So, a loss. The Gophers didn't play well Friday night. They got outhustled, and Ohio State won most of the physical battles. Scobee let in a softie. The line shuffling didn't look effective. Other than Zumwinkle blowing pucks through walls, there wasn't a whole lot to be cheery about.
And yet, the loss is largely down to one defensive pairing having a really bad, uncharacteristically bad, night. The Buckeyes didn't generate as many really good scoring chances as the tilt of the ice would have led one to expect, at least as far as I could tell based upon the really lousy camera work on the BTN+ feed. (Honestly, is it that hard to actually follow the puck down the ice?) And they were in it right to the end.
There are obviously some areas of concern. An aggressive, physical forecheck continues to cause them all sorts of problems, which is concerning with Wisconsin coming up. For the first time this year, the Passes to No One were a real issue. And the scoring remains disconcertingly dependent upon Heise and Zumwinkle.
But they looked better on Saturday. The line combinations started to click better. Amy Potomak seemed to simplify things, and scored by just crashing the net. I continue to think that Woken may be a better linemate for her than her sister. The Hengler/Ostertag pairing bounced back in a big way.
I'm not all that discouraged by the loss. Ohio State played really well. Probably about as well as they can play. When they do that, they're a top five team. It's not like they tied Maine or anything. I expect a better effort against Bucky, though that doesn't guarantee anything.
Rereading all that, I'm clearly sick. I'll go to bed now.