GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Two more players recorded their first goals of the season as the No. 4/5 University of North women’s hockey team downed Ohio State, 5-2, Friday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
North Dakota (4-0-1, 2-0-1-1 WCHA) started off the game with a 3-0 lead, but Ohio State (2-1-1, 1-1-1-0 WCHA) battled back to cut UND’s lead to just one goal to start the third period. Fortunately, UND’s third-period heroics flourished for a third-game in a row, as North Dakota scored two more goals to finish off the Buckeyes, 5-2.
“What I like about this group is that we can be really kind of ‘meh’, and then come out, flush it, leave it behind and just play and start over,” head coach Brian Idalski. “Obviously, I would love for us to play a full game with that kind of intensity and grit, but for us to be able to shake that off, like it never happened, is a huge trait.”
UND started the game off with a bang, getting on the board within the first minute of play.
Sophomore defenseman Tanja Eisenschmid intercepted a pass at the OSU blue line and fired a shot back on net. The shot hit an Ohio State defenseman and deflected pass OSU’s goalie Chelsea Knapp, for Eisenschmid’s first goal of the season.
Continuing to ride the momentum, Halli Krzyzaniak netted her first goal of the season just four minutes later. While on the power play, UND set up in the Ohio State zone and began to work the puck around. Sam LaShomb and Gracen Hirschy worked the puck over to Krzyzaniak at the left face-off dot. She then fired a hard wrist shot that beat Knapp to give UND the 2-0 lead.
North Dakota then earned its second power play of the game less than another four minutes later and this time LaShomb and Krzyzaniak would help set up Andrea Dalen. She received a great pass at the far side of the net, and with Knapp sliding over taking away everything down low, Dalen sniped the puck over Knapp’s shoulder from an oblique angle, making the water bottle jump in celebration.
UND would head into the first intermission with a 3-0 lead and with a 9-4 lead in shots.
However, Ohio State rebounded in the second period, scoring two of its own power-play goals and outshooting UND, 10-7, to bring the score back within one.
The third period began with neither team really gaining an edge over the other, but as North Dakota adjusted to the more aggressive OSU forecheck, UND began to create more chances.
Becca Kohler created a turnover at the UND blue line and passed the puck up to Meghan Dufault, who started up the ice a two-on-one with Michelle Karvinen. Racing toward the net, Dufault made a perfect pass to Karvinen at the back door, who one-timed the puck past Knapp for her second goal of the season. The goal also extends Karvinen’s point streak to six games.
Capping off the night for North Dakota, Kohler scored an unassisted goal after picking up a turnover in the OSU zone. Kohler skated in on net along the left flank, and fired a slap shot from the face-off dot, ringing the puck off the far post for her second goal of the season.
UND goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie picked up her 23rd career win, posting 20 saves, including eight in the third period.
Penalty killing was absent in the contest, as both sides scored on both of their power-play chances.
UND is now undefeated through the first-five games to start the season, a program record.
North Dakota wraps up its series with the Buckeyes tomorrow night back at Ralph Engelstad Arena at 7:07 p.m.