After being on the end of 10-straight defeats at the hands of the Bulldogs, No. 3 Ohio State University finally found a way to sneak out of AMSOIL Arena with a 1-0 win against the No. 6 University of Minnesota Duluth Saturday afternoon.
The 1-0 setback is the first for the Bulldogs against the Buckeyes since Jan. 30, 2016 -- UMD is now 10-2 over that 12 game span. The low scoring affair followed a pattern for the Bulldogs, who departed the weekend series not only with a Western Collegiate Hockey Association split against third-ranked OSU, but the fourth lowest goals against average in the country at 1.38.
"I'm disappointed that we couldn't find the back of the net tonight, said UMD head coach Maura Crowell. "I feel like we competed hard but didn't have our best performance, obviously. It was 0-0 for most of that game and they popped in a funny one there and liked our battled back mentality right after they scored. I thought we pressed pretty hard in the third and liked our looks on the 6-on-5's. We just couldn't couldn't get to them, so credit the Ohio State goalie with a good performance and the rest of their team with shutting us out. This is a good offensive team that we have here, so that's not easy to do, and especially at home."
After a scoreless first period, the Buckeyes finally scored their first goal of the series late in the second period -- the 18:42 mark, to be exact. After peppering UMD goaltender Emma Soderberg for five periods over the series, the goal that finally got past Soderberg was a whimper instead of a bang, sneaking in between Soderberg's right skate and the post on a goal credited to Brooke Bink. Bink's first goal of the season not only ended 98:42 minutes of Soderberg holding the Buckeyes scoreless, but it also broke Soderberg's 230 minute shutout streak that the junior had begun on Nov. 28.
UMD rallied in the third period to outshot the Buckeyes 13-10 in the final 20 minutes, but it was OSU netminder Andrea Braendli's turn for the shutout, her first of the season.
Soderberg -- who tied her collegiate career-high saves mark of 34 after the second period -- made 44 in the contest for a new career-best mark. The Jarved, Sweden native owns the second lowest goals against average in the NCAA among players who have played over 50% of a team's games with a staggering 1.19 GAA, and also holds the same spot for saves percentage with a .958. Braendli finished her afternoon with 32 saves for the Buckeyes, who improved to 6-4 with the win.
UMD (5-3) will travel to Bemidji State, Minn. next weekend to play face Bemidji State University for the first time this season. The Friday-Saturday series gets underway in the Sanford Center at 7:37 p.m. Friday night.