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Women’s Hockey: No. 4 Ohio State faces second straight ranked opponent in No. 10 St. Lawrence

Ohio State freshman defenseman Madison Bizal makes a move against a Minnesota State defender on Oct. 12. Ohio State won 4-0. Credit: Wyatt Crosher | Assistant Sports Editor

Ohio State freshman goaltender Andrea Braendli made headlines for the second straight week after she was named WCHA Goaltender of the Week for her performance against No. 3 Minnesota.

Braendli and the No. 4 Ohio State women’s hockey team took on the Gophers in a top-five matchup last week. After losing the first game 3-0, the Buckeyes came away with a strong road victory by a score of 3-2 in Game 2.

Now, Ohio State (6-2-0, 3-1-0-0 WCHA) will attempt to ride that wave of momentum this week when it continues its road stretch and travels to Canton, New York, to face No. 10 St. Lawrence (3-4-1).

“That’s what you need to do, you need to build momentum and learn from some of the mistakes we made throughout the weekend,” Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall said. “We need to build off the good we created. Taking three points from a No. 3 team in the country was huge at their rank nonetheless.”

While the Saints are not as highly ranked as Minnesota, the Buckeyes will still be faced with another tough opponent. The Saints are fresh off a win against No. 2 Clarkson, the defending national champion and the team that beat Ohio State in the Frozen Four last season.

“What’s nice is there is parity in the country right now,” Muzerall said. “Every team is putting up a good battle and is making the league and the NCAA fun to watch. We just need to focus on the things that we do very well and drive a little more offensively and then buckle down defensively and be more intelligent.”

The team defensively has little to worry about with Braendli stepping in and making a name for herself only five games into her college career, winning WCHA Rookie of the Week two weeks ago and now Goaltender of the Week. In her five games played, Braendli leads the WCHA with a .950 save percentage.

“It’s really awesome having someone as solid as her backing the net,” redshirt junior defenseman Jincy Dunne said. “She got the chance to play and capitalized on the opportunity. She’s done amazing and we’re lucky to have her.”

Offensively, Ohio State has a little bit of work to do. St. Lawrence allows 1.88 goals per game, and the key to victory for the Buckeyes will be a fast and aggressive offense to create scoring opportunities.

But St. Lawrence scores the fifth-fewest goals per game in the NCAA at 1.50 per game. Ohio State sophomore forward Emma Maltais has as many points as the Saint have goals all season.

“Defensively, St. Lawrence is a very good team,” Dunne said. “The challenge is on us to create offense and to score off the opportunities we make and continue to capitalize on the chances we get.”

The Buckeyes travel to play against St. Lawrence at 6 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday.

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