COLUMBUS, Ohio — When it rains, it pours. And in Columbus, Ohio, where it has rained all week, the same was true for tonight’s WCHA showdown between the Buckeyes and No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth.
UMD (14-1-2, 12-1-2 WCHA) scored seven goals in the final two periods and cruised to an 8-3 victory over Ohio State (10-8-1, 9-8-0 WCHA).
The Bulldogs relied heavily on their top line of senior Caroline Ouellette and sophomores Noemie Marin and Jessica Koizumi. Marin and Koizumi tallied hat tricks, while Ouellette tallied one goal and four assists.
“Obviously they were having a lot of fun out there on the ice tonight,” UMD coach Shannon Miller said. “It’s pretty amazing when two players from the same line get a hat trick.”
UMD blew the game wide open with four second-period goals after it had been tied 1-1 entering the first intermission. Koizumi connected on a one-timer that sailed past senior OSU netminder Melissa Glaser at 9:19, giving UMD a 2-1 lead it would never relinquish. The goal came less than two minutes after Koizumi had a goal disallowed due to a kicked puck.
“There was a good connection between [Koizumi], [Ouellette] and me,” said Marin, who added three assists to her totals as well. “It was our first game all playing together, and I think we saw each other well on the ice.”
Marin attributed the scoring outburst to quick puck movement, but UMD also skated much quicker than OSU. Most every time the Buckeyes managed to get a shot on goal, the Bulldogs took the rebound back up the ice before OSU defenders could get back.
“They’re quick, and we had a little trouble containing their speed,” OSU coach Jackie Barto said. “We’ve got to use our speed too.”
The Buckeyes were paced offensively by senior captain Meaghan Mulvaney, who was responsible for two of the OSU’s scores. Her second goal came 19:14 in the third period when the game was all but over. The native of Sylvania, Ohio intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and drove towards UMD sophomore goalie Riitta Schaublin, deftly backhanding a shot past her stick-side.
“Our captain competed to the end,” Barto said. “She’s an inspiration out there.”
“It doesn’t matter how much time is left: You have to put the puck in the net,” Mulvaney said. “You can’t give up and you can’t let down.”
Schaublin turned away 19 of the 22 shots she faced, while Glaser stopped 27 of 35.
Both teams skated with confidence during the first period. UMD got on board at 5:10 on a blast from the blue line fired by Koizumi, but the Buckeyes retaliated at 17:05 when Mulvaney backhanded a pass from junior forward Jana Harrigan through Schaublin’s five-hole.
“In the first period we struggled a little bit, but we picked it up and put some goals in the net,” Marin said. “Between the first and the second we just talked to each other and said ‘We can do it, let’s get the puck up there quickly,’ and that’s what we did.”
The Buckeyes were left scratching their heads trying to find a way to beat the Bulldogs. In the 27 meetings between these teams, UMD is 23-2-2 overall. The Bulldogs are not counting OSU out in game two, however.
“The most important thing is we realize that tomorrow night is a whole different game,” Miller said. “It’s a fresh start, and Ohio State’s going to be hungry to come out and prove that they’re a better team than that. I believe they are a better team than that.”