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Thread: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

  1. #301
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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by ARM View Post
    I think my eyeballs lie to me at times. For example, AMSOIL always seems narrower than other 85' rinks to me. It must just be the angle to the plane of the ice surface that I'm viewing, but it appears that there's less room compared to somewhere like Ridder or Sanford Center.
    I meant more for a larger than 85' rink. If a rink was under 85', they might move the faceoff circles more towards the midline of the rink (thereby keeping the distance from the wall 'standard'). But id anyone were to do that, I would think goalies would see (or feel) that immediately, and complain.

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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by robertearle View Post
    I meant more for a larger than 85' rink. If a rink was under 85', they might move the faceoff circles more towards the midline of the rink (thereby keeping the distance from the wall 'standard'). But id anyone were to do that, I would think goalies would see (or feel) that immediately, and complain.
    The dots are supposed to be 22' from the center of the rink. If there is variance, it should be outside the circles as you noted, not in the proximity to the goal.
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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by ChickHicks86 View Post
    These are the rink dimensions according to each of the WCHA school's official websites:

    Bemidji State / Sanford Center / 200'x85'
    Minnesota / Ridder Arena / 200'x85'
    Minnesota Duluth / AMSOIL Arena / 200'x85'
    Minnesota State, Mankato / Verizon Center / 200'x90'
    Ohio State / OSU Ice Rink / 200'x85'
    St. Cloud State / Herb Brooks National Hockey Center / 200'x100'
    Wisconsin / LaBahn Arena / 200'x90'
    This goes a long way toward explaining MJ's perspective. In WCHA conference action, he's playing 16 of 24 games on wide ice. 12 Home Games, plus Mankato & St. Cloud. Two thirds of the slate. No wonder the ice surface at OSU seems small.

    From there, if MJ has a touch of claustrophobia, the low roof may be the rest of the story.

    That said, I still look forward to the "tale of the tape."

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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by pgb-ohio View Post
    This goes a long way toward explaining MJ's perspective. In WCHA conference action, he's playing 16 of 24 games on wide ice. 12 Home Games, plus Mankato & St. Cloud. Two thirds of the slate. No wonder the ice surface at OSU seems small.
    I think the fact that there are other rinks the same size as OSU's works against his comments. Either the corners are funky or it is the height.

    I think this is a great weekend for OSU to break the 3 game skid and get on a 2 game winning streak. I'm not sure why, I just happen to feel that way.
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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy A View Post
    I think this is a great weekend for OSU to break the 3 game skid and get on a 2 game winning streak. I'm not sure why, I just happen to feel that way.
    Wish you would have been right about that!! If this downward spiral continues, I am going to need talked off the ledge. I did listen to Coach Nadine's postgame presser and she actually thought we did not play that bad. Where Minnesota won the game, according to Coach, was they were stronger with their sticks in front of the net. Give them credit, too, that is a heart/character thing, and that is what wins games. Coach didn't pile on the girls after the game and neither am I. No one feels worse about how this game ended up than the kids. Having said that, this program (coaches and players) absolutely, positively needs to figure things out and end this losing streak (3 losses in a row, 1-4 coming out of the break). There is way too much talent on this team to be talking about that many losses in a row.

    Well, let's get out the box score and get this over with. The Gophers raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first period and that was all they needed. The game was actually fairly competitive after that with Minnesota outscoring Ohio State 3-2 in the second period. Neither team scored in the third period, so the final score was 7-2. The Minnesota goals were scored by Grace Zumwinkle (2), Emily Oden (2), Alex Woken (2), and Nicole Schammel. The Buckeye goals were scored by Maddy Field and Jincy Dunne. Minnesota outshot Ohio State 36-21. Alex Gulstene stopped 19 of the 21 shots she faced for the Gophers. Emma May came into the game for Gulstene in the last 2:35, but did not face any shots. Ohio State played all three goaltenders tonight. Andrea Braendli started for Ohio State and stopped 6 of the 9 shots she faced. She was relieved by Lynsey Wallace at the 8:13 mark of the first period and stopped 17 of the 21 shots she faced. Amanda Zeglen came on in the third period and stopped all 6 shots she faced. The two teams are back at it tomorrow. Game time is 3:07 pm. There is an event going on at St. John Arena tomorrow afternoon that they are charging for parking, so when you pull into the lot, tell them you are there for women's hockey and you will not get charged for parking.

