Ohio State women’s hockey opened up the second half of its season with a home victory against Minnesota State, extending its winning streak to two.
No. 5 Ohio State (12-5-4, 7-3-3 WCHA) put up a 6-0 performance against Minnesota State (7-11-4, 2-9-2), dominating for three consecutive periods.
“Today was a very well-rounded game. Every single player played today, and it was exciting to see,” junior defenseman Lisa Bruno said. “If we use the same tactics [tomorrow], we’ll be just fine. We were already feeling pretty confident from playing Princeton in Vegas, and we’re coming off hot in 2020.”
Six different Buckeyes scored Friday, but the play of sophomore goaltender Andrea Braendli was instrumental in Ohio State’s performance. Braendli made 13 saves in her seventh career shutout.
In the previous Oct. 18 and 19 series, both meetings at Minnesota State ended in a tie, with the Mavericks pulling away with extra league points after shootout victories.
Friday’s game didn’t see the evenly matched outcome of the first two.
The Buckeyes set the tone early in the first period, scoring two goals. Bruno scored the first, and junior forward Tatum Skaggs followed up shortly after. Ohio State ended the period outshooting 17-5.
A tripping penalty by Minnesota State junior defenseman Tristen Traux in the second period offered Ohio State a chance to extend its lead, but the Buckeyes couldn’t convert.
However, it wouldn’t take long until three Ohio State forwards all got on the board. Junior Liz Schepers, senior Rebecca Freiburger and sophomore Gabby Rosenthal each put a puck behind the Mavericks’ goaltender to finish the second period with a commanding 5-0 advantage.
With the clock ticking down in the third period, both teams fidgeted for a final score. Within the last two minutes of the game, both teams received a penalty.
In the final 40 seconds, junior forward Emma Maltais put the icing on the Buckeyes’ win with a goal to cement the score at 6-0.
Ohio State finished the game with a 48-13 shot advantage against the Mavericks.
Though the Mavericks didn’t score, the ability they’ve shown to hang in games with highly ranked opponents such as Wisconsin and Minnesota Duluth this season makes it a quality win for Ohio State.
“[Minnesota State’s] good. They’re a team to always be cautious of because they block a lot of shots and have good goaltending,” Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall said.
While many collegiate teams continued their hockey season a week ago, Ohio State has had an extended delay to the start of its new year. But beginning with a 6-0 victory is not a bad foot on which to get off.
“We have to keep that momentum from today. That emotion from everyone — the coaches, the staff and the fans — brings a lot of energy,” Braendli said. “Even on the ice, we were cheering for each other.”
Ohio State will close out its series against Minnesota State at 3:07 p.m. Saturday.