UMD women’s hockey falls to Ohio State 3-2, finish NCAA Frozen Four runners up

The eighth ranked University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) women’s hockey team finished NCAA tournament runners up after falling in the Women’s Frozen Four Ice Hockey championship to top-seeded Ohio State University (OSU) 3-2 Sunday the at Pegula Ice Arena in State College, Pennsylvania. Making their seventh program championship appearance this is UMD’s second runner up finish.

The title game marked the sixth time in league history the championship race was between two Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) teams, and the 19th time a WCHA program earned a NCAA title.

The first period would end scoreless with UMD senior goalie Emma Soderberg making 10 of her 36 saves, while OSU’s Amanda Thiele finished with 17 saves.

In the second period Anna Klein would be sent to the box for hooking and Ohio State’s Paetyn Levis would capitalize scoring to take the 1-0 lead. Naomi Rogge, who scored the game-winner Friday over Northeastern, tipped in a shot to tie up up 1-1 with under seven minutes left in the second period.

Ohio State opened the third period scoring 30 seconds in from Claire DeGeorge. A minute later UMD’s Elizabeth Giguere tied it back up 2-2 with about 18 minutes to go in the game. In 2018 she scored the game winning goal to lift Clarkson to a NCAA championship.

With 6:40 to go in the game OSU took back the lead 3-2 with a goal from Kenzie Hauswirth. That would be the game-winning goal with a final score of 3-2 earning the Buckeyes their first title in their first title game appearance.

UMD closes out their season 27-12-1.

"This only adds experience. I know last year going to the frozen four was huge for us and we use that again this year to add confidence and experience to our game," said senior forward Taylor Anderson.

For the first time ever in the NCAA Division I title game both benches featured all female coaching staffs, including UMD alum Zoe Hickel serving as an assistant coach for the Buckeyes. Skating for UMD from 2011-2015 she served as a two-time captain leading the Bulldogs in scoring.

"Weird game. Most importantly to us I liked our responses, just coming back from some flukey plays that sometimes it’s hard to do but we did it and unfortunately ran out of time in the end. We will be back," stated head coach Maura Crowell.

This caps off the first 11 team Women’s Ice Hockey tournament, expanded from eight teams just this season.