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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    Final Score From Friday, January 25th
    Minnesota 7
    Ohio State 2

    Depth Is Golden For Gophers


    The Buckeyes dominated the first shift, pinning the Gophers in their own end. It was a glorious first minute. The other 59 minutes? Not so much. The Gophers took over the game and never looked back.

    Minnesota got artful scoring and dynamic defense from up and down the line-up. Tonight, two of the most productive players were a 4th Line Forward and a Defender from the 3rd Pair. No other team in Women's D-1 Hockey has that kind of depth.

    Several of the Gopher goals had a common design. A stiff, purposeful shot from the blue line. Two Gopher forwards in slot. One wins a puck battle and gets the puck to her teammate; the teammate provides the lethal finish. As a generalization, that formula produced three of the first four goals.

    Credit the Buckeyes for continuing to battle throughout. They traded goals with the Gophers in the 2nd Period, and held them scoreless in the third. But the Gophers won this game in the first 20 minutes.


    Three Stars Of The Game: Decidedly Unofficial & Just For Fun


    Minnesota Honorable Mention: Alex Woken
    A Trio of Gophers each contributed a pair of goals. I'll mention the 3rd Line RW here. But does RW stand for Right Wing or Registered Weapon? Given her shot, it's probably both. Regardless, she's the Right Woken.

    Ohio State Honorable Mention: Amanda Zeglen
    Amanda got the call in the 3rd Period. A calm, focused Zeglen pitched a shutout. Now I'm not claiming this has any larger meaning; the game was basically in exhibition mode at that point. But a confident #31 was very nice to see.


    #3 Star: Grace Zumwinkle, Minnesota
    Certainly the Gophers got fine performances from their top stars. Obviously that includes Grace; her reputation precedes her. Zumwinkle got Minnesota rolling with the lethal finish on the first Gopher goal. Overall, Grace had 2 goals and an assist for a 3 point night.

    #2 Star: Crystalyn Hengler, Minnesota
    3rd D Pair? True. But Crystalyn shined just as brightly anyone on the ice. Fine work ethic, strong results. And Hengler provided the stiff, purposeful shot that led to the second Gopher goal.

    #1 Star: Emily Oden, Minnesota
    What's the game plan for a 4th Line Wing? Why, a 4 point night, of course. Emily was magnificent during the decisive first period. She had the primary assist on the first goal, scored the second herself, and had the primary assist on the fourth tally.

    Oh, and just to make sure no one would forget that it was her night, she capped off the scoring with her team's seventh goal at 16:33 of the second, ensuring that the Gophers won that period as well.


    Up Next: Rematch With The 2019 National Champions. There, That'll Jinx 'Em!
    Last edited by pgb-ohio; 01-26-2019 at 10:56 AM.

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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by pgb-ohio View Post
    Up Next: Rematch With The 2019 National Champions. There, That'll Jinx 'Em!
    That it might...But on the other hand if they do finish it off, you called it.
    I could give up pizza but I don't want to be considered a quitter.

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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by osualum86 View Post
    If this downward spiral continues, I am going to need talked off the ledge. I did listen to Coach Nadine's postgame presser and she actually thought we did not play that bad. Where Minnesota won the game, according to Coach, was they were stronger with their sticks in front of the net. Give them credit, too, that is a heart/character thing, and that is what wins games. Coach didn't pile on the girls after the game and neither am I. No one feels worse about how this game ended up than the kids. Having said that, this program (coaches and players) absolutely, positively needs to figure things out and end this losing streak (3 losses in a row, 1-4 coming out of the break). There is way too much talent on this team to be talking about that many losses in a row.
    As I think even the most casual women's hockey fan will tell you, there's not any shame in losing to a team as deep, talented, and well-coached as Minnesota. The third periods have to be taken with a grain of salt with the games out of hand, but really Ohio State stood on pretty even ground for all but two decisive periods this weekend (1st period on Friday, 2nd period on Saturday). In both of those periods, taking penalties and not being able to execute the penalty kill was a major blow to OSU's chances to staying in the games. Early in the season, I remember the Buckeye PK having an aggressive forecheck and blocking a ton of shots. I'm not sure if the scheme has changed since, but those things don't seem to be happening now, and a really good Gopher squad took full advantage of their special teams opportunities to put the games out of reach.

