MINNEAPOLIS — Playing against the team wearing green the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day turned out to be a bad move for the Ohio State women’s hockey team.
The Buckeyes’ first trip to the Frozen Four came to a halt in overtime Friday when top-ranked Clarkson’s Loren Gabel scored and the defending national champs advanced 1-0.
Ohio State goalie Kassidy Sauve stopped the first 33 shots she faced before Gabel scored on a wrist shot after a pass from Elizabeth Giguere with 3:48 to play.
“Nice play by them. Obviously, I’d like to have that one back,” Sauve said in a brief postgame news conference. “That stuff happens in the game of hockey, but there’s not much I can do, I guess.”
The Buckeyes (24-11-4) dominated play for long stretches, especially in the third period, but could not solve Golden Knights goalie Shea Tiley, who had 41 saves for her 12th shutout of the season.
The Buckeyes killed an overtime penalty and came within inches of ending it when center Charly Dahlquist hit the post with a low shot. It was her second shot of the game to hit the post.
“Obviously not the result we wanted or what we came here for, but it doesn’t dictate the season these young women have had,” Ohio State coach Nadine Muzzerall said. “They played their hearts out. We scored a good goal (that was overturned), hit two pipes, killed off a penalty in overtime and just fell short.”
The opening period lacked goals but not action, as the Buckeyes dominated the opening five minutes and got the game’s first power play. But Clarkson’s defense stiffened, not allowing a shot during the two-minute advantage. The Knights (35-4-1) held an 11-8 edge in shots, with Sauve turning in two sprawling glove saves.
Ohio State made two notable offensive rushes early in the second period, with Liz Schepers shooting just wide on a break to the goal and Dahlquist clanking the left goalpost behind Tiley. They finally got a puck past Tiley with 7:27 to play in the second, but the goal by Jincy Dunne, on a rising slap shot from the blue line that beat the goalie up high, was waved off because of an interference penalty.
“I saw our player box somebody out, she was stronger and bigger,” Muzzerall said, arguing that the goal should’ve counted. “If you were to look at that play again, I’m not going to sit here and argue anything with that, but I just thought it was a nice shot and very nice faceoff play that we worked on in practice and executed.”
The Buckeyes also appeared destined to take a lead a few minutes later when Dunne slipped a cross-ice pass to Dahlquist for an apparent tap-in goal, only to have Tiley slide across the goalmouth for an unlikely right pad save. Ohio State had an 11-8 shots advantage in the second. The Buckeyes dominated the third period, outshooting the Knights 18-7 and repeatedly testing Tiley, to no avail.