Jan. 19, 2018
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 7 Ohio State University women’s ice hockey team used a two-goal third period to rally and defeat the No. 5/6 University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, 3-2, on Friday night at the OSU Ice Rink.
The Buckeyes (16-5-4, 9-2-4 WCHA) pulled away late thanks to a potent third period that saw the team put 15 shots-on-goal, including the tying and game winning goals. Goaltender Kassidy Sauvé finished with 31 saves, which includes two huge saves made during a late blitz by the Golden Gophers as they attempted to tie the game with less than two minutes to play.
Ohio State struck first when Emma Maltais netted her 11th goal of the season just 1:20 into the game to give OSU the lead. A pair of Laurens assisted her, as Lauren Spring and Lauren Boyle earned the apples on the opening score. OSU took the 1-0 lead into the intermission, holding a 14-to-10 SOG advantage.
In the second Minnesota proved why it is one of the top teams in the nation, using a smothering attack on a power play to knot the game at 1-1 on an Alex Woken goal. Just over three minutes later Grace Zumwinkle found the back of the net to put the Golden Gophers in front, 2-1. The Minnesota press gave them a 24-to-23 SOG lead heading into the final period.
The third period saw OSU chip away at the Gopher lead, firing shot after shot at Minnesota goalie Sidney Peters. The levee finally broke when Charly Dahlquist scored the equalizer with less than 10 minutes left in regulation. Not content for a repeat of the overtime game played in Minneapolis back in October, the Buckeyes continued to attack, with Liz Schepers lighting the lamp with just under four minutes left to give Ohio State the 3-2 lead. A late OSU penalty gave Minnesota a chance to force overtime, but even with a sixth attacker on the ice, Sauvé and the defense stood tall and Ohio State came away with the 3-2 win.
“We talk about being relentless, and that’s exactly what we were tonight,” head coach Nadine Muzerall said. “They could have hung their heads when we went down 2-1, but they showed their character and made the plays we needed to get this big win. The girls showed what they can accomplish when they play as a unified front, and tonight that effort was rewarded with a win over an outstanding team.”
Jincy Dunne, Julianna Iafallo, Maddy Field and even Sauvé notched assists during the third period rally. Field led the team in SOG tonight with seven, while Dunne, Maltais and Dani Sadek had five each.
The Buckeyes return to the ice tomorrow to try to complete the sweep of Minnesota. Puck for the series finale is set for 3:07 p.m. at the OSU Ice Rink.