March 1, 2013
DULUTH, Minn. - The Ohio State women's hockey team outlasted Minnesota Duluth Friday afternoon in game one of their first round WCHA Playoffs series; winning 4-2 at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth. The Buckeyes take a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-three format.
Special teams played a crucial role as the Buckeyes converted on three of four power play opportunities while killing off all three of the Bulldogs power play chances. Redshirt junior goaltender Chelsea Knapp stopped 21 of 23 shots faced to backstop Ohio State.
The Buckeyes had to play from behind early in the game as the Bulldogs took a one goal lead only 3:38 into the opening period. Brigette Lacquette scored for UMD with an assist from Zoe Hickel.
Ohio State took advantage of the game's first power play to knot the score up at 1-all at 12:29 of the first. Following an interference call on the Bulldogs, junior forward Ally Tarr put one by rookie goaltender Karissa Grapp. Tarr was set up nicely on the play from sophomore forward Taylor Kuehl. Sophomore Sara Schmitt was also credited with an assist on the score.
Senior forward Paige Semenza netted the Buckeyes second power play goal at the 18:20 mark of the first following another interference call on UMD. The 13th goal of the season for Semenza was assisted on by junior Annie Svedin and Schmitt; their 13th and 21st helpers of the season, respectively.
The Bulldogs scored the equalizer 8:58 into the second period on a goal by Vanessa Thibault. Brienna Gillanders and Laquette picked up the assists on the score.
Back on the power play the Buckeyes jumped out front once again when Svedin fired one past Grapp from the top of the zone, putting OSU up 3-2. The goal was the fourth for Svedin this season. Seniors Hokey Langan and Tina Hollowell tallied assists on the game-winning goal from Svedin.
Minnesota Duluth would get their chances in the third, including two power play opportunities in the final six minutes, but the Buckeyes defense held strong. Langan extended the lead to 4-2 with an empty-net score at 18:15 of the third, with senior Minttu Tuominen and Semenza recording assists.
Ohio State (18-14-3, 13-13-3 WCHA) and Minnesota Duluth (14-15-4, 13-14-2 WCHA) will play game two of the series Saturday with game time set for 3:07 p.m. ET at AMSOIL Arena.