Ohio State women's hockey began the 2017-18 season in a familiar way, with a sweep of Rensselaer. This is same result as the Buckeyes posted in Week 1 last season. However this year they improved the way in which they achieved that result.
|Scoring by Period||1||2||3||final|
The Bucks came out firing on Saturday. RPI had two power play opportunities in the opening period and the Buckeyes still outshot the Engineers 17-5. Freshman Emma Maltais notched the first OSU goal of the day. It was the first collegiate score for the Burlington, Ontario native and her third point of the series.
Fellow freshman Tatum Skaggs, chief tormentor of Rensselaer this week, extended the lead for the Scarlet and Gray. She dinged goalie Lovisa Selander in the first minute of the second period for a 2-0 Ohio State advantage. In all Skaggs totaled a team-leading four points (3g, 1a) against RPI.
|pd||time||buckeye goal scorers (assists)|
|1||6:32||Emma Maltais (Charly Dahlquist, Tatum Skaggs)|
|2||0:50||Tatum Skaggs (unassisted)|
|2||10:36||Lauren Boyle (Julianna Iafallo, Lauren Spring)|
|3||10:30||Maddy Field (unassisted)|
The Bucks’ veterans sealed the deal with a pair of goals. Junior Lauren Boyle put Ohio State ahead 3-0. Classmate Maddy Field chipped in her second tally of the series midway through the third period.
Four goals was more than enough support for goaltender Kassidy Sauve who thwarted all 21 of Rensselaer's attempts to earn her second victory and first shutout of the season. Today's blanking was the thirteenth of Sauve's collegiate career. She continues to establish herself as a contender for the title of greatest Buckeye goalie of all time.
Last year the Bucks managed to sweep RPI despite being outshot 68-45 and coughing up 15 power play opportunities. This time around, facing a nearly identical Engineers roster, the Bucks dominated the shot count (81-47), made half as many trips to penalty box, and displayed a greater killer instinct in cementing their victories. All in all this series looked like another solid building block for a notably improved Ohio State team.
Now the Buckeyes get ready to test their early momentum in a road series at No. 3 Minnesota. The Gophers provided the first major buzz of the 2017-18 season on Friday when they were upset by unranked Merrimack. Ohio State and Minnesota square off in a Friday-Saturday series next week.