Feb. 19, 2016
Columbus, Ohio—Back in November, Ohio State earned its first win of the season over a ranked team, a 3-2 win over then-No. 6 North Dakota. Tonight at the OSU Ice Rink, the Buckeyes (10-22-1, 6-20-1-1 WCHA) earned their second win over a ranked team in their 3-1 win over No. 9 North Dakota (15-11-1, 12-10-5-3 WCHA).
It was a great win for Ohio State with stellar performances coming from all over the ice. Both Dani Sadek and Lauren Spring had multi-point efforts in the victory, while Alex LaMere stopped 31 of the 32 shots that came her way. As a team, the Buckeyes killed all six of North Dakota’s power play chances, including four in the third period.
The first period saw 17 total shots without any finding the back of either net. Ohio State notched 10 to North Dakota’s seven, though the Buckeyes had four of those attempts come during an extended power play. A UND player was whistled for hooking at the 7:56 mark of the period and shortly after another Fighting Hawk was sent to the penalty box, this time for checking. The Buckeyes had nearly a full 5-on-3 power play, though they were unable to capitalize. Sadek was the leading offensive contributor in those first 20 minutes; she accounted for five shots during the period, four of which were on goal.
It took over 35 minutes of game time, but Ohio State was able to put the first goal on the board at the 16:51 mark of the second period. Katie Matheny drove the puck down the ice and dished it back to Sadek behind her, who fired a shot that ricocheted off a UND defender and Field was able to bat it out of the air and into the empty net, giving Ohio State the 1-0 lead. The goal, which was reviewed by the officials but ultimately upheld, was Field’s ninth of the season.
Ohio State’s second goal came on the power play with just 19 second to go in the second period. A pass from Spring found the stick of Alexa Ranahan, who made a fantastic play to keep the puck in the zone, then to Sadek who fired a shot through traffic and into the net to make the score 2-0 very late in the period. Ohio State had entered the game 0-for on the power play in its last four games, so to see a goal materialize with the man advantage was a welcome sight.
Despite the final score, it’s impossible to say that North Dakota wasn’t’ given enough chances on offense. The Buckeyes were called for four penalties in the third period, giving UND four power plays on which it rattled off six total shots on goal, none of which got by LaMere. In fact, the Fighting Hawks had as many power play shots (six) in the third period as the Buckeyes did total shots. But Ohio State stood tall, letting in just one goal at the 16:57 mark of the period. As North Dakota’s Meghan Dufault was losing her balance, she fired off a shot that found the very upper right corner of the net and cut her team’s deficit to one. Ohio State would hold strong, though even adding an insurance goal with four seconds remaining. Coming out of a timeout with just 1:35 left in the game, North Dakota pulled its goalie, going with six attackers for the last 95 seconds of play. In the game’s waning moments, Julia McKinnon and Claudia Kepler found themselves on a 2-on-1 towards the empty net; McKinnon dished a pass to Kepler who buried the easy shot for her team-leading 13th goal of the season and the cherry on top of a 3-1 win.
These two teams will meet again tomorrow for a 4:07 game at OSU Ice Rink. It will serve as senior day for Ohio State, and the team’s seven seniors- Kendall Curtis, Stacy Danczak, McKinnon, Melani Moylan, Bryanne Neuwald, Maggie Rothgery, and Cara Zubko- will be honored following the game.