COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 9/8-ranked women’s ice hockey team put up four goals Friday evening to upset No. 2 Minnesota, 4-3. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 5-2-2 (3-2-2 WCHA) and the Gophers drop their first game and slide to to 8-1-0 (4-1-0 WCHA).
“We have a lot of girls from Minnesota on our team so they always come out to play with a bit of a chip on their shoulder,” head coach Nadine Muzerall said. “And then of course, it’s personal for us three Gopher coaches. We know that they’re very well coached and we just tried to focus on us and recognize some of the things that Minnesota will do. I thought we were very well prepared for it.”
“We wanted to really come out and send a message this weekend that we’re up there in the top teams in the country after kind of disappointing ourselves the past two weeks,” Liz Schepers said. “Coming out, we played probably our most complete game of the year so this is what you’re going to see when we’re on our game and we have to bring that everyday now.”
Ohio State 4, Minnesota 3
The Buckeyes came out firing on all cylinders, outshooting the Gophers 7-0 in the opening two minutes of play. With 1:55 down in the first, Liz Schepers converted on her first shot to give the Buckeyes the early 1-0 advantage. Andrea Braendli made six saves in the opening period but couldn’t hold off the low shot by Minnesota’s Grace Zumwinkle in the 15th minute of play. The score held at 1-all at the end of the first with Ohio State outshooting Minnesota 9-7.
Ohio State once again struck first, this time netting a goal four minutes into the second period. Gabby Rosenthal scored her first of the year to put the Buckeyes up 2-1. Her goal was assisted by Paetyn Levis. Keeping up with the Buckeye tenancy of a strong second period showing, Emma Maltais tallied her first of the game and sixth of the season in the 14th minute. The Scarlet and Gray kept up the pressure but the Gophers closed the gap once again as Zumwinkle scored her second of the day on a Minnesota power play. Her goal came in the 19th minute. At the end of two periods, Ohio State held the advantage in shots 23-18.
The Gophers turned up the pressure and found the back of the net halfway through final period to tie the game at 3-all. This time it was Emily Oden to give Minnesota a chance with time running out. In the 13th minute of the final period, Schepers gave the Buckeyes the go-ahead goal and her second of the game. Her goal was assisted by Maltais and Sophie Jaques. Sydney Scobee went to the bench with 1:23 left for the man advantage play but Ohio State held strong and added to its 18 blocked shots on the day. The win marks the Buckeyes first since defeating St. Cloud State on October 5.