One goal wasn’t enough for the Ohio State women’s hockey team to fight off conference foe No. 9 North Dakota on Friday.
North Dakota (7-5-5, 5-4-4) and the Buckeyes (7-8-2, 3-8-2) were forced to play overtime to determine a winner, but after the additional five-minute frame, the game officially ended in a tie at 1-1. The Fighting Hawks came out victorious in the shootout, earning an extra point in the conference standings.
Despite the unfavorable outcome, sophomore forward Maddy Field was pleased with the way OSU played, especially after its recent loss to No. 8 Minnesota State.
“I’m really proud of us coming back from the loss in Mankato (Minnesota). That was really hard on our team,” Field said. “I think we came out and gave everything we (could). Obviously it sucks to lose in a shoot-out, but we’re going to come back tomorrow.”
The game started with strong offensive pressure from the Fighting Hawks, who outshot the Buckeyes 5-1 in the first three minutes of play.
OSU was quick to respond, with sophomore forward defenseman Jacyn Reeves, junior forward Julianna Iafollo and Field each coming within inches of scoring.
Redshirt sophomore goaltender Kassidy Sauve proved to be a powerhouse defender throughout the period. During North Dakota’s power play with four minutes remaining, Sauve encountered and stopped five tough shots within the two-minute span, at one point defending the net without her stick.
A penalty on North Dakota two minutes later put the Buckeyes on the power play with less than two minutes to play, giving OSU an extra advantage heading into the second period.
The 36 seconds remaining in the power play were just enough for the Buckeyes to get on the board. With an assist from Iafollo and junior defenseman Dani Sadek, Field found an opening around Fighting Hawks’ goaltender Lexie Shaw and scored the first goal of the game. It was Field’s sixth goal of the season.
Despite a strong offensive effort from the Fighting Hawks, the Buckeyes ended the period with a one-goal lead.
The third period proved to be a challenge for OSU as fatigue began to weigh down players. North Dakota took advantage of the Buckeyes’ waning strength and tied the game with 12 minutes left to play.
OSU coach Nadine Muzerall said she thought the team’s time off the previous weekend is to blame for the tiredness.
“You know we were kind of dying out in the third (period) and I think that was due to having the bye week,” Muzerall said. “But they played sensational hockey for what I would say 50 minutes of it … so I’m pleased with their effort this evening.”
The tied score would carry through the end of regulation, sending the game into overtime and an eventual shoot-out, which ended in favor of the Fighting Hawks.
Regardless of the disappointing result, Field is confident that if the Buckeyes recreate Friday’s performance, they have a fighting chance against in the second leg against North Dakota.
“I’m excited,” Field said. “I mean obviously I’m really upset that we just lost, but I think that if we come out how we did today, we can give them a run for their money again.”
Saturday’s game is set for 3:07 p.m. at the OSU Ice Rink.