Quinnipiac women’s hockey was never going to make it easy on Ohio State.
Heading into the NCAA Tournament regional final Saturday, Bobcats fifth-year forward Lexie Adzija couldn’t shake the feeling her and her teammates had a season ago, losing to the eventual national champions in double-overtime on their own ice.
“It’s unfinished business,” Adzija said Friday. “It’s fuel to the fire.”
Ohio State knew another national championship was not going to be handed to them. It was something they used as motivation, a reason behind the relentlessness that was the calling card for the team’s championship run a season ago and throughout the 2022-23 campaign.
The Buckeyes knew they needed to “unload.”
In Ohio State’s (32-5-2) first game of the NCAA Tournament, that relentlessness proved to be too much for Quinnipiac (30-10), beating the Bobcats 5-2 to earn a third-straight trip to the Frozen Four.
The Buckeyes will take on Northeastern in the NCAA Tournament semifinal Friday in Duluth, Minnesota.
Ohio State has seven wins in seven meetings against Quinnipiac. The Buckeyes’ win Saturday is only their second against the Bobcats decided by more than one goal.
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Trailing by a goal after the first 15 minutes, the Buckeyes’ offense exploded, recording 24 shots-on-goal in the second period, leading to an unassisted power-play score by fifth-year senior Gabby Rosenthal on a power play before senior defenseman Lauren Bernard gave Ohio State the 2-1 lead four minutes later with an unassisted goal.
Ohio State finished with 43 shots-on-goal.
With the offensive onslaught in the second period, Ohio State silenced Quinnipiac’s offense, limiting the Bobcats to three shots in the second period after out-shooting the Buckeyes 12-10 in the first period.
Ohio State secured the win with an Emma Peschel goal eight minutes into the third period off a miss by sixth-year senior Emma Maltais before fifth-year senior Sophie Jaques scored the Buckeyes’ fourth goal on a power play with less than five minutes to go, assisted by Makenna Webster and Jennifer Gardiner.
Jaques added an empty-net goal with 28.8 seconds left in the game, recording her seventh multi-score game of the 2022-23 season.
Quinnipiac struck first offensively against a short-handed Ohio State.
In the first period, after two penalties by senior forward Kenzie Hauswirth and senior defenseman Lauren Bernard gave the Bobcats nearly four-straight minutes of a power play, Kendall Cooper found an opening to the right of Ohio State’s goal, shooting it past junior goalkeeper Amanda Thiele for the first goal of the game.
After the first period, Thiele saved the Bobcats’ next seven shots before Maddy Samsokevich cut Quinnipiac’s deficit to two with a goal late in the third period.
Thiele finished with 21 saves on 23 shots-on-goal.
With the win against Quinnipiac, Ohio State has six wins in its eight NCAA Tournament appearances, last losing in the 2021 Frozen Four semifinals to Wisconsin.
Ohio State will take on Northeastern in the Frozen Four semifinals at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minnesota 3:30 p.m. Friday.
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