February 12, 2021

No. 4 Buckeyes Top No. 2 Minnesota, 2-1, in Series Opener


Final Stats // Postgame Interview // Highlights

MINNEAPOLIS – A heavyweight battle went Ohio State’s way on Friday night thanks to what proved to be a second-period knockout punch. The fourth-ranked Buckeyes scored twice in a four-minute span and made that lead stand up against No. 2 Minnesota, topping the Gophers 2-1 to open a weekend series at Ridder Arena. With the win, Ohio State is 10-5-0 on the season while Minnesota now falls to 9-6-1.

“This is absolutely the best game this team has played,” said head coach Nadine Muzerall. “They played as a unit of one. We started off hot; we talked about the first five minutes, generating some offense and controlling the game. The girls came to play and they wanted to make a statement.”

The game was the fifth this season between Ohio State and Minnesota with the Buckeyes now holding a 3-2 edge in the series. Ohio State and Minnesota play again tomorrow at 2:07 p.m. ET; the game will be streamed live on BTN Plus.

Buckeyes Strike First
After outshooting Minnesota 17-3 in the opening period but not having a goal to show for it, Emma Maltais put Ohio State on the scoreboard first 9:04 into the second period. She created a turnover at Ohio State’s defensive blue line, won a race to the puck and beat goalie Makayla Pahl. It was her third goal this season and her eighth point this year against the Gophers.

“Emma’s been producing,” said Muzerall. “She’s gaining more confidence as she does so it’s very good for her. She had a great game.”

Levis Makes It 2-0
With just over seven minutes remaining in the period, Paetyn Levis finished off a breakaway opportunity created by linemates Brooke Bink and Sara Saekkinen and she buried a goal that was created when Bink got a pass off after being hooked and drawing a penalty.

Minnesota failed to get on the scoreboard for the remainder of the period and Ohio State led 2-0 at the second intermission with a 30-7 advantage in shots.

Buckeyes Finish It Off
Goalie Andrea Breandli made 14 of her 21 saves in the third period to help the Buckeyes seal the win. Minnesota was able to score late in the third when Emily Brown found the back of the net with just 50 seconds remaining. The Gophers did get two shots off in the final 50 seconds after winning the ensuing faceoff, but they were both turned about by Braendli, who earned her 44th career win.

This and That

  • Ohio State has a 10-8-1 edge in the series vs. Minnesota since the start of the 2017-18 season.
  • The Buckeyes scored first for the 11th time in 15 games this season. They are 10-1 in those contests.
  • Maltais has scored a goal in three straight games and has six points in that span.
  • Ohio State power play generated 13 shots in its four attempts on the night.

Statistically Speaking
Shots: Ohio State 38, Minnesota 22
Saves: Minnesota (Pahl) 36, Ohio State (Braendli) 21
Power Play: Ohio State 0-4, Minnesota 0-2
Scoring: Emma Maltais 1-0-1; Paetyn Levis 1-0-1; Brooke Bink 0-1-1; Sara Saekkinen 0-1-1