Nov. 18, 2016
Mankato, Minn.— Ohio State (7-7-1, 3-7-1 WCHA) has historically played well against Minnesota State (2-10-1, 0-10-1 WCHA) and that trend continued on Friday afternoon with a 2-1 victory in Mankato. Goals came from Julianna Iafallo and Rebecca Freiburger, their third and second of the season, respectively.
It’s the fourth win in five games for Ohio State and the common link in all four games is the OSU defense. It’s allowed just one total goal in those four wins and has thwarted every power play attempt. In fact, the Buckeyes had killed 20 straight penalties dating back the Oct. 15 game at Bemidji State. They’re the only team in the country to have not allowed a power play goal over their last nine games; the best any other team can say is seven games (Minnesota and St. Lawrence). Ohio State is also one of just six teams to have average one goal or less allowed per game in its last five contests.
Iafallo’s goal came first; with just over a minute to go in the first period, she fired off a perfectly placed shot towards the goalie’s blocker side that dented the net in the upper corner to put her team ahead 1-0. Assists came from Erin Langermeier and Dani Sadek. It was Langermeier’s first helper of the season and Sadek’s fourth. The goal was Iafallo’s fourth point in her last five games.
Goal two for Ohio State came 6:36 into the second period off the stick of Freiburger, the first game-winning goal of her collegiate career. The goal was her second of the season and came unassisted; skating towards the net with a defender trailing, she backhanded a shot right by the goalie all while losing her balance, a great reward for a fantastic play by the freshman. Freiburger, Iafallo, and Langermeier all finished the day +2 on the ice.
Minnesota State’s goal came with a little less than six minutes left in the game to cut its deficit to one, 2-1, but it ultimately would not be enough and Ohio State came away with its seventh win of the season. The Mavericks actually outshot the Buckeyes in the second and third periods today, totaling 25 shots compared to OSU’s 14 in the final 40 minutes of game time. Five of their shots came on the four power play chances they were given thanks to four Ohio State penalties, but Kassidy Sauve and the rest of the defense stood tall. Over her last five games, Sauve owns a .971 save percentage, good for third in the country over that span.