What: Western Collegiate Hockey Association series
When: 2:07 p.m. today/Saturday
Where: Schottenstein Center, Columbus, Ohio
Records: UMD 4-4-2, 2-4-2; Ohio State 3-4-2, 2-4-2
Rankings: Neither team is ranked in USCHO.com poll.
Series: UMD leads 50-11-4, but went 2-4 last season.
Coaches: Shannon Miller, in her 15th season, is 352-121-41; Nate Hadrahan is 38-35-9 in three seasons.
UMD update: The Bulldogs return to the ice after a bye week that saw the team put through the rigors in practice after losing and tying at home the week before against winless St. Cloud State. Despite a 93-51 shots-on-goal advantage, UMD lost 4-1 and tied 1-1 before grabbing an extra conference point by winning the shootout. Depth-challenged UMD welcomes back defenseman Tea Villila, who helped Finland to a runner-up finish in the Four Nations Cup, but could be without two other injured players plus senior center Brienna Gillanders (out for the season). Junior forward Jenna McParland leads the team in scoring with six goals and seven assists, while Jamie Kenyon (5-6-11), Lara Stalder (3-8-11) and Zoe Hickel (4-5-9) provide more scoring options.
Ohio State update: Likewise, the Buckeyes suffered through a disappointing home series last weekend by losing 3-2 to Bemidji State and tying 2-2 before falling in a shootout. Ohio State's winless streak has reached four since upsetting North Dakota on the road. Junior defenseman Sara Schmitt (3-7-10) leads the team in scoring while her twin sister, Kari, is tied with Ally Tarr (team-high eight goals) for second with nine points. Chelsea Knapp (3.17 goals-against average, .896 save percentage) has played twice as often in goal, but fellow senior Lisa Steffes (1.58, .948) has better numbers. The Buckeyes won four of six meetings a year ago, bouncing UMD out of the WCHA playoffs with 4-2 and 3-0 victories.
Quote: "This is a huge weekend for us. The good news is that there's great energy this week and a real excitement to go and compete. And I didn't feel that from them going into the St. Cloud series." -- Miller.