January 18, 2018

No. 7 Buckeyes Hosts No. 5/6 Minnesota in WCHA Showdown


Jan. 18, 2018

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 7 Ohio State University women’s ice hockey team gets back into conference play when it hosts the No. 5/6 University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series this weekend. The teams open the series on Friday at 6:07 p.m., while the finale gets underway on Saturday at 3:07 p.m. Both games are in the OSU Ice Rink.

Game Notes

Friday:  Live Stream ($) and Live Stats

Saturday:  Live Stream ($) and Live Stats

Important Parking and Post-Game Skate Information For Saturday

With Winter Jam happening at The Schottenstein Center on Saturday, the normal hockey parking area will double as a paid parking area for the concert. If you’re coming to Saturday’s game be sure to tell the parking attendants that you’re there for the hockey game and they’ll let you park free of charge. Also, Saturday is a post-game skate day. Skate rentals will be available at the rink, and all fans participating will have to sign a waiver that our fan experience personnel will have on site.

Last Time Out

The Buckeyes (15-5-4, 8-2-4 WCHA) were firing on all cylinders as they swept No. 9 Robert Morris at the OSU Ice Rink last weekend. Friday’s contest saw Ohio State playing at the peak of its powers, notching a 5-0 shutout victory. Kassidy Sauvé stopped all 34 shots she faced to earn her seventh shutout of the season, moving her into second place in the conference and third in the NCAA. Tatum Skaggs led the way for OSU in the series opener with two goals and an assist. On Saturday the Buckeyes kept on rolling offensively, scoring five goals for the second consecutive game en route to a 5-2 win. Sauvé made 44 saves in the game, while Charly Dahlquist netted two goals. Both Skaggs and Emma Maltais finished with five points for the weekend, each of them scoring two goals and tallying three assists.

Buckeye Bits

Emma Maltais leads the WCHA with 30 points and in points-per-game with 1.36. She also leads in assists-per-game with .91, while her 20 assists rank second in the league. Skaggs leads the WCHA with 15 goals, and her .62 goals-per-game lead the conference as well. Julianna Iafallo and Maddy Field are tied for eighth in the conference with .42 goals-per-game, while Field’s four game winning goals lead the conference. Kassidy Sauvé’s seven shutouts are good for second in the WCHA lead and for third in the nation. Her 625 saves lead the conference and come in at third in the nation.

Quoting the Buckeyes

OSU Head Coach Nadine Muzerall: “I have a lot of pride in the time I spend at Minnesota, and I have a lot of great memories. However, I look at this series as just another opponent that we have to beat. We’re right on top of each other in the polls, they’re a great team and they’ve got a great coach. We played them well in October and we’re hoping to give them a good series this weekend.”

Assistant coach Milica McMillen: “I think we’re in for an exciting series. Both teams have gotten better as the season has gone on, so it’s going to be fun to see how we play against them. We’re a better team than we were the last time we played them, but they’re better too so it’ll be fun to see who comes out on top.”

Lauren Boyle: “They’ve got a solid road record and they know what they’re doing. After getting away from how we started the season, we’re back to playing Buckeye hockey and I think we’re in a good place heading into the series. They’re tough, the games won’t be easy, but they’re a blast to play and I think we’ve got what it takes to play with them again like we did in October.”

Trophy Case

For the third time this season, a pair of Buckeyes brought home WCHA honors in the same week. Kassidy Sauvé earned the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week award, while Tatum Skaggs picked up the WCHA Offensive Player of the Week award. Sauvé’s 78 saves led the conference for the weekend, and she notched her seventh shutout of the year on Friday, putting her in third place in the NCAA for shutouts. Skaggs tallied five points in the series, including a two-goal game on Friday.

About The Golden Gophers

Minnesota (17-6-2, 10-4-2 WCHA) leads the all-time series with Ohio State, 70-9-5. The Buckeyes prevailed in their series at Minnesota earlier in the year, winning the opener 3-2 before tying in the second game 5-5. Julianna Iafallo iced the shootout for the Buckeyes giving them the extra point in the WCHA standings. Grace Zumwinkle leads the way for Minnesota with 27 points from 11 goals and 16 assists. Nicole Schammel isn’t far behind with 24 points of her own from 14 goals and 10 assists. In total the Golden Gophers have five players with at least 20 points, including Sydney Baldwin and Sophie Skarzynski with 21 each, and Caitlin Reilly with 20. Minnesota comes into the weekend holding onto second place in the WCHA with 32 points, just in front of Ohio State’s 31.