COLUMBUS, Oh. - The No. 9-ranked Ohio State women's ice hockey team posted a 4-1 victory over St. Lawrence Friday at the OSU Ice Rink. The Buckeyes came out strong, putting up two goals in the first period from Sophie Jaques and Liz Schepers. The Saints picked up the intensity in the second period and tallied their lone goal of the contest, but could not narrow the gap before time expired.
The Buckeyes improve to 1-0-0 overall (0-0 WCHA) while the Saints slip to 0-1-0 (0-0 ECAC). The teams will close the weekend series at 3:07 p.m. Saturday in the OSU Ice Rink.
Schepers led the squad with three points on two goals and one assist. Her second goal came with 1:48 to play and was an empty netter. Paetyn Levis added to the scoring in the second period and notched her fourth career goal. Jincy Dunne captained the defense with eight blocked shots on the night. The win marked the eighth straight season opening victory for the Buckeyes.
The Ohio State freshmen were involved in the season opener as defenseman Teghan Inglis tallied an assist and forward Brooke Bink notched a team-high seven shots on the night.
Sophomore goaltender Andrea Braendli finished the evening with 24 saves.
Nadine Muzerall on the freshman class
"We have some size and speed with our freshman class," said Muzerall. "We expect them to agitate our opponents with their speed and physicality. I just wanted to make sure they felt loose. They were pretty worried coming into today but they had great leadership because we spread out our lines so that they were playing with veterans and they could feel comfortable. And the talk in the locker room I think helped guide them to feel confident, and so I'm very excited to see what they can do for the rest of the season."
In the first... The Buckeyes came out hard and set the pace of the game early with 21 first period shots to St. Lawrence's six. Ohio State's special teams proved to be a difference maker as Jaques put away the first goal of the game on the opening power play. Schepers and Inglis tallied assists on the play. Less than nine minutes later Schepers earned her second point of the game and slipped her shot past St. Lawrence goalkeeper Jaimie Rainville. Lisa Bruno assisted on the play as well as Levis. The Buckeyes were 2-2 on the penalty kill in the opening period to put the Scarlet and Gray up 2-0 going into the first intermission.
In the second... Saint Lawrence stifled the Buckeyes' first period momentum as they held Ohio State to 11 shots in the second period. Over halfway into the period Levis picked up her second point of the night as she converted one of her two shots of the game. Emma Maltais got on the scoresheet with an assist and Jaques tallied her second point of the contest. The Saints put up 10 shots in the period and Brittney Gout tallied late in the second to put St. Lawrence on the board.
In the third... The two teams played a fairly even final period as both squads put up nine shots. The Buckeyes held off the Saints on two penalty kills, giving the PK unit a 100% success rate on the night. The Saints held Ohio State scoreless until Schepers buried an empty net goal on a breakout pass from Dunne.
Liz Schepers post game interview
"Our big thing was coming out with a lot of energy," said Schepers. "With the way things ended last year we really wanted to come out with that chip on our shoulder and prove that we're a team that's going to be tough to compete with every single night."