    Now by no stretch of imagination does OSU have the talent that a Minnesota or Wisconsin has, but I agree the Buckeyes are capable of much more than a 1-5 record this calendar year. I do think Muzerall has done a remarkable job her first two seasons (I don't think anybody foresaw a Frozen Four appearance last year coming), but she and her staff need to take a long look in the mirror and figure out what needs to be done to turn around the fortunes of this year's team. Whatever they are doing now is clearly not getting the results this team is capable of achieving. In my opinion, what this team needs is a lot of positive encouragement and lineup stability. As osualum86 pointed out, this roster cares and doesn't need to be told when they haven't played up to their potential. As Frost showed with Minnesota this weekend, switching up the lines can give a team a spark, but I don't think that's what Ohio State needs right now. They need a chance to develop chemistry within the lines and not have to wonder when their next shift will be or who it will be with.

    All that being said, as uninspiring as the box scores from the last 5 games have been, this season is far from over. If the Buckeyes can get back in gear against St. Cloud and Bemidji over the next few weeks, there will be opportunities down the stretch to stake their claim to being a nationally relevant team.
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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by ChickHicks86 View Post
    As Frost showed with Minnesota this weekend, switching up the lines can give a team a spark...
    Minnesota has switched lines more often than not. Only the Wente line has been mostly left alone.

    Based on the last couple of weekends, a really strong performance in goal would go a long way towards getting the Buckeyes back into a groove.
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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by ChickHicks86 View Post
    As I think even the most casual women's hockey fan will tell you, there's not any shame in losing to a team as deep, talented, and well-coached as Minnesota. The third periods have to be taken with a grain of salt with the games out of hand, but really Ohio State stood on pretty even ground for all but two decisive periods this weekend (1st period on Friday, 2nd period on Saturday). In both of those periods, taking penalties and not being able to execute the penalty kill was a major blow to OSU's chances to staying in the games. Early in the season, I remember the Buckeye PK having an aggressive forecheck and blocking a ton of shots. I'm not sure if the scheme has changed since, but those things don't seem to be happening now, and a really good Gopher squad took full advantage of their special teams opportunities to put the games out of reach.

    Now by no stretch of imagination does OSU have the talent that a Minnesota or Wisconsin has, but I agree the Buckeyes are capable of much more than a 1-5 record this calendar year. I do think Muzerall has done a remarkable job her first two seasons (I don't think anybody foresaw a Frozen Four appearance last year coming), but she and her staff need to take a long look in the mirror and figure out what needs to be done to turn around the fortunes of this year's team. Whatever they are doing now is clearly not getting the results this team is capable of achieving. In my opinion, what this team needs is a lot of positive encouragement and lineup stability. As osualum86 pointed out, this roster cares and doesn't need to be told when they haven't played up to their potential. As Frost showed with Minnesota this weekend, switching up the lines can give a team a spark, but I don't think that's what Ohio State needs right now. They need a chance to develop chemistry within the lines and not have to wonder when their next shift will be or who it will be with.

    All that being said, as uninspiring as the box scores from the last 5 games have been, this season is far from over. If the Buckeyes can get back in gear against St. Cloud and Bemidji over the next few weeks, there will be opportunities down the stretch to stake their claim to being a nationally relevant team.
    You have successfully talked me off the ledge, and after this weekend's games, I wasn't sure if that was possible. I agree that there is no shame in losing to a team like Minnesota. They are deep, talented, and they do everything well. They skate well, they manage the puck well, and as we found out all too often this weekend, they shoot the puck well. We did have some good periods, but I was hoping the games would be more competitive.

