Ohio State spent 14 minutes of their anticipated first matchup against Wisconsin in the penalty box. And when you’re in the box that much against a team as good as the Badgers, there is a price to be paid.
This time, that price was a tally in the loss column.
No. 1 Wisconsin (5-0, 1-0 WCHA) handed the No. 8 Ohio State women’s hockey team (4-1, 2-1) its first loss of the season Friday night, shutting them out 3-0.
“The penalties really killed us. When you have to kill off penalties and then try and gain momentum from that and then you just get another penalty, that kills the flow of the game,” sophomore forward Paetyn Levis said. “We just need to clean it up.”
But Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall said the officiating played a role as well.
“I’ll hold my kids accountable if it’s warranted, but a lot of those weren’t and it really changed the game,” Muzerall said. “I’m very disappointed in the refereeing tonight.”
Most notable amid the controversial calls was an Ohio State goal that was called back for having a man in the crease with 1:32 left in the second period. At that time, Wisconsin was up 1-0.
Muzerall thought Ohio State’s goal looked no different than the play that set up Wisconsin’s first goal, scored by senior forward Abby Roque seven minutes into the second.
“Either both goals should have been allowed or neither goals should have been allowed,” Muzerall said. “They were the same exact thing, but not the same call.”
Both teams came out playing hard and fast in the first period. Wisconsin outshot Ohio State 12-6, and the Buckeyes got into penalty trouble, going to the box for too many players on the ice, and then again for hooking.
The Buckeyes kept getting themselves in penalty trouble in the second period, and on Wisconsin’s fourth power play of the night, Roque capitalized to put the Badgers on the board with her team second-best fourth goal of the year.
Heading into the third it was still anyone’s game. Play was choppy and both teams had difficulty getting their offenses going.
Finally, still down a goal with 2:51 left in the game, Muzerall pulled sophomore goaltender Andrea Braendli to get an extra offensive player on the ice. But with a little over a minute left, the Badgers scored on Ohio State’s empty net –– a goal from junior forward Daryl Watts to go up 2-0.
That brought Braendli back into the game, but with 42 seconds left, Wisconsin senior defenseman Mekenzie Steffen managed to tack on one more goal, off another power play, to seal the deal.
The Buckeyes and the Badgers will face off again on Saturday at 3:07 p.m., and Muzzerall said her team will play with an attitude.
“Our team is emotional. And they play when they got a chip on their shoulder, and I’m going to encourage it all day tomorrow,” Muzerall said.