MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The best season in Ohio State University women’s ice hockey history came to an end on Friday as the Buckeyes fell to the defending nation champion Clarkson Golden Knights, 1-0, in an overtime thriller at Ridder Arena.
The Buckeyes (24-11-4, 14-6-4 WCHA) out-shot the Golden Knights, 41-34, including an 18-to-7 shots-on-goal advantage in the third period. Goaltender Kassidy Sauvé finished with 33 saves against the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Going back to Ohio State’s shutout of Boston College in the NCAA semifinal, Sauvé went 136:12 consecutive minutes of NCAA tournament game time without allowing a goal before Loren Gabel’s game winner found the back of net near the end of overtime.
Though the loss ends the season, this year’s Buckeye team has no reason to hang their heads. The 24 wins the team accumulated this year are the most in program history. The squad also set new highs in Western Collegiate Hockey Association wins with 14, and the eight consecutive home wins the team rattled off through January and February is the longest streak for any OSU women’s hockey team.
When the WCHA announced its yearly awards, the Buckeyes found themselves represented at every level. Head coach Nadine Muzerall was named WCHA Coach of the Year, the first Buckeye coach to win the award. For the third time the WCHA Rookie of the Year hailed from the Buckeyes as Emma Maltais brought home the honors. Maltais was also named to the All-WCHA First Team and the All-WCHA Rookie Team. Jincy Dunne joined her on the All-WCHA First Team, while Sauvé was selected as the All-WCHA Second Team goaltender, and Tatum Skaggs found her name on the All-WCHA Third Team.
The individual honors don’t end there. Co-Captain Lauren Spring is among the five finalists for the Hockey Humanitarian Award, set to be announced at the NCAA Men’s Frozen Found in April. As the team arrived in Minneapolis for the Frozen Four, more individual honors were bestowed on the team as Jincy Dunne was named an American Hockey Coaches Association All-American, and Jacyn Reeves eanred the NCAA Elite 90 Award. For the first time in program history, the team’s season ends in an NCAA tournament game, and not just being in the tournament, but the Frozen Four. No team in program history had ever made the tournament, let alone reach the Frozen Four.
No team wants to end their season without hoisting the championship trophy, but the 2017-18 Ohio State University women’s ice hockey team reached new highs for the program, and raised the bar for what the program can do.