The women’s hockey Buckeyes saved their best game for their biggest game. In the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, No. 6 Ohio State toppled No. 4 Boston College in a 2-0 win. The Bucks are on to the Frozen Four. Here’s how it went down.
|Scoring by Period||1||2||3||Final|
|No. 6 Ohio State||0||1||1||2|
|No. 4 Boston College||0||0||0||0|
Remember our keys to this game from the preview? Establish early control, get great goaltending, and win the special teams battle? Well check, check, and checkmate. The Buckeyes crushed every one of those points.
|Buckeye Goal Scorers (Assists)||Pd||Time|
|PP - Lauren Boyle (Julianna Iafallo, Dani Sadek)||2||10:12|
|Maddy Field (Julianna Iafallo)||3||15:43|
Ohio State dominated the first two periods. The Buckeyes were the clear aggressors, outshooting Boston College 32-15 over the 40-minute span. Few of the Eagles’ shots were difficult ones. Kassidy Sauve, with phenomenal support from her teammates, handled them all.
The OSU defenders kept BC’s shooters to the outside, kept Sauve’s sightlines open, and were quick to clear any wayward rubber from around the net. They got a big assist from the Buckeye forwards as well. Their aggressive forecheck helped neutralize the Eagles’ speed and killed many of Boston College’s attacks before they even reached center ice.
Special teams brought no better luck for BC. The Buckeye penalty killers shut down the nation’s No. 1 power play. The Eagles went 0-for-4 including nearly a minute of 5-on-3 advantage.
At the other end of the ice, Ohio State shelled the hell out of Katie Burt. Just about every Buckeye in the lineup was notable in the assault. They hit Burt with almost every type of shot you can think of from nearly every area of the ice. The BC netminder stood on her head to keep the Buckeyes off the board.
But the Scarlet and Gray would not be denied today. Halfway through the second period the Buckeyes finally lit up the scoreboard. On the power play, Lauren Boyle ripped a shot past Burt and put the Bucks up 1-0.
The score woke the Eagles up, but the Buckeyes rose to the challenge. They didn’t get flustered or frustrated. They stuck to their game and kept doing exactly what was working. The Bucks held their one-goal lead going into the third period.
A one-goal lead does not leave any room for error, though. As time ticked away on Boston College’s season, the No. 4 team in the nation put the hammer down and pressed hard for the tying goal. The Eagles outshot the Bucks 23-9 over the final 20 minutes. They controlled the puck for extended stretches, especially in the latter half of the frame, and began to utilize their speed against the tiring OSU defenders.
But Sauve was ready for them. She denied shot after shot, including a breakaway chance for the nation’s second-leading scorer and owner of 75 points on the season, Caitrin Lonergan. Then Sauve stoned Grace Bizal on a wide open, point blank opportunity. She foiled Lonergan again with a spectacular toe save in the late stages of the contest.
Maddy Field gave Sauve some breathing room with a shade under five minutes to play. She and Liz Schepers skated down ice on a bit of an odd-man rush. Field took the shot which was stopped by Burt, but she followed up her own rebound and slid home a second Buckeye goal. Ohio State defeated Boston College by a final score of 2-0.
Sauve turned back every one of BC’s 38 shots in the contest. This was shutout No. 10 for the Whitby Whitewash in the 2017-18 season. It was also the first blanking of the Eagles on their home ice since 2011.
Though Sauve was fantastic, her performance wasn’t the only one worth noting. This was without a doubt the best game I’ve seen the Buckeyes, as a team, play all season. Every single skater was notable for her efforts at some point. Jincy Dunne, Dani Sadek, and Lauren Boyle were tremendous defenders.
Field could have had two or three goals in this game, as could Emma Maltais or Charly Dahlquist or Tatum Skaggs or Liz Schepers. The team as a whole was relentless in its harassment of BC. There was no patch of ice the Eagles skated free from Buckeye pressure.
So, the dream season continues for Ohio State. In their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, the Buckeyes advance to their first-ever NCAA Frozen Four in Minneapolis. The Bucks take on No. 1 Clarkson next week. Fans not able to attend the game can catch it live on BTN or stream it via BTN2Go.
- See the postgame press conference with Lauren Boyle, Kassidy Sauve, and Nadine Muzerall here.
- Ohio State edged Boston College in shots, 41-38.
- Tatum Skaggs (7) led the Bucks followed by Charly Dahlquist, Maddy Field, Emma Maltais, and Jincy Dunne (6 each).
- The Buckeyes blocked 20 shots in the contest.
- Ten different Bucks recorded at least one block and Dani Sadek led the team with three.