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MANKATO, Minn. — The No. 5 Ohio State University women’s ice hockey team’s road woes continued to plague them as the Buckeyes dropped their Western Collegiate Hockey Association series opener against the Minnesota State Mavericks, 4-1, on Friday night.
The Buckeyes (19-8-4, 12-5-4 WCHA) out-shot MSU 36-to-20 for the game, but only found the back of the net once. Amanda Zeglen made her third start of the year in net, and her first start since November 11 when she earned a 5-3 win against Minnesota State.
Ohio State found themselves down early as Lindsey Coleman put the Mavericks on the board just 29 seconds into the game, slipping the puck past Zeglen on a rebounded shot. MSU added to its lead when Amanda Conway scored with 5:01 left in the period. At the end of the first the teams were knotted up with nine shots-on-goal each, but the Mavericks took a 2-0 lead into the locker room.
Things appeared to be changing for OSU in the second when Grace Zarzecki lit the lamp for the fifth time this year, cutting the MSU lead in half with 12:47 to play in the period. The Mavericks, however, responded just over a minute later when Coleman scored her second goal of the game to put Minnesota State up 3-1. Ohio State took a 21-to-16 SOG advantage into the third, but faced a 3-1 deficit with 20 minutes to play.
The Buckeyes continued to fire away trying to mount a rally, but could not get anything past MSU goaltender Chloe Crosby in the third. OSU put 15 SOG in the final 20 minutes, but the lone goal scored in the period came from the Maverick’s own Rebekah Kolstad with under seven minutes to play, clinching the 4-1 loss for Ohio State.
“We have to improve our selection,” Ohio State Head Coach Nadine Muzerall said. “We worked hard to get those scoring opportunities but we took some bad shots that negated that hard work. Zeglen made some important saves and kept us in it despite not seeing the ice since we played MSU in Columbus back in November.”
Lisa Bruno and Jincy Dunne tallied assists on Zarzecki’s goal. Liz Schepers led the team with seven SOG. Both Maddy Field and Lauren Boyle had five SOG each. Zeglen finished with 16 saves as she took the first loss of her career.
“We’ve got to stay sharp and focused when we’re on the road,” Muzerall continued. “We can’t win a championship playing in Columbus, and all roads to championships lead to Minneapolis. We have to learn how to win on the road."
The Buckeyes can take the first step in learning how to win on the road tomorrow when they go for a series split with Minnesota State. Puck drop for Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 3:07 p.m. ET start.
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