    Regarding the talent level, OSU has talent, but are not as deep as Minnesota or Wisconsin. Totally agree, though, that we should be better than 1-5 this calendar year, and it's the coaching staff's job to figure things out and correct things. Having said that, though, I am thrilled with Coach Muzerall and the direction of the program. In hindsight (I know, 20/20), maybe myself and possibly other OSU Women's Hockey fans, had a false sense of where our program was actually at this season after last season's magical run to the Frozen Four. I looked at the roster and thought, "Yeah, we can do that again." Unfortunately, it does not appear that will be the case this season. In fact, Ohio State sets in 8th in the PairWise now, which basically means they are on the outside looking in as the CHA Champion will get an auto-bid and take that 8th spot away from Ohio State. The thing is, it's not the losses to Minnesota and Wisconsin that have us in that position, it's the inexplicable losses to the sub-.500 teams below us in the PairWise that killed us this season. I think you brought up a good point about all the line changes and maybe at this point we should establish some lines and stick with them. OTOH, maybe Coach is trying to give us a spark, seeing as we only scored 3 goals all weekend and 5 last weekend. Actually, if you do the numbers, it's 11 goals in this 1-5 stretch ... 1.83 goals per game isn't going to win many hockey games, especially in the WCHA. I don't have the answers and the coaching staff obviously hasn't figured things out either or we wouldn't still be in this free-fall.

    I do agree with you that the season is far from over. The problem is, wins over St. Cloud and Bemidji and whoever we end up hosting in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs are not going to move the needle regarding the PairWise, so what it is now going to come down to now is we will have to win the WCHA Tournament and get the league's auto-bid to get in. That is a steep mountain to climb when we'll have to play Minnesota or Wisconsin in the semi-final, then the other one in the final. It's a bitter pill to swallow, especially because I know the girls had some lofty goals this season. I am disappointed for them that they are going to miss out on some of those goals that they set for themselves. I guess it's true that sometimes you need to take a step back to take two steps forward. Hopefully the kids coming back next season learn from this so that history doesn't repeat itself, and that goes for the coaching staff as well. We have another great recruiting class coming in, so we will be that much deeper next season. It's not easy building a hockey program like Minnesota's or Wisconsin's and it certainly doesn't happen overnight.

    We'll see how the program responds next weekend in St. Cloud. Hoping for the best for my team and sticking with them through thick and thin.
    Last edited by osualum86; 01-26-2019 at 10:24 PM.

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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by ARM View Post
    Minnesota has switched lines more often than not. Only the Wente line has been mostly left alone.

    Based on the last couple of weekends, a really strong performance in goal would go a long way towards getting the Buckeyes back into a groove.
    Would have been nice to still have Kassidy Sauve back there. Really missing her this season.

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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    Almost forgot about the stats. The final in today's game was 7-1 and as ChickHicks86 alluded to, the second period was decisive for the Gophers as they outscored Ohio State 6-1 in that period to put the game out of reach. The first period was a good period as neither team could score and it ended up 0-0. Minnesota opened up the scoring in the second period on a power play goal from Crystalyn Hengler. The next two goals were scored by Taylor Heise. Both of Heise's goals were even strength and put the Gophers up 3-0. The Gophers got another power play, but the Bucks' Emma Maltais was able to get behind the Gophers to score Ohio State's only goal. The 3-1 score was short-lived as Minnesota was still on the power play and ended up scoring on that power play to make it 4-1. Taylor Wente got that one for the Gophers. Minnesota would get two more goals in that period, an even strength goal from Alex Woken and a power play goal from Amy Potomak to end the second period up 6-1. Minnesota's Grace Zumwinkle added an even strength goal in the 3rd period to make the final score 7-1. One of the big differences in the game was Minnesota's power play vs Ohio State's penalty kill as the Gophers were 3-for-3 on their power plays. The Buckeyes got two power plays but could not score on either, and didn't get many shots off on either. SOG were similar to yesterday with Minnesota winning that battle 38-22. Sydney Scobee started the game in net for the Gophers and stopped 21 of the 22 shots she faced. Amanda Zeglen came into Friday's game in the third period and stopped all 6 shots she faced, so Coach Muzerall rewarded her with the start today. She stopped 12 of the 17 shots she faced. She was relieved by previous starter Andrea Braendli, who came on and stopped 19 of the 21 shots she faced.

    Talked to a couple of my buddies who are Gopher fans after the game. They felt our coaching staff should have gone back to Braendli today in net. Who knows. One of them is the fan who had previously told me that we were not as good as last season and that us Ohio State fans needed to temper our expectations this season. Hate to admit it, but I am thinking he may have been spot on with that. Still love this team, though, still trusting the process, and am thinking Coach Muzerall is the best coach we have ever had here leading our program. The proof is (the Frozen Four banner) on the wall.

