Last weekend’s 4-2 upset of the defending national champion Minnesota women’s hockey team by Ohio State left a lot of questions on the minds of players and fans alike.
The most important of which seemed to be “where’s Muzzy?”
Nadine Muzerall, the Gophers scoring machine, watched events unfold from the bench due to a concussion she received during a game against St. Cloud State two weekends ago.
Muzerall’s abscence glared in front of the Buckeye net, where Minnesota recorded its lowest total of shots on goal in a two-game series with nineteen and sixteen respectively.
Unfortunately for the disjointed Gophers, Muzerall won’t get the chance to come to her team’s aid any time soon: Coach Laura Halldorson said the possibility of her playing this weekend was doubtful.
To add insult to injury, sophomore Ronda Curtin will also be enjoying the view from the sidelines due to a concussion she suffered during last Sunday’s loss.
“We are definitely going to have to have people step up this weekend,” Halldorson said. “We’ve got a very shortened bench.”
Taking over Muzerall’s coveted position in the lineup last weekend was rookie Jerilyn Glenn, who lived up to the role in true Muzzy-scoring style.
Glenn tallied two goals and an assist on Saturday along with three shots on goal for the game to earn second star of the game after Minnesota beat the Buckeyes, 6-2.
Fellow rookie La Toya Clarke continued to impress, scoring two goals last weekend, the first of her collegiate career. Clarke also had three assists, boosting her to the top point-scorer in the nation with a total of ten.
“The freshmen really came up big on Saturday,” Halldorson said.
Though last weekend’s shots-on-goal statistics looked dismal, junior Laura Slominski continued her strong march towards 100 career points.
No stranger near the net, Slominski led the nation last season in both short-handed assists and short handed points, while coming in tenth in the nation in total points for the season.
Slominski racked up three assists over last weekend’s series, leaving her just one point shy of the 100-point mark.
Despite Minnesota’s loss to unranked Ohio State last weekend, its standings in the polls didn’t suffer.
The Gophers held on to their second-place ranking — as did the University of Minnesota-Duluth to their third-place spot after a shocking loss to the University of Wisconsin — despite both teams being upended by WCHA foes they formerly dominated
The wins did boost both the Badgers and the Buckeyes to nationally ranked status for the first time in either team’s history. Wisconsin now stands at sixth place while Ohio State entered at tenth.
Monica Wright covers women’s hockey and welcomes comments at [email protected]