Fighting Hawks Advance to Final Face-off

UND Women's hockey wins series over Ohio State.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (UND Athletics) — Just like the game-three overtime game-winner seven years ago by Monique Lamoureux, freshman Emma Nuutinen scored in OT to send the UND women’s hockey team to its seventh-straight WCHA Final Face-Off with a 2-1 win over Ohio State on Sunday afternoon.

It was the second overtime of the weekend for the two teams, as Ohio State claimed the win in OT on Friday night. With the win, UND improves to 16-15-6 on the season and will play in the semifinals of the Final Face-Off on Saturday afternoon at Ridder Arena.

After UND out-shot, 70-32, over the first two games, Ohio State came out and nearly doubled its shots on goal for the weekend, putting 29 on net. The Buckeyes also out-shot UND in the third period, 14-10, as they were able to tie the game in a late push. However, North Dakota rallied back and out-shot OSU, 6-2, in overtime before claiming the series win.

The Fighting Hawks scored first for the fourth-straight time against the Buckeyes, as Kayla Gardner scored her sixth goal of the season at the 13:53 mark of the first period.

Nuutinen moved the puck up the ice to Hallie Theodosopoulos for a two-on-one with Gardner. Theodosopoulos saw Gardner moving in at the backdoor and made a perfect pass for an easy tap-in goal.

Both teams then locked into a defensive battle, as both goaltenders, Kassidy Sauve for OSU and Lexie Shaw for UND made stops on breakaways to keep the score at 1-0. Shaw was also helped out in the second period when Jordan Hampton blocked an open-net chance to keep the Buckeyes scoreless through 40 minutes of play.

Ohio State finally broke through midway through the third period with a backdoor goal. The Buckeyes began to pressure North Dakota late in regulation as all the pressure began to shift onto UND. Luckily, the Fighting Hawks weathered the storm and regrouped for overtime.

Shaw was called upon to make two saves in overtime, but besides those two OSU shots, it was all UND in the extra frame.

North Dakota looked poised to net a goal around the five-minute mark of OT after a strong possession by UND resulted in a prolonged shift for the Buckeyes’ defensemen that were stuck on the ice.

However, the game-winner would come later at the 9:04 mark when UND entered the zone with a three-on-two opportunity. Nuutinen carried the puck in down the right side with Vilma Tanskanen and Gracen Hirschy trailing in for support.

Instead of looking for a pass, Nuutinen opted to end the game on her terms. She cut towards the net, skating past OSU defenseman, and USA National Team member Jincey Dunne, before pulling Sauve out of position for an open net goal on the far side.

Shaw had a standout game in net for North Dakota, making a weekend-high 28 saves for her 15th win of the season. Sauve made 31 saves for the Buckeyes.

North Dakota’s opponent for the semifinals of the WCHA Final Face-Off has yet to be determined. North Dakota will either play Wisconsin at 2:07 p.m. (CT) or Minnesota Duluth at 5:07 p.m. on Saturday at Ridder Arena.

Categories: College, Top Sports Headlines