#9 Buckeyes shutout Huskies in series finale

Outside of The Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. February 2, 2019. Photo by Maddie MacFarlane.

The Huskies would be back at it Saturday afternoon looking to get revenge on the Buckeyes. It was a sloppy game for the cardinal and black the day before, but it’s a team capable of bouncing back, especially at home.

As he has all year both goalies have been available, Head Coach Eric Rud will swap goaltenders as Janine Alder (3-11-1) got the start on Saturday, but don’t let her record fool you as she’s been one of the best goalies in college hockey all season. Alder rocking a 2.39 goals against average (GAA) and a WCHA leading .940 save percentage, which is also good for 6th in the NCAA.

On the other side, Buckeyes Head Coach Nadine Muzerall will send out his trusty freshman in Andrea Braendli (13-9-0). Braendli also sports very good numbers with a 2.05 GAA and a .931 save percentage, both getting boosts after her shutout yesterday. It was her third career shutout, her first since a 1-0 shutout of #1 Wisconsin on January 11.

The Huskies came out looking a lot better than the previous day, even getting the first shot on goal and putting pressure on the Buckeyes. The Huskies would even successfully kill a penalty after Hannah Potrykus was called for a cross-check. That penalty kill looking a lot better like they performed in the previous series against Wisconsin.

After that successful kill, Julia Tylke and Charly Dahlquist would be whistled for matching slashing penalties, but neither team would be able to score four-on-four.

Despite coming out with a lot more energy, the first period result would mirror yesterday. The Buckeyes got the puck deep in the Husky zone behind the net, Ohio State’s Gabby Rosenthal centered a pass for Buckeye leading goalscorer Tatum Skaggs and Skaggs easily flipped it over Alder’s pads on the doorstep and it would be 1-0 Ohio State at 13:54 of the first. Samantha Bouley would be later credited with the secondary assist.

St. Cloud had a chance to equalize late in the period, but were just shy of a wide open net backdoor opportunity and Ohio State escaped the period unscathed and it would be 1-0 away team heading into the first intermission.

The second period would be anything but clean for both sides as there was a combined six penalties in the period. Senior Suvi Ollikainen would get called for a trip three minutes into the period, but the Husky penalty kill would reign supreme, even without one of their best penalty killers.

Ohio State wouldn’t need the power play to get back on the board however. Madison Field found herself open backdoor for an easy goal, her 12th of the season and a 2-0 lead for Ohio State. Assists credited to Jacques and Dunne.

Afterwards is when things would get a little chippy. At 8:26 of the period after a Husky scoring chance with the cardinal and black crashing the net, Lauren Boyle and Jenniina Nylund would both get matching minor penalties for roughing and we would have a brief four-on-four for the second time of the game, not a minute later Buckeye captain Jincy Dunne would get called for a cross-check and the Huskies would have a shortened four-on-three power play until the minors to Boyle and Nylund.

The Buckeyes would clear the penalty, but after coming out of the box Dunne would head right back in after committing another cross-checking penalty, but the Huskies were unable to convert the chance.

After coming out of the box, Dunne would later have a breakaway opportunity to increase the lead, but Alder would shut the door and St. Cloud would keep the deficit at 2-0.

There would be five total penalties in the second, with more to come in the third.

After trailing just 2-0 after two, the third would get away from the Huskies.

Captain Abby Thiessen with the puck. February 1, 2019. Photo by Tom Nelson.

Tylke would get whistled for roughing at 13:55 of the period, and would then draw a ten minute game misconduct for jawing with the refs. Dahlquist would take advantage of the power play chance and her 10th goal of the season gave the Buckeyes a 3-0 advantage late, seemingly ending the game. Assists to Maltais and Skaggs.

Rud isn’t one to quit. The bench boss would pull his netminder Alder trying to come up with a goal to inch back into the game, but it wouldn’t work out. Liz Schepers would score on the empty net with 2:22 left in the game to effectively ice the game then and there.

However, they still weren’t done. Ive Dynek would get whistled for checking and Jacyn Reeves would capitalize on their last power play chance scoring with just 28 seconds left in the game to tack on to the already large lead and the Huskies would fall to the #9 Buckeyes 5-0. Elise Riemenschneider and Maltais got the assists.

Despite the final score, the Huskies showed a lot better effort than in Friday’s contest battling all the way to the end despite how chippy the game got, especially during the second stanza.

“Much better” Rud said about his team’s effort. “Night and day in terms of our compete level, our everything. In every facet of the game I thought we were way better than the night before. We fought right to the end. The final score wasn’t indicative of the way the game was played at all” added Rud.

Eric Rud is liking what he sees in practice, being adamant about the improvement the team has showed and the growth they are showing him, it was just a lack of final execution during the game that hurt the Huskies. “It’s just bearing down and making the play when it’s available. I thought our moment was decent. Our ideas were decent, but there were two or three times where pucks were laying in the crease we just weren’t able to get a stick on it.”

Rud also thinks he saw enough things out of his team to bounce back nicely during the upcoming road trip.

Before the road trip however, the team has some business to take care of on Tuesday. Minnesota State comes to town to finish their series after the Mavericks made their way North to Bemidji on Hockey Day Minnesota back in January. The Huskies beat the Mavericks 3-1 in game one of the contest. Puck drop for the Huskies Tuesday night is set for 3:07 p.m. inside the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.

The Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. February 2, 2019. Photo by Maddie MacFarlane.
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