COLUMBUS, Ohio - Emma Maltais lit the lamp 28 seconds into overtime to give the No. 10 Ohio State University women's ice hockey team (19-12-2, 12-10-2-2 WCHA) a win over the Minnesota State Mavericks (9-18-7, 3-16-5 WCHA) in their WCHA Tournament First Round clash on Friday night at the OSU Ice Rink.
Coach Muzerall on the Game
"That was a must win and I thought we were very deserving of it. But as we knew their goalie was going to come up large and we also knew that Mankato wasn't going to be the same team we played early in the season. There's some things we can learn from tonight and some things we can build from."
The Nitty Gritty
- The Buckeyes struck first when Tatum Skaggs found the back of the net 5:18 into the game to notch her team-best 16th goal of the season.
- Minnesota State responded later in the opening frame when Brooke Bryant converted on a power-play opportunity to even things up at 1-1.
- The teams looked destined to end the period tied at 1-1, but Lisa Bruno had other plans. The defender fired a shot that cut through the crowd and found its way to the back of the net with 1:00 left in the first, sending the Bucks into the break with a 2-1 lead.
- A scoreless second gave way to the third where the Mavericks wasted no time in tying things up. It was Bryant again, this time scoring at full strength, only 1:26 into the third to tie things at 2-2.
- Despite a shots-on-goal advantage of 41-to-20 in regulation, the Buckeyes could not find a game winner in the first 60 minutes and went to overtime for the third straight game.
- The OT period would not last long however as Maltais took a perfect pass from Sophie Jaques and finished the game just 28 seconds into overtime, putting the Buckeyes one step closer to the WCHA Final Faceoff next weekend.
- Jaques, Lauren Boyle, Gabby Rosenthal, Liz Schepers and Maltais herself all notched assists in the game.
- OSU finished the game with a 42-21 SOG advantage.
The Buckeyes got things cooking early when Skaggs netted her 16th goal of the season just over five minutes into the game. Just as it looked like things were settling down Minnesota State went on a power play, the only PP opportunity MSU got all night, and notched an equalizer when Bryant scored. With the period drawing toward an end the Buckeyes used some beautiful puck movement to get it to Bruno who buried it with 1:00 left on the clock to give the Bucks a 2-1 lead.
Despite the lack of goals in the second the action didn't slow down. Ohio State put 11 SOG while MSU notched eight of its own as both teams kept trying to improve their stance heading into the third. The Buckeyes led SOG 24-to-12 after 40 minutes.
Minnesota State made things interesting early in the third when Bryant scored her second goal of the game to even things up at 2-2. The Mavericks also weathered a flurry of OSU shots in the third as the Bucks put 17 SOG, but MSU goaltender Abigail Levy held her ground through regulation and the teams went to overtime tied at 2-2.
The Mavericks controlled the opening faceoff and even put a SOG, but Jaques corralled the puck and fed it to a streaking Maltais who finished the shot, and the game, giving the Buckeyes a 3-2 lead and putting them one step closer to the WCHA Final Faceoff next weekend in Minneapolis.
The Buckeyes look to punch their ticket to the WCHA Final Faceoff with another win against Minnesota State on Saturday. Puck drop is set for 3:07 p.m. ET.