Jan. 30, 2016
Duluth, Minn.— Ohio State (9-18-1, 5-16-1 WCHA), coming into today’s game with its longest unbeaten streak of the season, was felled by a late third period goal against Minnesota Duluth (10-17-1, 7-14-1 WCHA) in its 4-3 loss.
As far as shot totals go, today’s game featured the most offense of any other Ohio State game this season. The Buckeyes were outshot 45-36 by the Bulldogs, with the teams combining for 33 shots in the second period alone. Goaltender Alex LaMere faced a career-high in shots today while also setting a new personal best with 41 saves.
UMD got on the scoreboard first, potting two goals in the first 4:33 of the game. The first came at the 2:16 mark and both scores came at even strength. Ohio State was able to get on the board late in the first period to cut its deficit in half; Claudia Kepler scored her 11th goal of the season with 30 seconds remaining in the period, with assists coming from Dani Sadek and Maddy Field. Thanks to Kepler’s goal, OSU entered the first intermission down just one, 2-1.
In that shot-happy second period, the Buckeyes scored twice in quick succession to take a 3-2 lead. Julia McKinnon, on a tear as of late (nine points in her last four games) scored the goal that tied the game at 2-2. After a Bulldog player failed to convert a scoring opportunity, McKinnon took the puck and raced up the ice, leading to her sixth goal of the season. Less than two minutes later Kendall Curtis corralled a rebound and put it away for her team-leading 13th goal of the year, making the score 3-2 and capping a rally that included three unanswered goals from Ohio State.
Unfortunately, Minnesota Duluth would answer with a goal if its own at the 15:09 mark of the second period to tie the game again, this time at 3-3. Entering the third period, both teams developed multiple offensive chances before Bulldog Morgan Morse scored the game-winner 18:06 into the period to make the score 4-3, which would hold as the final.
With a record of 2-1-1 in their last four games, the Buckeyes have put themselves in the upper echelon of offenses around the nation based on a few different metrics. They now rank 12th in total goals, and their power play percentage of .214 is ninth in the country. As a matter of fact, during this current four game stretch, no team has a better power play and only one other team (Northeastern, 21) has scored more goals than Ohio State’s 20.
The Scarlet and Gray will look to continue this level of play next weekend when they host WCHA-leading Wisconsin at the OSU Ice Rink. More information regarding that series to come.