Two top 10 teams took the ice in Columbus, Ohio, Friday night. The first half of the game was a defensive brawl; the second half, the Buckeyes’ aggressive play prevailed.
No. 7 Ohio State women’s hockey (8-3-2, 6-3-2 WCHA) faced No. 9 Minnesota Duluth (7-4-0, 4-3-0) for the first time this season and came away with a 3-1 victory thanks to two goals from junior forward Tatum Skaggs and a standup performance from second-string goaltender Lyndsey Wallace.
“What I’ve noticed with this team is seeing the maturity of them being able to battle and win these games,” Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall said. “Before, we’d fall short or end with a tie, so now it’s nice to see them coming up with the win.”
Wallace set the tone for the game early when she stopped a Bulldog breakaway opportunity less than a minute in.
“She played unbelievable,” Muzerall said. “The first shot she saw was a breakaway we gave up in the first 27 seconds of the game, and that could have really changed the game, but she made the save.”
Skaggs scored the first two Buckeye goals of the game, the first 14 minutes into the second period and the next one to break a 1-1 tie with just more than six minutes left in the game. With five seconds left, junior forward Emma Maltais scored on an open net to seal the win.
“When it was 1-1, when Tatum put that goal in, I was like, ‘Whew,’ and when I saw Emma score that third goal, I was like, ‘Ahh.’ There was, like, five seconds left. I was like, ‘We got this. We’re OK,’” Wallace said.
The Buckeyes were more aggressive offensively to start. In the first period, they outshot the Bulldogs 14-8 and doubled them 16-8 in the second, but it wasn’t until near the end of the second period they managed to get a goal past Minnesota Duluth’s gold-medalist goalie, redshirt senior Maddie Rooney.
Freshman defenseman Teghan Inglis attacked the net and barely missed, sending the puck off the goal post, but Skaggs was there to scoop up the rebound and score.
Going into the third period, the Buckeyes held a 1-0 lead, but with 11:13 left in the game, Minnesota Duluth’s top scoring sophomore forward Gabbie Hughes tied the game.
With just more than six minutes to go, Skaggs, assisted by sophomore forward Gabby Rosenthal and sophomore defenseman Madison Bizal, scored her second goal of the game to give Ohio State the 2-1 advantage.
With five seconds left in the game, Maltais got around a defender and scored on an empty net to seal Ohio State’s 3-1 win.
Ohio State will face off against Minnesota Duluth again at 3:07 p.m. Saturday.