The No. 5 Minnesota women’s hockey team out-scored Ohio State, 12-3, in its sweep of the Buckeyes this weekend at the OSU Ice Rink.
OSU lost, 4-2, Friday, allowing two goals late in the third period. Saturday’s game was never close, as the Buckeyes fell, 8-1.
The Buckeyes were coming off a sweep of Minnesota State, where the team allowed just four goals, and freshman goalie Lisa Steffes won the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Rookie of the Week. She had a tough weekend, though, against Minnesota, allowing a combined 10 goals on 64 shots.
“We need our leadership to step up,” OSU coach Jackie Barto said, “and obviously we need our goaltending to be better.”
Steffes was pulled in the second period of Saturday’s game after allowing six goals on 21 shots.
“She did not have her ‘A’ game with her, and it was time for us to make a change,” Barto said following Saturday’s game. “She just didn’t have it today.”
The Buckeyes led most of the game Friday, losing the lead with less than two minutes to play in the second period but regaining it 5:18 into the third. Minnesota then opened up the scoring with three goals in a two-minute, 40-second span to finish off the Buckeyes.
“We’ve had too many games where we played well one night, then haven’t brought it the second night,” Barto said. “We can’t have that happen.”
The Buckeyes played undisciplined Saturday, incurring six penalties and allowing the Gophers to cash in on three power-play goals.
“We just had a discussion down there on who we have to be, what it means to have the logo and what Ohio State hockey means and playing for the team and keeping the game simple and doing the little things,” Barto said. “We didn’t even come close to doing that today.”
The second game ended in dramatic fashion as junior forward Natalie Spooner, who scored the only goal for the Buckeyes, went down hard onto the ice after taking a blow to the head from Minnesota defenseman Katie Frischmann.
“It was a blatant hit, from what the referee said. From what I understand it was an unnecessary play,” Barto said. “She’s fine, though. Just got scared and real nervous, but she’s fine.”
Frischmann was given a roughing penalty and a game misconduct at game’s end. A game misconduct results in a 10-minute major penalty, but because the game was already over, the penalty was not served. However, the penalty could turn into a one-game suspension, pending review by the WCHA.
The Buckeyes will have to turn their season around as the team is now 12-12-2 overall, but just 6-12-2-2 in the WCHA. Up next for the Buckeyes is St. Cloud State at 2 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday in St. Cloud, Minn.
“If you fall off a bike, you get back on it and you go back to work,” Barto said. “We had people trying to do things today that aren’t part of our Buckeye hockey, and that’s not gonna happen. You can’t win that way.”