DULUTH, Minn. – No. 3 Ohio State opened its weekend series at Minnesota Duluth by dropping a 2-0 decision to the Bulldogs on Friday night at Amsoil Arena. The Buckeyes fall to 5-4-0 on the season while Duluth in now 5-2-0.
Duluth scored goals midway through the first period and then again late in the third after Ohio State pulled goalie Andrea Braendli. The Buckeyes held Duluth, the nation’s co-leader in goals per game, scoreless for nearly 49 minutes of regulation.
“It came down to our tenacity,” said head coach Nadine Muzerall. “It wasn’t a systematic thing. We corrected some things after the first period. It came down to heart and it’s really on them now to pick it up.”
Ohio State created chances early, getting five shots on goal in the first six minutes of the opening period. The Bulldogs, however, were first on the scoreboard with a goal by Anna Klein, her seventh of the season. The score came 11:54 into the first period.
The Buckeyes outshot Minnesota Duluth 14-10 in the opening 20 minutes and drew the game’s first penalty, but their power play opportunity was short-lived after being called for tripping just five seconds in.
Less than two minutes into the second period, Ohio State drew its second penalty of the game and went on the power play for two minutes following a hooking penalty. The Buckeyes generated four shots on the ensuing power play but couldn’t put on in the back of the net.
Three minutes later, Duluth went on the power play and the Buckeyes killed it off, improving to 16-for-16 on the year on the penalty kill.
Neither team scored in the period and the Buckeyes held a 11-6 advantage in shots. The most impressive of Braendli’s six saves was a sprawling stop with under three minutes to play before intermission to preserved the one-goal deficit.
Ohio State once again had another power play opportunity that it couldn’t convert – this one coming late in the period – and the Buckeyes gave up an empty net goal with 53 seconds remaining for the final 2-0 score.
Ohio State outshot Duluth 34-22. It was the seventh time in nine games this year that Ohio State has finished with more shots than its opponent.
Braendli finished with 20 saves. It was her fifth game with 20 or more saves so far this season.
Opponents are 0-19 on the power play against Ohio State this season.
Shots: Ohio State 34, Minnesota Duluth 22
Saves: Minnesota Duluth (Soderberg) 34, Ohio State (Braendli) 20
Power Play: Ohio State 0-3, Minnesota Duluth 0-4
Ohio State and Minnesota Duluth close out their series tomorrow with a 4 p.m. puck drop at Amsoil Arena. The game will be streamed live on FloHockey.