Feb. 18, 2017
Grand Forks, N.D.— Ohio State’s (13-15-5, 7-15-5-2 WCHA) offense took control on Friday evening it its 4-2 win over North Dakota (13-14-6, 10-12-5-3 WCHA). Maddy Field scored twice while both Lauren Boyle and Samantha Bouley scored for the Buckeyes in the victory.
In goal Kassidy Sauve made 32 saves to push her over 1,000 for the season. Entering this weekend she was 104 away from setting the all-time single season record at Ohio State, and with today’s performance she’s that much closer to breaking that mark.
“It was ugly,” head coach Nadine Muzerall said about the win. “It was not a great game and I’ll own up to that and give North Dakota credit for their play. It’s sports, that happens sometimes, you win games you don’t always deserve to.”
The scoring got started pretty early with a goal from Maddy Field, her first of the game and 10th of the season at that point. The unassisted goal put the Buckeyes up 1-0 3:53 into the game in a period they were outshot 12-5.
“It wasn’t our best game but we put the puck in the net,” said Field. “That’s something we’ve struggled with. We just had to bear down and we did what we had to do.”
At least for their last couple games, Ohio State has done well at getting offensive production, notching four goals in both contests.
North Dakota tied it up within the first minute of the second period; after a pair of penalties late in the first period, Ohio State actually started the second frame on a 5-on-3 penalty. The Fighting Hawks scored on the tail end of their penalty kill two men down, the first shorthanded goal allowed this season.
It certainly wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Buckeyes’ special teams, seeing as they were a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill and scored twice on the power play. It was the first time they’d done that this season, and they drew praise from their coach for that.
“We needed it,” Muzerall said of scoring twice on the power play. “We’ve been working on it a little bit this week trying to change up some things. I think it was just the girls doing what they needed to do.”
Field scored one of the power play goals with Boyle accounting for the other. The sophomore defenseman corralled her own rebound and buried the shot for her fourth goal of the season, scoring in a way that the Buckeyes have been working on.
“That’s a weekly theme, battles in front of the net defensively and offensively,” Muzerall said when asked about Boyle’s goal. “Getting your own rebound hasn’t been something we’ve done well; she took advantage of her rebound and was in the right spot.”
These two teams will meet again on Saturday at 1:07 p.m. ET. It will be the last regular season game of the season for both teams with the postseason kicking off next weekend. With just one game between the Buckeyes and the playoffs, they’ll need to channel whatever has made them successful these last two games and carry it with them in the coming weeks.
“I think we need to come in with the same attitude we had last weekend,” Field said. “We really came together as a team and we need to keep in mind that there aren’t many games left and we need to keep up what we’re doing so we can push for the playoff spot we need.”