MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The fifth-ranked Ohio State women’s ice hockey team suffered a 4-0 setback to No. 5 Minnesota to open the 2020-21 season on Saturday afternoon at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.
“I was very impressed with our girls,” said head coach Nadine Muzerall. “I thought they came out and they fought. It was a tough start, them scoring within the first 20 seconds. But we rebounded a punched back a little bit and outshot them 12-3 in the first and still got 12 more shots in the second, we just weren’t able to capitalize. Systematically I thought we were pretty organized for the first game. When you outshoot a team 38-18 it doesn’t always dictate who the winner is. They scored when they needed to at key moments and unfortunately we didn’t put the puck in the net.”
Minnesota scored once in the first and second periods and then twice more late in the third period to pull away. Despite the loss, Ohio State held a 36-18 advantage in shots on goal and a 87-42 edge in overall shots.
The Gophers’ Grace Zumwinkle opened the scoring just 28 seconds into the first period, netting a goal off assists from Olivia Knowles and Madeline Wethington. From there, the Ohio State defense settled in and held Minnesota scoreless for the next 30 minutes. The Buckeyes outshot Minnesota 12-3 in the opening period and won eight of 15 face-offs.
In the second period, Minnesota increased its lead to 2-0 midway through the period on Josey Dunne’s goal, which was assisted by Emily Oden. The Buckeyes once again generated offensive opportunities, holding a 12-8 edge in shots while winning 13 of 20 face-offs.
The Gophers’ two goals with under five minutes to play in the third period made the final score 4-0, the second of which came with an empty net. Zumwinkle scored the first one, followed by Taylor Wente less than two minutes later.
Goaltender Andrea Braendli made 14 saves on the afternoon while Emma Maltais had a team-high seven shots on goal. Both teams failed to score in their power play opportunities.
Ohio State returns to action tomorrow at 3 p.m. when it wraps up the two-game series with Minnesota. The game will be streamed live on BTN Plus.