The Ohio State women’s ice hockey team recorded its third series split of the season at the University of Minnesota Duluth over the weekend, continuing the slow but positive steps the team has taken in recent weeks.
The Buckeyes (9-18-1, 5-16-1) defeated the Bulldogs (10-17-1, 7-14-1) by a score of 6-4 on Friday with six players for the Scarlet and Gray registering two or more points. Minnesota Duluth snapped OSU’s three-game winning streak the following day, however, as the Bulldogs scored a goal with less than two minutes remaining to win it 4-3.
On Friday, the Bulldogs used three different goalkeepers to try to stop the OSU offense. Minnesota Duluth freshman Maddie Rooney allowed three Buckeye goals in the first period, which came from sophomore defenseman Dani Sadek, sophomore forward Lauren Spring and freshman defenseman Lauren Boyle. Both Spring and Boyle’s goals came on Buckeye power plays. The Bulldogs also managed to get three goals past OSU sophomore goalie Alex LaMere during the first period.
Minnesota Duluth put Karissa Grapp into goal to start the second period, but she also struggled to stop the red-hot OSU offense. Junior forward Claudia Kepler opened up the second period scoring, lighting the lamp 1:17 into the period. Senior forward Kendall Curtis found the net a little over a minute later, and a fellow senior forward, Melani Moylan, added a power-play goal to stretch the OSU lead to three goals.
Minnesota Duluth changed goalkeepers after the three Buckeye goals, but the three-goal lead proved to be too much for the Bulldogs. Freshman Morgan Morse scored halfway through the third period for UMD, which ended the scoring for the game.
On Saturday, Minnesota Duluth jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first five minutes of the game off goals from Morse and Katherine McGovern. The Buckeyes were able to answer with less than a minute left in the period with a goal from Kepler to cut the Bulldogs lead in half.
OSU senior forward Julia McKinnon scored halfway through the second period to tie the game. About a minute later, Curtis scored for the second night in a row for a 3-2 lead.
Stepping it up to avoid the sweep at home, though, the Bulldogs tied the game less than five minutes later off a goal from Ashleigh Brykaliuk. The game remained tied through most of the third period, but Morse scored her second goal of the game and third of the series with less than two minutes remaining to give the Bulldogs the 4-3 win and a series split.
The Buckeyes are scheduled to return home next weekend to face the University of Wisconsin (25-1-1, 19-1-1). Wisconsin sits at the top of the Western Collegiate Hockey Standings heading into the matchup in Columbus. The puck is slated to drop at the OSU Ice Rink at 7:07 p.m. on Friday and 4:07 p.m. the day following.