The Ohio State women’s hockey team will play for a second straight national title.
Northeastern provided little resistance to the Buckeyes on their path to get there in the Frozen Four semifinals in Duluth, Minnesota Friday, with Ohio State picking up a 3-0 victory to advance to the championship game. Junior goaltender Amanda Thiele made 15 saves to record her fourth shutout of the season.
Northeastern, the No. 5-seeded team in the country, looked overmatched against top-seeded Ohio State.
OSU outshot the Huskies 18-4 in the first period and 20-3 in the second, posting a ridiculous 53-15 shooting advantage across the contest. Senior goaltender Gwyneth Philips was the only thing keeping Northeastern in it early, saving 26 of the first 27 shots thrown her way to finish 50 for 53.
Eventually she wore down, however, and the Buckeyes pulled away.
Simply nothing could gain momentum for Northeastern. Trailing 1-0 in the second period, it got the benefit of a cross-checking penalty on a face-off and strung it together with a trip 35 seconds later to go up 5-on-3 for a full 1:25.
The largest threat to score in that timeframe came not from the team on a two-player advantage, but from Ohio State defenseman Sophie Jaques. Stealing a puck in the open ice, she broke away from the Huskies and nearly scored in a one-on-one opportunity against Philips.
Ohio State was simply dominant defensively and in controlling the puck. Northeastern didn’t put a single shot on net in the second period when it didn’t have a player advantage. Across 16 minutes of even strength, it was 17-0 OSU.
Following said 5-on-3 sequence, junior forward Makenna Webster fired a shot home from the top of the circles past Philips’ left side. A snipe from senior defenseman Hadley Hartmetz from back near the blue line ensued seven minutes later, giving the Buckeyes a 3-0 lead prior to the second intermission.
Northeastern, the top defense in the country in multiple statistical categories, had only given up three goals in a game once prior this season, a 3-0 loss at Providence. That was one of just two losses the Huskies had entering Friday.
Freshman forward Sloane Matthews struck first for the Buckeyes. Senior forward Kenzie Hauswirth handled a pass between the circle, skated right and fired a shot on net that Philips saved with a kick to her right. It ricocheted right to Matthews, however, who fired it home to make it 1-0 OSU less than two minutes into the contest.
Northeastern had a goal disallowed in the first period that would have evened the score 1-1 at the time, as the refs found an illegal hand pass.
Ohio State moves on to the National Championship Game Sunday, where it will meet the winner of second-seeded Minnesota and sixth-seeded Wisconsin. Puck drops at 4 p.m. in Duluth, Minnesota.