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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by osualum86 View Post
    Would have been nice to still have Kassidy Sauve back there. Really missing her this season.
    ARM makes a good point that 5, 5, 6, 7, and 7 are not very good numbers to have in the goals against column over the last few games. There were some empty-netters and garbage time goals sprinkled in there, but certainly OSU misses the stability and confidence that Sauve brought at the goaltender position. The goalies (and really the skaters too) on the roster now have shown they are capable of playing at a high level, but it is finding that consistency on a weekly basis that seems to be elusive. But, as Blackbeard has said on the UMD thread, your goaltender can't score goals (though the Northern Michigan men's team might argue), and even when Sauve was in net for the Buckeyes, their best wins weren't when she stood on her head and made 50 saves, but when the rest of the team found ways to put the puck in the net.
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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by osualum86 View Post
    I do agree with you that the season is far from over. The problem is, wins over St. Cloud and Bemidji and whoever we end up hosting in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs are not going to move the needle regarding the PairWise, so what it is now going to come down to now is we will have to win the WCHA Tournament and get the league's auto-bid to get in. That is a steep mountain to climb when we'll have to play Minnesota or Wisconsin in the semi-final, then the other one in the final. It's a bitter pill to swallow, especially because I know the girls had some lofty goals this season. I am disappointed for them that they are going to miss out on some of those goals that they set for themselves. I guess it's true that sometimes you need to take a step back to take two steps forward. Hopefully the kids coming back next season learn from this so that history doesn't repeat itself, and that goes for the coaching staff as well. We have another great recruiting class coming in, so we will be that much deeper next season. It's not easy building a hockey program like Minnesota's or Wisconsin's and it certainly doesn't happen overnight.

    We'll see how the program responds next weekend in St. Cloud. Hoping for the best for my team and sticking with them through thick and thin.
    I agree making the NCAA tourney this season looks to be a steep hill for Ohio State to climb right now, but I don't think an at-large bid is totally out of the question. Not all of the ECAC teams currently in the logjam ahead of OSU in the PairWise are going to be able to stay there. Inevitably they will have to play each other down the stretch and some teams will climb while others will fall in the rankings (though teams like Boston College are also going to be vying for the vacated spots). As you point out, potential wins against St. Cloud and Bemidji won't be what shoots OSU back into national contention, but the regular season finale in Madison and the potential for matchups against the top teams at Ridder in the WCHA tourney could provide the needed boost in the PairWise, even if their record was say 2-2 in those games. It's hard to remember with the January results fresh in one's memory, but OSU has shown they're capable of winning games against Minnesota and Wisconsin this season, something no other team besides Minnesota and Wisconsin can claim.

    All that being said, there's still a good month of hockey before watching any type of rankings will have much value. What it amounts to is that the playoffs are starting now for teams in the hunt, and Ohio State has a great opportunity to build some momentum and confidence in St. Cloud next weekend.
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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    Final Score From Saturday, January 26th
    Minnesota 7
    Ohio State 1

    Humble Pie: Best Enjoyed In Moderation

    Regrettably the Buckeyes were at the All You Can Eat Buffet this weekend, and consumed two heaping portions of Humble Pie. The inevitable result: Sunday Morning Indigestion. So we'll just give credit where credit is due, then move on.


    Three Stars Of The Game: Decidedly Unofficial & Just For Fun


    Minnesota Honorable Mention: Crystalyn Hengler
    Hengler had a key assist on Friday. She topped that effort by opening the scoring on Saturday. Her blistering PP slapshot from the left wing circle caught metal, then blazed into the net. By the way, it was her first goal as Gopher. Quite a weekend for Crystalyn.

    Ohio State Honorable Mention: Emma Maltais
    Emma provided the Buckeye highlight with a brilliant individual effort on the short-handed goal. Maltais gained control of the puck at the Gopher right point, squeezed herself through the Gopher defender, skated the length of the ice, and somehow squeezed the puck through the Gopher goalie. It gave the large crowd something to cheer about on an otherwise grim day.


    #3 Star: (9-Way Tie)The Minnesota Power Play
    The Gophers were 3 for 3 on the PP. It was a big part of their Saturday success. But among the array of talent, who should be honored with a Star? Let's see. 3 goals were scored; 6 assists were awarded. To Nine Different Players. Singling out one star in that impressive constellation takes a better telescope than I have.

