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No. 5 Ohio State Edges No. 4 Minnesota, 2-1

Buckeyes earn a weekend split against the Gophers in Minneapolis

 

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The fifth-ranked Ohio State women’s hockey team (1-1) earned a series split with No. 4 Minnesota (1-1) on Sunday thanks a 2-1 victory over the Gophers at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.

 

The Buckeyes’ goals came less than seven minutes apart in the first period, as Liz Schepers and Tatum Skaggs each found the back of the net to help Ohio State overcome an early 1-0 Minnesota lead. From there, goalie Andrea Braendl and the defense in front of her made the lead stand up. Braendli finished with 25 saves – 21 in the final two periods and 14 in the third period alone – and made three saves in the final minute when the Gophers were on a power play.

 

“Our girls always rise to the occasion playing the Gophers,” said head coach Nadine Muzerall. “I thought everyone was firing on all cylinders and doing all the little things right. We were very supportive of each other on the bench and in the locker room. I thought we played very well defensively and offensively we scored right away after the Gophers had put one in. I thought that showed a lot of their character. Not only to get the lead but to hold it, that was a good illustration of who these Buckeyes are.”

 

Minnesota opened the scoring in the game just 3:01 into the first period as Grace Zumwinskle netted a goal off assists from Taylor Heise and Anne Cherkowski. Undaunted, the Buckeyes responded just 21 seconds later as Liz Schepers put one past Minnesota goalie Lauren Bench. She was assisted by Lisa Bruno and Emma Maltais. For Schepers, a senior from Mound, Minn., it was her 37th career goal and 75th career point.

 

Six minutes later, Tatum Skaggs gave the Buckeyes a 2-1 lead when she finished a pass from Maltais. It was Skaggs’ first goal of the year and the 58th of her career. Maltais had two assists on the day and now has 144 career points, most among Ohio State’s active players.

 

From there, the Buckeyes continued to generate good offensive opportunities but couldn’t extend their lead. For the game, Ohio State outshot Minnesota 35-26 and had 62 total shots in the game. On the other end of the ice, however, Braendli was keeping the Gophers at bay with her play between the pipes, culminating with her saves in the final minute to preserve the 2-1 lead.

 

Over the two-game weekend series, the Buckeyes outshot Minnesota 71-44, including a 30-8 edge in the first period. Neither team was able to convert on any of their power play opportunities in the two games, each going 0-for-4.

 

Ohio State returns to action next Friday, Nov. 27, when it opens the home portion of its schedule by hosting No. 1 Wisconsin at the OSU Ice Rink. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:07 p.m. and the game will be streamed live on BTN Plus.