Oct. 19, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 4 Ohio State University women’s ice hockey team looks to continue its early season success as the Buckeyes take on the St. Cloud State Huskies in St. Cloud, Minnesota this weekend. Game one of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association series is set for a 4:07 p.m. ET start, while Saturday’s game will get underway at 3:37 p.m. ET.
Last Time Out
The Buckeyes (5-0-1, 3-0-1 WCHA) kept rolling as they swept the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs last weekend. In Friday’s tilt redshirt junior Kassidy Sauvé notched the 14th shutout of her career with a season high 35 saves, as goals from Maddy Field and Julianna Iafallo secured a 2-0 victory for OSU. Saturday’s matchup saw an increase in scoring, but a similar finish. Emma Maltais opened the scoring with a goal just over four minutes into the game, only to see UMD tie the game 73 seconds later, and take a 2-1 lead in the eighth minute. That lead held until Iafallo netted her third goal in as many games, tying it 2-2. Field broke the tie with her second goal of the weekend later in the second, and Jacyn Reeves scored in the third to give OSU a 4-2 lead. The Bulldogs pulled within one when they brought on an extra attacker late in the game, but it was too little, too late, as Sauvé’s 31 saves helped ensure a 4-3 Buckeyes win.
Making Noise in the Polls, and on the Ice
The Buckeyes come in at No. 4 nationally this week, the highest ranking in program history. The previous high was No. 6, held by the 2012-13 squad. Individually, Maltais and Tatum Skaggs are tied for third in the NCAA in points with nine each. Additionally, Skaggs is tied for second in goals with five, while Maltais is tied for fifth with six assists. Sauvé’s 164 saves rank fourth nationally.
Staying Focused On Success
After two consecutive weekends of playing nationally ranked opponents, the potential for a letdown when facing an unranked foe is real, but head coach Nadine Muzerall knows that every weekend in the WCHA is a challenge. “In the WCHA every team is good, and strong. The minute you get caught sleeping or being lazy, you’re exposed and you can wind up taking a loss. St. Cloud has beaten us in the past. They’re a well-coached team, and they always fight. We can’t overlook them, and we won’t.”
Sauvé’s big weekend earned her a pair of honors, the NCAA No. 1 Star of the Week, and the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week. This is the fourth time in her career that she’s earned the WCHA honors. “It’s always good to earn recognition for the hard work we put on the ice, but I feel like this is a shared award with the rest of my team,” said Sauvé. “They did amazing work blocking a lot of shots and made a lot of hustle plays that made these wins possible.”
About The Huskies
St. Cloud State (1-3-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) opened its season splitting a series with the University of Connecticut before getting swept by Colgate University. The Huskies are led by Julia Tylke’s two goals, Laura Kluge’s one goal and assist each, and Kayla Friesen’s two assists.