Ohio State hopes to build off its momentum from the previous week as it heads back on the road to play a team hungry for its first win of the season in Bemidji State.
No. 4 Ohio State (9-3, 5-1 WCHA) swept St. Cloud State in commanding fashion on Nov. 2 and 3, but it will quickly find a new challenge in winless-Bemidji State (0-9-1, 0-5-1 WCHA)
The Athletics nearly pulled off an upset on the road against No. 2 Minnesota, but were ultimately unsuccessful losing a close game 2-1.
To get the win against Bemidji State, senior forward Madison Field said the Buckeyes will continue to use their aggressive playstyle to create scoring opportunities in an attempt to negate the home-field advantage for the Athletics and circumvent their defense.
“That was our first weekend of two solid back-to-back games,” Field said. “I think that gives us a lot of momentum going into this weekend, and we can’t take Bemidji State lightly. They are a good team, but we are full of high energy and are ready to go.”
Sophomore forward Emma Maltais said this weekend will be about using the advantages that Ohio State has over its opponent.
“Aggressiveness and speed are some of our strong qualities,” Maltais said. “I think if we don’t play to those qualities and advantages that we have over other teams like Bemidji State then we’re missing out. I think for sure they will be part of our mentality moving forward.”
One of those weapons is Maltais, who was named WCHA Forward of the Week for her play against St. Cloud State. Maltais totaled four points — one goal and three assists — over the two games played. Currently, Maltais is leading the team in points with 19. Those 19 points are ranked No. 3 nationally, and her 14 assists is No. 1 in the NCAA.
“It’s an honor, and it is cool to be recognized for how I’ve been playing,” Maltais said. “I feel great, and it’s all about the teamwork of the forwards and defense. I think that together we’re all working and making those passes to each other, and I’m just the person that’s in the spot to score the goal or make the final pass before the puck gets put in the net. I think that it’s very important for us to remember that it is a team effort and I’m just the one getting those points on the board.”
Maltais is not the only weapon the Buckeyes will use this weekend against Bemidji State. Head coach Nadine Muzerall said a strength of this team is its depth and the ability for several players to contribute on the ice rather than just a few.
“It’s always great if you’re ever going to win a national championship, you need to have that depth,” Muzerall said. “You need to be able to go the distance and we want to be able to play all of our lines so that especially our top two lines have that energy. We need to play as a unit of five offensively and be creative.”
As a team, Ohio State is No. 5 in the nation in total points with 99.
Ohio State plays two games this weekend against Bemidji State. The first is at 4:00 p.m. on Friday and game two is at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.