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Women’s hockey: No. 7 Ohio State remains undefeated, sweeps No. 5 Duluth at home

Ohio State then-sophomore forward Maddy Field (22) takes on Minnesota redshirt senior defender Lee Stecklein (2) during the Buckeyes game against the Gophers on Oct. 22. Credit: Emily Lehmkuhl | For The Lantern

Two-point performances from junior forward Maddy Field and freshman forward Emma Maltais powered the No. 7 Ohio State women’s hockey team to a 4-3 victory and series sweep of No. 5 Minnesota Duluth (2-4-0, 0-2-0 WCHA).

Senior Captain Julianna Iafallo, Emma Maltais, Maddy Field and junior Jacyn Reeves all scored goals for Ohio State (5-0-1, 3-0-1 WCHA). Junior forward Charly Dahlquist, Maltais and Field added the assists. Redshirt junior goalie Kassidy Sauve saved 31 of 34 shots while adding an assist on Field’s goal.

Less than 5 minutes into the opening frame, Dahlquist stole the puck as the Bulldogs were leaving the zone, delivered it to Maltais as she ripped a shot past the glove of senior Bulldog goalie Jessica Convery, putting Ohio State up 1-0 early.

Just over a minute later, the Bulldogs answered with sophomore forward Sydney Brodt beating Suave on a quick shot from the slot, tying the game at 1.

Not long after, freshman forward Naomi Rogge capitalized on a power-play chance camped in front of net at 7:41 of the first period.

After giving up those two goals, all of which were in front of the net, Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall told her team that there had to a be change moving forward.

“When we had the media timeout, I just got after them about being relentless on the puck and having a sense of purpose and a little bit of grit,” Muzerall said.

As the first period progressed, the gritty forecheck that, at most times of the game, didn’t allow the Bulldogs to come up ice easily began to appear.

To start the second period, with the game at 2-1, the Buckeyes’ offense put Duluth on its heels and caused a holding penalty on junior forward Emma Yanko.

Not long into the power play,  Iafallo tied the game at 7:16 of the second period. It started with a beautiful tic-tac-toe, cross-ice passing play that ended with a tip in front of the goal.

Two minutes later, Sauve’s clearing pass through the middle of the ice found Field, and she muscled her way through the Duluth defense and went five-hole to put the Buckeyes ahead halfway through the second.

Those two quick goals from Iafallo and Field had Ohio State holding the edge, 3-2 at the second intermission.

Just a minute into the final frame, the Scarlet and Gray scored to take a two-goal lead.

Jacyn Reeves took a mishandled puck through center ice, sped by the defense and buried her fourth goal of the season and the decisive fourth goal of the game.

Late in the third, and with her team having pulled its goalie, Rogge displayed some impressive hands in tight areas, going backhand-forehand top shelf to beat Sauve to make it an interesting one-goal game.

The Buckeyes survived a late Duluth flurry to end the game with a victory. Sauve stopped 15 of 16 shots she faced in the third period.

Muzerall said these early wins are big for the confidence of a young, but experienced team.

“When you win and have success, confidence comes,” she said. “But you got to find those first few wins and then it starts rolling rhythmically.”

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