For half the game, Minnesota State looked like it had a chance to upset.
Midway through the second period, with Ohio State dominating in every part of the ice except the scoreboard, the Mavericks remained deadlocked with the Buckeyes 0-0 thanks to impressive play from freshman goalie Abigail Levy.
Eventually, Ohio State broke through, and from there, the floodgates opened.
No. 5 Ohio State (4-1, 1-0 WCHA) defeated Minnesota State (2-1, 0-1 WCHA) by a score of 4-0.
From start to finish, it was clear who the better team on the ice was. Ohio State outshot the Mavericks 46-22, won 32 of 44 faceoffs and thoroughly outplayed its opponent from start to finish.
After a scoreless opening 29 minutes, the Buckeyes took the lead when senior forward Charly Dahlquist beat Levy off a turnover to take the 1-0 lead. The shot was Ohio State’s 34th of the game.
After one breakthrough, Ohio State continued to pile it on, with sophomore forward Emma Maltais scoring five minutes later on a rebound that beat Levy on the right side. Maltais ended the day with two points and six shots on goal.
“I think we wore her down a little bit,” head coach Nadine Muzerall said. “Sometimes it’s hard to crack, it’s not just the goaltending it’s just when everybody jams it in front of the net, they get frustrated and you just gotta tell them to stay patient.”
Sophomore defenseman Lisa Bruno and junior forward Samantha Bouley added insurance goal in the third period to put the game out of reach. The goal was Bruno’s first in her collegiate career.
“It’s unbelievable,” Maltais said. “Seeing how hard she works every day in practice and, she’s been close in her first couple games this season and she was always close last season, so it’s nice for her to finally break that barrier and get one.”
Maltais earned an assist on the Bruno goal, giving her nine points on the season, No. 1 in the NCAA.
Maltais said it was all about the full-team effort in tonight’s victory.
“Tonight, it was really just the best team win I think we could have,” Maltais said. “I think that the big focus for us right now is really like the support we have, and how everyone on our team is playing and everyone is contributing and I think that’s what’s making us successful.”
After failing to score on the first 33 shots, the Buckeyes scored four goals in their next 10 attempts.
Ohio State came out dominant, taking over the offensive pressure and putting up 19 shots against Minnesota State in the first period, but freshman goalie Abigail Levy stood tall against all of them to keep the game tied.
Senior forward Madison Field had the best chance at Levy on a breakaway attempt, but was stuffed on an attempt at the five-hole.
Freshman goalie Andrea Braendli earned her first collegiate win and shutout, making 22 saves in the victory over the Mavericks.
“You have to understand that was her first ever collegiate game,” Muzerall said. “I think today seemed a little more composed and, she’s I think going to be a good player for us in the future.”
Ohio State sophomore goalie Amanda Zeglen was not on the ice for warm ups. Zeglen won her only three starts this season, and holds a 2.00 goals against average in 10 career games.
Muzerall had no comment on Zeglen’s status.
The Buckeyes face off against Minnesota State again at OSU Ice Rink at 1:07 p.m. on Saturday.