Ohio State women’s hockey won its first-ever national title on Sunday, taking down Minnesota-Duluth 3-2 in the championship game one year after faltering in the Frozen Four semifinals.
The win caps a historic season for the Buckeyes, who recorded their first 30-plus-win regular season at 31-6 and were the tournament’s top-seeded team for the first time.
CHAMPIONS!@OhioStateWHKY x #WFrozenFour pic.twitter.com/65q0L1jnxJ— NCAA Ice Hockey (@NCAAIceHockey) March 20, 2022
CHAMPIONS!@OhioStateWHKY x #WFrozenFour pic.twitter.com/65q0L1jnxJ
Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall was overcome with emotion on the bench as her players celebrated the championship on the ice. Two years after she was hired in 2016, Muzerall told the New York Times that had she set a five-year goal — matching the length of her initial contract — to make a Frozen Four.
The Buckeyes made the Frozen Four within two and now, six years into Muzerall’s tenure, they are national champions.
“I just believed in these girls so much, as they did in each other, and I thought this was one of the best hockey games they played all year,” Muzerall said after the game. “So deserving of it, and they never quit. They played flawlessly tonight. I’m so proud of them.”
After a scoreless first period, Ohio State forward Paetyn Levis scored a power-play goal in the second to put the Buckeyes on the board first. UMD’s Naomi Rogge, who scored the game-winner in double overtime against Northeastern in the semifinals, tied the game in the middle of the frame to make it 1-1.
The teams traded goals in the third period, evening the score at 2-2, before the puck bounced off UMD defender Brenna Fuhrman’s skate for an own goal and put Ohio State ahead for good. Kenzie Hauswirth was credited with the game-winning goal.