Ohio State scored three straight goals and secured a strong goal from Andrea Brendley on Friday night as the Buckeyes beat No. 4 Minnesota 4-2 in the women’s hockey season opener at Ridder Arena.
Brandley made a big move by allowing a goal in the first period. Each Gopher’s rush was sealed off by a senior goaltender. Brandley ended the night with 34 saves.
“She was great, not a lot of second and third chances. When we had those opportunities, somehow it stayed out of the net,” said Gophers coach Brad Frost. “She played really solid.”
Ohio State dominated the second period as the Buckeyes scored two more goals. Jenna Buglioni broke the tie with a backhand shot that skimmed the shoulder of Gophers goalkeeper Lauren Bench and found the back of the net. About four minutes later, Claire DeGeorge secured the second half of the game to give Bucky a two-goal lead.
It ended up being all the Buckeyes needed to take down Minnesota after their quick start.
The game got off to a good start for Minnesota in its 25th season of women’s hockey. The Gophers were pushing the Buckeyes from the start, building constant pressure in the offensive zone. Minnesota joined the board courtesy of Peyton Hemp, grabbing his first career goal.
Everything was going well for Minnesota during the first half of this period. Then came the punishment.
“It was exactly what we wanted and how we wanted to play. (Penalty) took the pace down a bit, but our game was quick, we just need to do it more consistently,” Frost said in the opening period .
The Gophers accumulated four penalties in the first period alone, one of which led to a draw by D’George, with only seven minutes remaining. Minnesota completely gave up on its momentum, and Ohio State found itself back in the game.
“We have to stay out of the box. Just have to find a way to do this and put our hands down. Our team was pretty excited to move forward, and I think that could be the reason. But overall we just had to keep our Needs to have hands and sticks,” Frost said.
Minnesota eventually regained momentum after several offensive field increases, but Brandley continued to close them early in the second period. This opened the door for Ohio State, and unlike Minnesota, the Buckeyes were able to find the back of the net. Not once, twice.
The Gophers weren’t completely out of things as senior Taylor Haise was finally able to get a past Brandley on a snipe from the slot late in the game. With only two minutes remaining, Minnesota was back within one, but by then it was too late.
Moments later, Ohio State’s Petin Lewis made a blank netter to push things out of reach.
Minnesota and Ohio State are back in action Saturday at 3 p.m.