Feb. 3, 2017
Columbus, Ohio— Ohio State (11-15-3, 5-15-3-1 WCHA) and St. Cloud State (8-18-3, 6-15-2-2 WCHA) were tied heading into the third period of tonight’s game, but a couple quick goals in the final frame by the Huskies led to a 3-1 loss for the Buckeyes.
After taking an early 1-0 lead in the first period on a power play goal by Lauren Spring, Ohio State let in a goal towards the end of that period to go into the first intermission tied up at 1-1. A scoreless second period was followed by two goals in the opening minutes of the third for St. Cloud State. An offensive uptick towards the end of regulation was too little too late for the Buckeyes.
“It’s very disappointing, to be honest with you,” Muzerall said. “We came out strong in the first period and I think really dominated. Our passing was crisp and our positioning was great. Then going into the second period the game got a little closer but I still think we dominated. Then in the third period we start with a power play and we did nothing. Then we really just gave up for a couple minutes and they capitalized on their scoring opportunities. I thought we had a lot towards the end, but we’d dug ourselves a hole and it was too late.”
Muzerall was right about the first period being dominant in her team’s favor. Though the shots were just 9-8 in favor of OSU, the puck was in St. Cloud’s zone for much of the period, and the Buckeyes were able to put several quality shots on net.
The goal came off the stick of Spring, her second of the season. Ohio State’s power play unit expertly cycled the puck before Julianna Iafallo and Maddy Field had a couple great touches that led to Spring’s goal.
“It was nice to score a goal on the power play,” Muzerall said. “We’ve been practicing that a lot, we had to change it up. I know Springer has been working after practices on tough situations in front of the net. It was a great pass from Iafallo to Maddy Field; it was one of those battle goals that we could have used more of today.”
At the very end of the second period, St. Cloud State was whistled for interference, ensuring the Buckeyes would start the third period on the power play. Unfortunately, they were unable to capitalize on the opportunity and shortly after returning to full strength the Huskies scored the go-ahead goal 2:43 into the period. 1:17 later, Kayla Friesen extended her team’s lead with another goal.
“Tonight we didn’t battle during the moments that matter,” said Muzerall. “Getting scored on with 1:21 left in the first period, that hurts you. Right after a power play you should be finding that extra energy and we didn’t have that. It’s unfortunate that it played out the way it did.”
Despite outshooting St. Cloud 17-8 in the third period, Ohio State was unable to come back against its WCHA foe. In net Kassidy Sauve made 23 saves on the night and the Buckeyes as a team fired off 34 shots. Jessica Dunne and Jincy Dunne led the team with five and six shots on goal, respectively. Jincy Dunne, the reigning WCHA Rookie of the Month, drew praise from her head coach after the game.
“Jincy just has so much poise,” Muzerall said of her rookie defenseman. “She has such a vision for the game, she can calm the game down in the right moments. She can make plays that most people can’t see developing. She just finds a way to elevate the game in times that we need her to. She’s a great leader for us.”
The Buckeyes will look to bounce back on Saturday in game two against the Huskies. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:07 p.m. ET