Feb. 4, 2017
Columbus, Ohio— Ohio State (11-15-4, 5-15-4-2 WCHA) trailed St. Cloud State (8-18-4, 6-15-3-2 WCHA) heading into the third period on Saturday, but came away with a shootout victory in the 2-2 tie thanks to two third period goals.
Rebecca Freiburger and Jessica Dunne were the goal scorers for the Buckeyes. Freiburger’s sixth goal of the season came 9:11 into the third period and Dunne’s came about three minutes later. The two third period scores were enough to force overtime and, after five scoreless minutes of sudden death hockey, the two teams headed to a shootout where Dani Sadek made the deciding score to give the Buckeyes an extra point in the standings.
“I was very proud of the girls,” Muzerall said after the game. “We battled and the puck was literally not bouncing our way. We did everything we could except for finish in those first two periods. We came out and had their character tested after that second goal went it. They really rallied and did everything right, then finally we were rewarded for it.”
St. Cloud State scored the first two goals of the game today, once in the first period and again on the power play halfway through the second. But the two goal deficit was of no concern to these Buckeyes; Freiburger went bar down and Dunne scored from her knees to swing the momentum 180 degrees in the direction of Ohio State.
“We talked before the game about momentum going into the playoffs and towards the end of the season,” Muzerall said. “Again, this was a true testament to our character. We could have put our head between our legs and given up after yesterday, but they came back and battled today.”
Dunne had the assist on OSU’s first goal of the game; her pass to Freiburger set the freshman up to snipe one right by Janine Alder and put the Buckeyes on the board.
“When she shot that puck it was just going bar down and she had no doubt,” Muzerall said of Freiburger’s goal. “It was nice to have a freshman have that role to elevate the game.”
Muzerall credited Ohio State’s forecheck for Dunne’s game-tying goal. The constant pressure all game forced several St. Cloud turnovers, but the one that was sprung by Julianna Iafallo and Maddy Field led to OSU’s second goal. Even after a collision with a Husky skater, Dunne took a whack at the puck from her knees that found the back of the net.
Ohio State outshot St. Cloud State 38-31 on Saturday, a good indication of just how dominant they were from the moment the puck first dropped. The Buckeyes were playing so well that Muzerall was able to make some aggressive moves on the ice, like pulling Kassidy Sauve with six seconds left in overtime prior to a faceoff in St. Cloud State’s defensive zone.
“When you have possession of the puck as long as we did I wasn’t second guessing it,” the head coach said. “And I knew the girls felt very confident in that decision. I asked them after the game and they said they were all in. They had the right mentality.”
Ohio State will close out its regular season home schedule next weekend when its hosts Minnesota State. Friday’s game will be our Teddy Bear Toss game and Saturday we will celebrate Senior Day. More information on both events to follow.