Two goals each from forwards Maddy Field and Emma Maltais propelled Ohio State to an 8-0 victory over the South Korean Olympic team in an exhibition game Tuesday at the OSU Ice Rink in Columbus.
The Buckeyes attempted 50 shots compared to South Korea’s 20. Six different Ohio State players scored goals.
Head coach Nadine Muzerall attributed the overwhelming advantage in shots to a new wave of offensive threats on her team.
“Well it’s sure a nice pleasure and a little break from last year,” Muzerall said. “That’s where we struggled, offensively and with nine new players coming in and rookies and newcomers scoring some goals. That shows the depth that we have this year and I’m looking forward to a lot of people contributing and not just a couple of players.”
Sophomore forward Olivia Soares put the Buckeyes in the scoring column just under six minutes into the first period, putting the puck past South Korea goaltender Sojung Shin for the early, 1-0 lead.
At the 17:34 mark, Ohio State struck again to extend the lead to 2-0 with a goal by junior forward Charly Dahlquist, who was assisted by senior defenseman Dani Sadek.
Last season’s leading scorer, Field netted the third Buckeye goal at the 18:28 mark off an assist from redshirt sophomore defenseman Jincy Dunne just before the end of the first period.
“Honestly, I was going for a pass in front of the net,” Field said. “I kind of just shot it and it went five-hole.”
The South Korean Olympic team was held scoreless in the first period by freshman goaltender Amanda Zeglen, who tallied five saves. Ohio State outshot South Korea 15-5 in the period.
The scoring subsided for the first 13 minutes of the second period until sophomore forward Rebecca Freiburger and Field added a pair of goals two minutes apart to extend Ohio State’s lead to 5-0 with 5:29 remaining in the period. Freiburger’s goal came on assists from defenseman Liv Halvorson and Dunne, while Field’s came from defenders Lauren Boyle and Lise Bruno.
“Boyle had a really nice look to me backdoor and I just had to tap it in,” Field said.
Maltais, a freshman, scored twice near the end of the period to push at the score to 7-0.
“It was an amazing feeling,” Maltais said. “If I didn’t score them, it’d be a little embarrassing. My teammates put it right on my stick for me.”
Freshman goaltender Maggie Cory was in goal for the entirety of the second period, recording 11 saves. Ohio State led 37-16 in terms of shots by the end of the second period.
The eighth and final goal came at 9:23 in the third off the stick of freshman forward McKenna Wesloh near a crowded South Korea net.
Redshirt junior goaltender Kassidy Sauve entered goal for the final period and preserved the shutout with four saves. Sauve, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Preseason Player of the Year, set new program highs in both saves and save percentage last season.
Shin recorded 42 saves for South Korea in the contest. Forward Ji-yeon Choi tallied four shots on goal for the Olympic team as well.
Setting a precedent
United States college teams playing against Olympic teams is commonplace, but Tuesday marked the first time Ohio State competed against a team from outside North America.
“I told the girls before the game, just be in the present,” Muzerall said. “Let’s measure what matters. It’s the experience that you’re going to have that most people are never going to play against an Olympic team again.”
Outside of the action on the ice, Muzerall said the Buckeyes will have a chance to eat dinner with the South Korean team and take them on a tour of Ohio Stadium before their latest adversaries depart.
“I think it’s going to be cool to interact with them and take it off ice, because on ice is business,” Field said. “But, realizing that hockey is just a game and you want to interact with people, and make new friends.”
Muzerall’s relationship with her former teammate, South Korea head coach Sarah Murray, made playing the exhibition match possible.
The two teams had a friendly shootout following the match, which ended 2-1 in favor of the Buckeyes after seven attempts by each team. The surprise came when a goal was conceded by the All-American Sauve.
“I was getting a little concerned,” Muzerall said with a laugh. “But that was a heck of a goal that their third player scored on our All-American goalie. That was well deserved.”
End of the offseason
Regular season play begins Friday for the Buckeyes with a two-game series. They will meet Rensselaer Friday at 6:07 p.m. and again on Saturday at 3:07 p.m. Both matches will take place at the OSU Ice Rink.
Ohio State finished the 2016-2017 season with an overall record of 14-18-5 and a 7-16-5 record in the WCHA.