy they felt getting this win.”
In total six different Buckeyes tallied assists in the game, with Grace Zarzecki, Jincy Dunne, and Schepers each an assists each in addition to the players already mentioned. Not only was this the first series sweep of the Golden Gophers in team history, this win marks the first season where Ohio State did not suffer a loss to Minnesota, going 3-0-1 in the season series.
Next weekend Ohio State hits the road for the first time since December when the Buckeyes head to Duluth to play the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. Puck drop for the series opener is set for 4:07 p.m. ET on Friday.