    #2 Star: (tie)Sophie Skarzynski, Minnesota; and Patti Marshall, Minnesota
    But for Emma's Superhuman Shortie, the Gopher 'D' had a shutout. That fine defensive effort must be recognized; I selected the 'D Pair of Skarzynski & Marshall. Some Stats: Both 'D' were +3 on the day, which led all players. And it gets better when you take into account PP results. Patti was on the ice for 5 Gopher goals; Sophie for 4 Gopher tallies. Note that Sophie had the shot block that led to the 3rd Gopher goal.

    #1 Star: Taylor Heise, Minnesota
    The Heise/Potomak x 2 Line was relatively quiet Friday. They made up for lost time on Saturday. After the first period stalemate, Hengler struck quickly to give the Gophers a one goal lead. The game was at the crossroads. Would the Buckeyes have an answer? Or would the Gophers be off to the races again?

    Taylor made sure it was the latter. Heise scored two authoritative goals 44 seconds apart, with strong support from Sarah Potomak. Not to be left out, Amy Potomak scored a goal of her own to complete the explosive sequence.

    Saturday's multi-goal outburst actually outdid its Friday counterpart by a good margin. All told, the Maroon & Gold scored a dizzying 6 goals in a span of 10:56. Yea or Yuck, depending on one's rooting interest. Moving on...


    Up Next: The Suddenly Crucial Road Trip To St. Cloud.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChickHicks86 View Post
    ARM makes a good point that 5, 5, 6, 7, and 7 are not very good numbers to have in the goals against column over the last few games. There were some empty-netters and garbage time goals sprinkled in there, but certainly OSU misses the stability and confidence that Sauve brought at the goaltender position. The goalies (and really the skaters too) on the roster now have shown they are capable of playing at a high level, but it is finding that consistency on a weekly basis that seems to be elusive. But, as Blackbeard has said on the UMD thread, your goaltender can't score goals (though the Northern Michigan men's team might argue), and even when Sauve was in net for the Buckeyes, their best wins weren't when she stood on her head and made 50 saves, but when the rest of the team found ways to put the puck in the net.
    One could argue that this team is stronger than last year’s team. They are a year older and have a few solid freshmen that have played extremely well. The goaltenders will grow into their roles and when one goes through a rough patch, hopefully the back up plays well. They do have big shoes to fill and have done very well this season for the most part. I listened to your coach’s post game presser and she might be better served by focusing on what the team needs to work on rather than singling out the goaltenders. Their confidence is likely fragile right now and it helps to know that the coach is on your side. Not saying she isn’t but comments like “they scored everytime they came down the ice” are not going to help. The Buckeyes are a good team that is in a slump. They will work their way out of it.

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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by ChickHicks86 View Post
    The third periods have to be taken with a grain of salt with the games out of hand, but really Ohio State stood on pretty even ground for all but two decisive periods this weekend (1st period on Friday, 2nd period on Saturday).
    I disagree with this. Minnesota was substantially the better team in five of the six periods on the weekend. The third periods weren't even in any way other than having an aggregate 1-0 score. The Gophers' objective wasn't to score some more; it was to kill the clock, and they did so effectively. On Saturday, the Buckeyes made this extremely easy, but even on Friday, they managed only five shots in the third. A full comeback was probably never in the cards in either game, but there was never even a whiff of one.

    That leaves us with the second period on Friday. OSU scored two of their three goals in the series, but gave up three. Minnesota controlled the play for the most part, and when the horn went, the Gophers were much closer to a victory than they had been twenty minutes earlier.

    The balance of play over two days may not have quite matched the 14-3 scoreline, but Ohio State shouldn't kid themselves that it was a whole lot closer than that.

    I'm the wiseguy who suggested to osualum86 after the series in Minneapolis that the Buckeyes are not as good this year as they were last year. I stand by that. I don't have a good feel for what is contributing to that, but it seems pretty clear to me that it's true.

