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Women’s Ice Hockey: No. 1 Buckeyes win 10th straight, sweep Minnesota State in penultimate home series

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Graduate forward Emma Maltais (17) readies for faceoff during the Ohio State-Minnesota State game Friday. Ohio State won 6-2. Credit: Amanda Bovenzi | For the Lantern

The No. 1 women’s ice hockey team filled the OSU Ice Rink to maximum capacity this weekend as the Buckeyes prevailed over Minnesota State in a 4-2 win Saturday in Columbus.

Freshman forward Sofie Lundin and junior defenseman Riley Brengman both scored their third goals of the season, helping the Buckeyes (24-2-2, 19-2-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) extend their winning streak to 10 games, an important confidence boost heading into next week’s rivalry matchup against No. 3 Minnesota.

Following the puck drop, junior forward Makenna Webster lit the lamp at 7:37 in the first period, earning the Buckeyes’ first goal of the game against the Mavericks (13-15-0, 7-15-0 WCHA) and her 12th of the season.

Just over two minutes later, graduate forward Paetyn Levis notched her 18th goal of the season to put Ohio State at a two-point advantage.

“We haven’t had a bad start when it was a sold out arena here,” associate head coach Peter Elander said. “I think it gets the players in a good mood. They feel that the whole town is behind them. The more people, the better.”

Freshman forward Sofie Lundin continued the Buckeye scoring streak after she found the back of the net with less than two minutes left of the frame, earning her third goal of the season.

Heading into the second period, graduate forward Emma Maltais made a shot presumed to be a fourth goal for Ohio State, but after further evaluation the officials determined it invalid.

After the play call, Minnesota State broke through the Buckeyes’ defense slightly under 10 minutes into the second period when the Mavericks capitalized on a power play. Senior defenseman Charlotte Akervik scored the goal, her fifth of the season, putting the Mavericks on the scoreboard.

Just one minute later, Minnesota State tightened the gap even more after senior forward Claire Butorac scored her sixth goal of the season.

“I think those moments are learning points that we can’t let up even if we have the lead, so I think it’s a good and a bad thing,” Maltais said.

Despite the Mavericks’ solid efforts, Ohio State once again saw an opportunity to increase the margin early on in the third period after Minnesota State senior defenseman Taylor Wemple received a five-minute penalty for contact to the head at 6:40.

Brengman seized the opportunity and found the back of the net for the third time this season less than three minutes into the power play. She described the goal as a momentum changer that helped push the Buckeyes forward in the final minutes.

“Two goals is obviously better than one, so having that cushion and playing that sound defense really helped us,” Brengman said.

The Buckeyes travel to Minnesota for an away series next weekend as the regular season winds down. Puck drop in the series opener Friday is set for 7 p.m.

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