The Buckeyes return to the Frozen Four.
No. 1 Ohio State defeated No. 7 Quinnipiac 4-3 in double overtime in the quarterfinals of the 2022 NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament at OSU Arena on Saturday.
Ohio State graduate forward Clair DeGeorge scored twice in the Buckeyes’ win, including the game-winning shot that floated over Quinnipiac graduate goaltender Corinne Schroeder’s shoulder and into the net.
“You knew it wasn’t going to be a pretty goal,” Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall said. “But we’ll take it.”
Despite Schroeder’s 73 saves, tied for sixth by a goaltender in an NCAA tournament women’s hockey game, Ohio State’s shot volume — a new record program of 77 — was too difficult to overcome in the second overtime.
“We had talked in the locker room about trying to make it five holes, and it was a bit of a lucky bounce and ended up going up and over his shoulder,” DeGeorge said. “It’s just about getting the pucks into the net and we were hoping that we were going to get a lucky rebound there eventually and that’s what we got.
The Bobcats have drawn first blood from the stick of first-year forward Ann-Frédérik Naud.
The Montreal native’s first career goal gave Quinnipiac a 1-0 lead with 11:34 left in the first period.
Ohio State responded on the power play with less than a minute left in the first frame. Buckeye sophomore defenseman Riley Brengman landed a top shelf shot past Schroeder to tie the game at one.
Early in the second, DeGeorge scored from in front of the net on the power play to give the Buckeyes the lead.
Freshman forward Maya Labad answered for Quinnipiac, tossing the puck at Thiele from close range with just over 13 minutes left in the second to tie the game 2-2.
Despite going back and forth, the remainder of the second half was scoreless after Labad ended, drawing a 2-2 tie going into the third.
Ohio State senior defenseman Sophie Jaques slid down the right side of the ice and fired a shot into the top left corner of the net, scoring her 21st goal of the year and giving Ohio State a lead 3-2 with 5:41 to go.
Quinnipiac was held scoreless for the next 15 minutes. The Bobcats failed to field possession in the third, allowing Ohio State to dictate the tempo and control.
After Quinnipiac retired his goaltender in the bottom of the third, Bobcats graduate forward Taylor House hit the puck on the power play with 1:22 left in regulation to tie the game 3-3.
Despite several chances in net, the Buckeyes couldn’t score in the final minute and the settlement ended in a 3-3 draw.
DeGeorge said while a late goal can sometimes be demoralizing, the Buckeyes kept fighting because they could only handle what was left in front of them.
“Our team came together and we supported each other,” DeGeorge said. “There were mistakes, but we got the puck and we kept going.
In overtime, Ohio State senior forward Paetyn Levis slipped on a breakaway opportunity as she received a pass, losing the puck with 4:22 left.
The Buckeyes took 19 shots on goal in the first overtime period — none of them found net — and the first overtime ended scoreless on either side.
Just over two minutes into the second period of overtime, DeGeorge’s shot from the left front of the goal streaked through the air and fell across the line, securing the victory.
Muzerall said the ability to stay calm and come together helped the Buckeyes finish, despite long stretches of play and numerous unsuccessful shots.
“My team, their relentless pursuit to win was impressive today,” Muzerall said. “Nobody cared who put the puck in the net, nobody cared about the ice time, they were just a united front and wanted to win.
Ohio State will face No. 5 Yale in the Frozen Four program’s third appearance on Friday at State College, Pa. with the option of playing in the program’s first national championship game with a win.