The No. 4 Ohio State women’s hockey team (8-3, 4-1 WCHA) sent Buckeye fans home happy with the exciting come-from-behind win over the St. Cloud State Huskies (4-7, 2-5 WCHA).
Senior forward Madison Field was the playmaker for the Buckeyes on Friday, scoring two goals and giving the Buckeyes the 3-2 win after being down for more than half the game.
“Madison’s strong, her area of the ice is right there in that red zone, and that’s the majority of her goal scoring area,” said Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall. “That’s where we want her and that’s where we want her to have the puck. She just bears down and out-muscles people and buries it.”
In the first period, the game was dominated by Ohio State throughout the first 10 minutes. The Buckeyes led the first period in shots on goal 18-6, and they were controlling the puck for the vast majority of playing time.
However, momentum quickly turned in favor of the Huskies when senior forward Julia Tylke snuck one past Ohio State freshman goaltender Andrea Braendli in the first period to give St. Cloud State a 1-0 lead, assisted by sophomore defenseman Taylor Wemple and junior forward Kayla Friesen.
“The first goal was our deep inch, and that was OK because we had a recovery from an offensive player,” Muzerall said. “We had a bad habit of swinging on two hands, she did a nice toe drag, and we had to be more disciplined with one hand on our stick. She faked the shot so Andrea went down and wasn’t able to her post in time as the girl wrapped it. Defensively, we should’ve cut her off and not even allowed her to come across.”
Riding high off that goal, the Huskies won the next face off and immediately converted it into a second goal off a shot by freshman forward Jenniina Nylund to give them a 2-0 lead.
“We lost a battle on the wall and we never should have exposed the middle there,” Muzerall said. “We got to stay in position defensively. They came in on a two on one and we should have had a better gap with our staggered defense in the defensive zone. It was a nice shot though, and Andrea has to do a better job of angling that puck.”
The Buckeyes continued their aggressive attack in the second period and missed on several key opportunities. But just over halfway through the second period, it was sophomore forward Emma Maltais putting Ohio State on the board with her fifth goal of the season.
“You’re not one of the best players in the WCHA and win player of the month for not being able to score those goals,” Muzerall said. “Sometimes the pressure comes with that, but that is what you need from your big dog and she got us on the board. That was a huge momentum shift for us because it finally just broke that ice of if we were going to score.”
With time winding down in the second period at 18:42 into the second period, Field came through with her first goal of the night to tie the game up at two. Maltais and freshman defenseman Madison Bizal came away with assists on the play.
Continuing its comeback, Ohio State took the lead for the first time of the night in the third period when Field scored her second goal of the game,her fifth goal on the season, as freshman forward Sara Saekkinen and sophomore forward Liz Scheppers recorded assists on the goal.
“It’s always great to get those goals for the team,” Field said. “I think that it was a great team effort leading up to those goals. We had 45 shots on net, so it was just great to bury them. We always don’t want to self-doubt when we’re down in those games we just try and keep pushing.”
The Huskies went on the offensive and removed their goalie for an extra attacker with two and a half minutes left to go in the game to try and force overtime, but the Ohio State defense and Braendli held strong to give Ohio State the win.
Ohio State will go for the sweep of St. Cloud State in the second game of the weekend series on Saturday, Nov 2 at 3 p.m.