Women’s hockey drops WCHA opener

Hitting the ice against a WCHA opponent for the first time since March, the UMD women’s hockey team suffered an early-season setback by dropping a pair of games to Ohio State last weekend at Amsoil Arena. The Bulldogs fell by scores of 3-1 and 3-2 in their first official games of the year. They previously won a pair of exhibition games over the professional Minnesota Whitecaps on Sept. 28-29.

A pair of early Ohio State goals doomed the Bulldogs on Friday. Kayla Sullivan scored for the Buckeyes just 55 seconds into the game and Hokey Langan added a power play goal just six minutes later to give Ohio State an early 2-0 lead.

UMD senior Katie Wilson scored the Bulldogs’ first goal of the game, and of the year, late in the first period. But UMD couldn’t spark a rally, and it wasn’t until the third period that Ohio State’s Paige Semenza scored the game’s final goal as the Buckeyes cruised to a 3-1 victory.

Freshman Kayla Black was in net for the Bulldogs. She stopped 22 of the 25 shots the Buckeyes put on net. The Bulldogs put 18 shots on net, but goalie Chelsea Knapp was solid, stopping 17 of them.

Looking to rebound in Saturday’s game, the Bulldogs got on the board first, but couldn’t hold on for the win.

UMD senior defenseman Jessica Wong struck first, netting a goal just 15 seconds into the game. But the lead was short lived. Ohio State’s Taylor Kuehl and Minttu Tuominen put the Buckeyes ahead with goals later in the period.

A Pernilla Winberg goal tied it for the Bulldogs in the third period, but Tuominen again struck for the Buckeyes, delivering the game-winner with less than four minutes to play in regulation.

UMD outshot Ohio State in the game, 25-21, but Knapp was again solid in net.

UMD will be at home again this weekend, hosting the University of Wisconsin. It will be the first time the teams have played since the Bulldogs knocked off the Badgers, then the nation’s top-ranked team, in last year’s WCHA Final Face-Off.

BY TOM OLSEN olsen450@d.umn.edu

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