The University of Minnesota Duluth women’s hockey team settled for single Western Collegiate Hockey Association series point on Saturday after No. 1 Ohio State University overcame the No. 4 Bulldogs 3-2 in Columbus, Ohio at the OSU Ice Arena.
“It just felt different today,” said UMD head coach Maura Crowell following the setback. “Obviously we had the lead and blew it in the third, so it’s a tough one, because I thought we played a heck of a lot better today overall for probably fifty minutes out of the game or so. Some of the best hockey I’ve seen us play in years against Ohio State, so that was really good. There’s a lot to build off of there, but you know, coming away with one point, it’s disappointing.”
UMD took the game’s first advantage on a goal that came at 7:54 of the first period. Mannon McMahon skated the puck behind the net and beat OSU goaltender Amanda Thiele with a wraparound from the extended goal line for the 1-0 lead. The Buckeyes knotted the game on a goal from Gabby Rosenthal at 16:17, and both sides were an even 1-1 after the opening 20 minutes.
Gabbie Hughes single-handedly broke that tie with a breakaway goal at the 3:29 mark of the second period. Hughes hit the open ice of the Buckeye defensive zone and stick-handled Thiele to the ice before tucking the puck in between Thiele’s right skate and the post for the 2-1 lead back to the Bulldogs.
That lead held for the remainder of the second period and until midway of the third period before the Buckeyes scored two unanswered goals – Jennifer Gardiner at 10:47 and Riley Brengman at 15:03 to take their first, and what would be final, lead of the game at 3-2.
While OSU turned in shots on goal advantage of 37-25, UMD outshot the Buckeyes in the second period (11-9) and almost half of OSU’s shots came in the first period. Emma Soderberg had 34 saves for UMD, while Thiele made 23 for the undefeated Buckeyes, who improved to both 8-0-0 overall in the WCHA.
The Bulldogs (6-2-0, 2-2-0) return to AMSOIL Arena next weekend for a matinee series against the No. 5/4 University of Wisconsin. The Friday-Saturday series gets underway at 3:00 p.m. both days.
BULLDOG NOTES: Gabbie Hughes (1g, 1a) and Nina Jobst-Smith (2a) tied among two other OSU players with a game-high two points … Hughes had three points on the weekend (1g, 2a) … Hughes now sits at 180 career points (73g, 107a) in 135 career games … Mannon McMahon has now notched at least a point over her last three games (1g, 2a) … Hughes leads all Bulldog scorers with 12 points (2g, 10a).