Ohio State Women's Hockey Wins First WCHA Regular Season Title in Program History

By Jacob Rhee on February 19, 2023 at 7:21 pm
The Ohio State women's hockey team

It's been quite the 11-month run for the top-ranked Buckeyes.

With a 3-1 road victory over No. 6 Wisconsin in its regular season finale on Sunday, the defending national champion Ohio State women's hockey team secured its first-ever WCHA regular season title.

The Buckeyes entered the contest trailing Minnesota by a point in the conference standings, and were tasked with avenging their wild overtime loss to the Badgers less than 24 hours earlier.

Sunday's rematch remained scoreless into the third period until Wisconsin freshman Laila Edwards put the Badgers in front.

With her team's chances hanging in the balance, Emma Maltais delivered for Ohio State. With nine seconds left on the power play and just 4:17 remaining in regulation, the 23-year-old Canadian took a beautiful feed from senior Jennifer Gardiner and evened the score for the Buckeyes.

Overtime looked all but inevitable as the game clock dwindled to under a minute, but Ohio State had no plans to play an extra five minutes. Stellar defenseman Madison Bizal found the back of the net to put the Buckeyes on top.

Ohio State got back on the power play immediately after the go-ahead goal, and for good measure, Bizal found space and buried a stunner to seal the win. The fifth-year Buckeye had tallied just 10 career goals across 164 total appearances prior to Sunday, yet notched two in a 30-second span to close out Wisconsin.

Up next for Ohio State after a 28-4-2 regular season is the first round of the WCHA Tournament, with the No. 1 seed Buckeyes taking on No. 8 seed Bemidji State in a best-of-three series. Game 1 will be held in Columbus at 5 p.m. Friday.

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