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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 6/7 Ohio State University women’s ice hockey team used dominating offensive and defensive performances to bounce back and shutout the Penn State Nittany Lions 2-0 on Saturday afternoon in the OSU Ice Rink.
The Buckeyes (13-5-4, 8-2-4 WCHA) posted their fifth clean sheet of the season thanks in part to goaltender Kassidy Sauvé and her 24 saves. The redshirt junior leads the WCHA in saves, and ranks third nationally. She’s tied for the WCHA lead in shutouts and is also tied for second in the NCAA.
Ohio State held a 15-to-8 shots-on-goal advantage in the first period, but could not find the back of the net and went into the first intermission tied with Penn State at 0-0.
In the second, everything was coming up Buckeyes as Liz Schepers took a pass from Tatum Skaggs and drove to the net, lighting the lamp to give OSU the 1-0 lead. Lauren Boyle also earned an assist on the goal. The Buckeyes tried to add to their lead, notching 20 SOG during the period, but Penn State goaltender Hannah Ehresmann kept the Nittany Lions in the game by only allowing the lone goal, as OSU took a 1-0 lead into the third.
The third period saw the offensive onslaught wane as Penn State won the SOG battle for the period, 9-6, but a penalty shot from Grace Zarzecki found the back of the net to give Ohio State the commanding 2-0 lead. The Nittany Lions got a power play opportunity late, but Sauvé’s goaltending paired with the Buckeyes penalty kill helped secure the 2-0 Ohio State win.
“It’s a testament to this team, to their character and commitment to the program, that they came out like they did today,” head coach Nadine Muzerall said. “It’s a challenge to see if a team will hang their heads and feel sorry for themselves, or get out there and get after it. We were all over them in the first and second, and played smart in the third. I’m incredibly happy with how they responded today.”
The Buckeyes now look ahead to a top-10 clash with No. 9 Robert Morris. The teams split a series over Thanksgiving weekend at Robert Morris, and are now set for two games in Columbus. Puck drop for the series opener is set for 6:07 p.m. on Friday.
WHKY: Sauvé and Skaggs Earn WCHA Honors