Women’s Hockey: Ohio State Wins National Championship 1-0 Over Wisconsin

By March 24, 2024 (6:26 pm)Hockey, Sports, Women's Hockey

Ohio State won its second-ever national championship on Sunday, beating Wisconsin 1-0 in a defensive battle that lasted until the final 10 minutes of the game.

Freshman Joy Dunne scored the game-winner with 7:12 left in the game and was assisted by two other newcomers to the team for the 2023-24 season in Hannah Bilka and Cayla Barnes. Goalkeeper Raygan Kirk finished the game with 26 saves.

The Buckeyes beat the Badgers in front of 4,378 fans in Durham, N.H., the third-highest attended national championship ever, and the highest since 2006.

The top two offenses in the country matched up for the sixth time this season with the No. 1 Buckeyes holing a 3-2 advantage in the series, though the No. 2 Badgers two wins both came in the two most recent matchups, one the WCHA conference championship.

Ohio State has scored 5.26 goals per game this season to Wisconsin’s 5.12, far ahead of any other teams in the country, and the Buckeyes defense ranked fifth in the country, giving up just 1.34 goals per game to the Badgers’ 1.52.

Despite the two strong offenses, the first period was scoreless. The Buckeyes managed to get eight shots off to Wisconsin’s seven, but none found the back of the net.

Ohio State’s advantage in shots – which it has had in every game its played this season – started to widen in the second period when it had five shots in the first five minutes to the Badgers one.

With no score through two periods, it was the longest the two teams had gone scoreless against each other this season.

Wisconsin had a chance to score six minutes into the third period on a crossing pass with the right side of the net open, but Riley Brengman made a diving play to misdirect the puck and send it through the cutting Badgers’ legs and keep the game scoreless.

The Buckeyes finally broke the seal with just over seven minutes left to go in the game, scored by Dunne, the NCAA Rookie of the Year from the high side of the right circle, finding the upper left of the net on a pass from Bilka, also assisted by Barnes.

Ohio State stayed true to form and remained aggressive despite the lead, looking to cushion it in the final minutes of the game.

Wisconsin went with an empty net with just over 1:30 left in the game to try to tie the game up, but nothing came of the advantage and Dunne’s goal was enough to take the win in the Buckeyes third straight national championship appearance.

image_pdfClick for PDFimage_printClick to Print