|2nd||0:23||MND||1-0||EV||Zoe Hickel (17)||Kateřina Mrázová/16, Emma Stauber/8|
|2nd||9:28||OSU||1-1||EV||Kari Schmitt (6)||Taylor Kuehl/13|
|2nd||17:26||MND||2-1||EV GW||Jessica Healey (1)||Michela Cava/2, Jenna McParland/12|
|3rd||1:15||MND||3-1||PP||Michela Cava (3)||Brigette Lacquette/14, Jenna McParland/13|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Ohio State (17-13-3)||0/3||4/8||0|
|Minnesota Duluth (18-10-5)||1/3||4/8||0|
|Ohio State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Kassidy Sauvé (L, 9-10-0)||57:06||3||12||13||8||33|
|Minnesota Duluth Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Kayla Black (W, 17-10-5)||59:57||1||9||12||14||35|
There were numerous equations available to the University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team in its quest for home first round Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoff ice, but the Bulldogs took the most obvious route Friday night.
No. 9 UMD defeated Ohio State University 3-1 at AMSOIL Arena to secure the fourth and final WCHA home ice slot for next weekend, assuring the Bulldogs will be in Duluth on Feb. 27, 28 and if needed, March 1. The win also gives UMD 18 triumphs on the season, bringing the Bulldogs to 18-10-5 overall and 13-10-3 in conference play.
"I'm really pleased with our team's performance tonight, starting with our goaltender Kayla Black, through our defense and our forwards," said head coach Shannon Miller, who is now 60-12-3 all-time against the Buckeyes. "We kept the game very simple and played with a lot of discipline, really committed to the game plain and obviously wanted those three points."
UMD made up for a scoreless first period a mere 23 seconds into the second stanza when Zoe Hickel redirected a shot from Katerina Mrazova over the outstretched left pad of OSU netminder Kassidy Sauve. Hickel's 17th goal of the season - a team-high - rewarded Mrazova with the primary assist and senior blueliner Emma Stauber with the secondary helper.
OSU tied the game at the 9:28 mark when the Buckeyes Kari Schmitt skated from the penalty box right towards the Bulldogs net. UMD goaltender Kayla Black made the breakaway save, but Schmitt circled the net and was rewarded on her second effort to draw OSU even.
The Bulldogs added their second goal of the period on rookie defenseman Jessica Healey's first career tally, a bouncing shot from the left point that hopped past Sauve at 17:26 as the eventual game-winner. Healey was assisted by sophomore Michela Cava and senior winger Jenna McParland.
Cava extended UMD's lead 1:15 into the third period on a brilliant effort to get her backhand on a cross-crease pass from the opposite post courtesy of senior defenseman Brigette Lacquette. Cava's goal came just six seconds into a UMD power play, and also gave McParland her second assist on the evening.
Both teams put 36 shots on net, and both squads had three power play attempts. OSU was scoreless on its attempts, while the Bulldogs went 1-of-3. Black turned away 35 Buckeye shots compared to Sauve's 33 for OSU, who drops to 17-13-3 overall and 12-11-4 in the WCHA.
"It feels good to secure home playoff ice for a 16th year, it feels really good," said Miller. "But we still want to win on Sunday for points and national rankings and it dictates who you play next weekend."
UMD will finish its regular season against the Buckeyes on Sunday - Senior Day - at 12:07 p.m.
BULLDOG NOTES: With the win, UMD continues its first round WCHA playoff pattern of staying at home for a 16 consecutive season ... Jenna McParland's two assists push her into sole possession of 14th place on UMD's all-time career scoring chart with 113 points (50 goals, 63 assists) ... The Bulldogs are now unbeaten in their last four skates with the Buckeyes and are 6-1-3 in their last 10 head-to-head contests ... UMD sophomore center Ashleigh Brykaliuk did no dress due to injury ... Brykaliuk ranks second for the Bulldogs in scoring with 28 points (14g, 14a) in 32 games.