College women's hockey preview: Minnesota Duluth at Ohio State
No. 5 Minnesota Duluth (2-2, 0-0 WCHA) at No. 7 Ohio State (3-0-1, 1-0-1)
What: UMD's WCHA opener
When: 5:07 p.m. Friday/2:07 p.m. Saturday
Where: OSU Ice Rink, Columbus, Ohio
Series: UMD leads 65-15-13 after winning all four games last season
Coaches: Maura Crowell, in her third season at UMD, is 42-30-6 and 65-37-10 for her career; Nadine Muzerall, in her second season at Ohio State, is 17-18-6.
UMD update: The Bulldogs are coming off a pair of road losses at No. 3 Boston College. Senior Jessica Convery and sophomore Catherine Johnson both started a game in goal and gave up four goals apiece. Convery (.933 save percentage, 1.34 goals-against average) posted a pair of shutouts the opening weekend at home against Penn State. Johnson (.846, 4.00) made her first collegiate start Saturday. Half of the Bulldogs' goals have come on power plays, including three last week. UMD is 4-for-14 on power plays so far for a 28.6 percent conversion rate. That's up from last year's 15.8 percent. Freshman forward Ashton Bell scored her first two collegiate goals last week to tie sophomore defenseman Jalyn Elmes for the team high. Sophomore forward and captain Sydney Brodt is the team scoring leader with four points on a goal and three assists.
Ohio State update: The Buckeyes are coming off a historic weekend at their coach's old stomping grounds, Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. Ohio State took five of six points from Minnesota, where Muzerall was a player and assistant coach. Friday's 3-2 win was the Buckeyes' first over the Gophers since Oct. 20, 2007, and first win at Ridder since Jan. 12, 2007. Junior goaltender Kassidy Sauve, a second-team All-American as a sophomore, sports a 1.96 GAA, .925 save percentage and one shutout through four games. She was picked as the WCHA Preseason Player of the Year. Freshman forward Tatum Skaggs leads the team in scoring with five goals and three assists. The Buckeyes are captained by senior forward Julianna Iafallo, the younger sister of former UMD men's All-American Alex Iafallo.
Quote: "Up front they have some pretty exciting players that they added, a couple freshmen in Emma Maltais and Tatum Skaggs. Those are good players right there who can put the puck in the net." — Crowell