By Jordan Rinard, Senior Staff Writer
The Miami University women’s hockey team did no wrong this weekend as it dismantled Ohio State University despite being shorthanded. Head coach Scott Hicks and five players were with Team USA in Spain for the World University Games. The RedHawks (22-1-1) are in complete control of the CCWHA while the Buckeyes (1-18-1) are not in control of much.
With 9-0 and 4-0 wins, Miami clinched the CCWHA regular season title.
“They did a great job,” assistant coach Jim Stearns said. “We got off to a bit of a slow start and we needed to get used to playing with each other. Over time, we wore Ohio State down with our speed and we were able to put the puck in goal. It was good to see Ellis and Visalli get hat tricks, especially Lindsey in her last game here.”
Miami had its way with Ohio State in Oxford as senior defender Lindsey Ellis and freshman forward Alyssa Visalli both recorded hat tricks on the night and both wound up in the penalty box in the waning seconds of the game. Freshman forward Carly Noble joined the pair with a hat trick of her own in Columbus.
After a scoreless first period, Ellis picked up two goals for the ’Hawks before sophomore center Cassidy Guthrie and junior forward Izzy Smith joined in on the scoring. Smith scored two goals, one of which came on the power play. Visalli tallied two goals at the end of the second to make the score 7-0. In the third, Ellis and Visalli added goals to complete their hat tricks and met up in the penalty box with 31 seconds left in the game.
Sophomore goaltender Emalee Wills recorded 12 saves on the night as the home team put up 53 shots on goal.
“We started slow in the first period, but we really got fired up and quickened our pace a bit,” Ellis said. “We really played like a team after the first. Our passing was better. It’s hard with some of the players missing, but we’re able to trust each other. It’s pretty good [to get a hat trick] and it’s cool to do it in my last game here. I give all the credit to my teammates.”
In Columbus, the Red and White struck quickly in the first period as Noble capitalized off a pass by freshman center Katie Baldwin. Noble found the back of the net again a little over 13 minutes into the third and finished off the hat trick following a goal by sophomore forward Jordan Hanson.
Freshman goaltender Carly Van Orden put in work between the pipes for the ’Hawks, as she had 19 saves. The offense was able to generate 64 shots on goal.
Despite the wins over Ohio State, Ellis is keeping things in perspective.
“We have to keep our foot on the gas pedal,” she said. “Nationals is right around the corner and we have to be ready.”
The RedHawks wrap up the regular season in Flint, Michigan as they square off against Michigan State University 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday.