Oct. 22, 2016
Columbus, Ohio— Ohio State (3-4-1, 1-4-1 WCHA) and No. 2 Minnesota (7-1-0, 5-1-0 WCHA) finished up their weekend series on Saturday afternoon, with the Golden Gophers coming away with a 2-1 victory.
The story of the game was Kassidy Sauve, who had an incredible night in goal for the Buckeyes. The Whitby, Ontario made 55 saves, comfortably setting a new career-high while remaining near the top of the national rankings in both save percentage and goals against.
“Our goaltending, clearly,” head coach Nadine Muzerall said about the key to Saturday’s game. “She faced 56 shots, only lets two in and both of those she couldn’t see. I thought defensively that, although Minnesota possessed the puck, I thought we did a great job of not allowing any backdoor goals, having zone awareness with our weakside wing dropping. I was proud of them for that.
“That’s just who she is,” Muzerall continued to say about her goaltender. “I’ll say it right now, she’s an All-American goalie, she’s fantastic. She’s averaging about 50 shots against per game and she’s taking those shots from future Olympians and All-Americans. We’ve played the number one, two, and eight-ranked teams, so she’s seen the best of the best.”
Despite being outshot by a wide margin in the first period, Ohio State came out for the second period looking better in all aspects of the game. The elevated level of play culminated in the first goal of the game and the first goal of the season for Dani Sadek. A pass from Maddy Field back through the center of the zone bounced off the stick of Lauren Spring, before finding Sadek who blasted a shot by Sidney Peters to put Ohio State up 1-0. The Buckeyes came out ready for that second period, something their coach told them was a must during the first intermission.
“I told them Minnesota is known to be a second period team,” Muzerall said. “They’ve always been a second period team. I told them to be mindful and conscious of that because that’s what happened yesterday, they came out flying. I told them to be ready and don’t be on your heels and make sure you’re aware of that.”
On the defensive end, Lauren Boyle and Sadek both led the way with four blocked shots, and the Ohio State penalty kill was a perfect 3-for-3 today, with Sauve stopping all five shots that the Golden Gophers had on their power play opportunities.
Minnesota’s game-tying goal came later in the second period, Taylor Williamson scored at the 17:06 mark of the second to put the game at 1-1. The Golden Gophers went ahead in the third period when Sarah Potomak scored her fourth goal of the weekend and never looked back, taking that 2-1 lead all the way down to the final horn.
Ohio State’s next game is Friday, October 28 against Minnesota Duluth. The weekend series begins at OSU Ice Rink that day with the puck dropping at 6:07 pm.