Dec. 11, 2015
Columbus, Ohio— The Ohio State women’s hockey team (6-11-0, 3-10-0 WCHA) returned home to the OSU Ice Rink for the first time in over a month, but Minnesota Duluth (8-10-1, 5-7-1 WCHA) spoiled the homecoming by defeating the Buckeyes 4-2.
For the first time since game one of the St. Cloud State series, Ohio State struck first to take an early lead. Lauren Boyle’s shot from the point was redirected in front of the net by teammate Melani Moylan just 2:58 into the game to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead. Kendall Curtis also added an assist on the goal, which was Moylan’s first of the season. The Bulldogs would strike back with a goal of their own at the 8:41 mark to tie the game up at 1-1, but the tie would later be broken by a Buckeye skater. Lauren Spring scored her fourth goal of the season with just over a minute remaining in the period to put Ohio State up 2-1 heading into the first intermission. Boyle and Alexa Ranahan assisted on the goal, giving Boyle two in the period and now 10 on the year. Spring’s goal came on the power play after a Bulldog was whistled for checking.
The second period featured another early goal, but this time it was Minnesota Duluth’s score; Catherine Daoust scored 2:36 into the period to tie the game. Though it was the only goal of the period for either team, UMD nearly had another one late in the period. After a lot of commotion in front of the net that ended with the puck in back of it, it appeared that Minnesota Duluth would go up 3-2. After a lengthy replay, however, the officials determined that the Bulldog skater in question actually knocked the puck in with her hand, thus negating the goal and keeping the score tied at 2-2.
That tie would be broken 7:58 into the third period, and unfortunately it was by Minnesota Duluth. Sidney Morin scored her first goal of the season after a turnover in Ohio State’s zone that put the Bulldogs up 3-2. They very nearly added an insurance goal on multiple occasions, rocketing a few off the pipes behind Alex LaMere. Though they would eventually add that goal to go ahead 4-2 after Ohio State had pulled its goalie, the Buckeyes thwarted an empty net attempt just seconds earlier. Bulldog Lara Stalder was skating towards the open net, but lost control of the puck before she had a chance to shoot. It wouldn’t matter though, as Ashleigh Brykaliuk would score that last goal to seal the win for Minnesota Duluth.
Ohio State outshot its opponent 25-23 on the night, though both teams shot totals dwindled with each passing period. It also held the Bulldogs to 0-for-4 on power play opportunities, an improvement over the previous three games in which the Buckeyes surrendered seven power play goals.
The Scarlet and Gray will look to bounce back tomorrow, Saturday, in the second game against Minnesota Duluth. Puck drop is slated for 4:07.