    One thing I find interesting is that, in each of the last two years, OSU's W/L record is better than you would predict based upon net goal scoring. I mentioned last year that they were overperforming their expected winning percentage, and they're doing it again, just from a much lower baseline. Even before this weekend, the Buckeyes had a negative goal differential (or a GS/GA ratio less than one, if you prefer) in league play and were 9-7. At this point, we're still talking about a small enough number of games that it's probably just a fluke. OSU's record in one goal games has been ridiculous: 8-4 last year, and 9-4 so far this year. (In fairness, you really need to go through and eliminate empty net goals to get an accurate take on record in one goal games, but I'm currently sitting in the Detroit airport waiting for my connecting flight, so quick and dirty is going to have to do.) That's not sustainable, and doesn't bode well for them trying to fight back into the NCAA tournament.

    But it also seems like, when things go wrong for them, the roof completely falls in. Again, I have no idea why, but it should be kind of worrisome.

  18. #318
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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by pgb-ohio View Post
    #2 Star: (tie)Sophie Skarzynski, Minnesota; and Patti Marshall, Minnesota
    Saturday was the best game that these two have played this year. They were great.

  19. #319
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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    Quote Originally Posted by Puckdrop14 View Post
    I listened to your coach’s post game presser and she might be better served by focusing on what the team needs to work on rather than singling out the goaltenders. Their confidence is likely fragile right now and it helps to know that the coach is on your side. Not saying she isn’t but comments like “they scored everytime they came down the ice” are not going to help.
    Muzerall is extremely competitive and I'm sure she was speaking out of frustration, and quite possibly came down publicly a little too hard on her goaltenders, for whom confidence is very important. On the other hand they play a crucial part in any team's success, and having watched both games I don't believe on this particular weekend they held up their end of the bargain. Probably the low point was when Taylor Heise was able to score yesterday on a slapshot from outside the blue line. This just cannot be allowed to happen in any level of hockey.

    Still, I would agree that some things are better left said in the locker room, or in this case maybe in a private conversation.
    Minnesota Golden Gopher Hockey

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    Re: Ohio State Buckeyes 2018-19

    A couple of followups on my part in response to a number of the aforementioned things (hence my lack of specific quotes):

    1) I agree with Still Eeyore that Ohio State is not as good as last year. As previously mentioned, they definitely miss Sauve in goal, but I think that the loss of Iafallo, Sadek, and Spring cannot be understated. Sadek might not have always showed up in the box score, but she was a constant on the blue line who could bail people out if they made mistakes. Iafallo scored a lot of timely goals, something this years OSU squad has struggled to do. And Spring was a model of consistency who again might not wow you with stats, but she was a reliable player who made the girls playing with her better. On top of the losses, just returning players isn't that meaningful if they don't get better. There are of course exceptions (Maltais for example continues to impress), but overall it seems to me that more players than not haven't gotten noticeably better, and some I would say have had their play decline. I won't get into specifics / speculation on that front, but player development is the key to maintaining success at the collegiate level with the inevitable annual roster turnover that occurs.

    2) D2D and Puckdrop14 mentioned the importance of confidence with the goaltenders, and I would venture to say that applies to this OSU team as a whole. To me it seems, especially lately, that the Buckeyes are playing tense and afraid of making mistakes, and when things start to go poorly, there's a sense of "here we go again" and things get out of hand quickly. I firmly believe that what this team needs is some stability and someone to believe in / encourage them. They don't need to reminded of their mistakes (everyone who knows hockey knows the other team shouldn't score from the blue line, for example), but instead need to be reminded of how good they really can be and have indeed shown flashes of this year. There's definitely a time and place for constructive criticism in the film room and during the week, but come game time, Ohio State needs positivity and confidence.

    3) Big picture wise, I don't think anyone, even with scarlet and gray tinted glasses, can honestly say the Ohio State program is anywhere close to the level of Wisconsin or Minnesota right now. On the flip side, I would argue nobody is in that rarified air (though as disclaimer I haven't seen Northeastern or Princeton play this season, and the Tigers did seem to be competitive in Madison). That being said, there's no reason Ohio State couldn't stake a really solid claim to being the clear #3 in the WCHA, and be a player on the national stage. I think the biggest thing that separates the contenders from the pretenders in this regard is a team's ability to beat teams below them in the standings. Wisconsin and Minnesota don't go out and get swept by Bemidji, or even Duluth. I would argue the biggest goal for this year's Ohio State team moving forward should be to win all of the games they are favored in (so probably 6 games), and that in itself should build some of the confidence they need to compete in and maybe steal enough games from the top tier teams to make a run at the NCAAs.
    2005 Piston Cup Champion

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