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Oct. 12, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s hockey team hosts conference opponent St. Cloud State in a two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association series, Oct. 14-15. The Buckeyes enter the weekend with a 1-0-1 record (1-0-1-1 WCHA), while the Huskies have a 1-3-0 overall mark (0-2-0 WCHA). Games begin at 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink and admission is free. 

SERIES BASICS
Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0-1, 1-0-1-1 WCHA) vs. St. Cloud State Huskies (1-3-0, 0-2-0 WCHA)
Schedule:
Friday, Oct. 14 – 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 15 – 4 p.m. 

Live video: Buckeye Vision (OhioStateBuckeyes.com)
Live audio: Scarlet and Gray Radio (OhioStateSports.net)
Live Stats: OhioStateBuckeyes.com
Twitter.com/OhioState_WHKY
Facebook.com/OhioStateWomensHockey 

LAST TIME OUT: BEMIDJI STATE
Ohio State opened the season with a WCHA series against Bemidji State, Oct. 7-8 at the OSU Ice Rink. The two teams skated to a 4-4 overtime tie Friday with the Buckeyes gaining the extra point in a 1-0 shootout win. First year head coach Nate Handrahan earned his first win with Ohio State Saturday as the team captured a 5-3 victory. Senior Natalie Spooner led the squad throughout the weekend as she scored all four goals for the Buckeyes Friday and then scored the only goal in the shootout.

In the second game, sophomore Ally Tarr recorded the first hat trick of her career after she scored two goals in the second period and one in the third for the Buckeyes. Freshman Kayla Sullivan scored her first-career goal at 1:41 in the second to open scoring for OSU. Spooner snuck in a shot late in the third to score an empty-net goal, the fifth goal of the game for the Buckeyes. 

SPOONER EARNS WCHA HONOR
In honor of her five-goal performance against the Beavers, senior forward Natalie Spooner was named WCHA Co-Offensive Player of the Week, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association announced Wednesday. This is the first honor of the season for Spooner and the seventh of her career.

Her four goals against the Beavers marked the fourth hat trick of her career, while the four-goal performance tied an OSU record first set by Spooner in 2008 and tied by teammate Hokey Langan in 2010. With her five goals over the weekend, Spooner inched closer to becoming the Buckeyes’ all-time leading goal scorer, needing 13 more to break Jeni Creary’s career record of 86. 

BUCKEYES GO PINK
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Ohio State women’s hockey team is hosting its “Buckeyes Go Pink” event Saturday during the 4 p.m. game with the Huskies. Pink items will be handed out to the first 100 fans including pom poms and sweatbands. 

ST. CLOUD STATE HUSKIES
The Huskies opened WCHA competition last weekend on the road at then-No. 3 Minnesota and fell both Friday and Saturday to the Gophers. SCSU (1-3-0, 0-2-0) opened the season Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at the East/West Showcase in Minneapolis and picked up its lone wine of the season Oct. 1, defeating Union 4-1.

Leading the Huskies in points is senior Brittany Toor. The forward has one goal and two assists for three points, while Alex Nelson (1g, 1a) and Lisa Martinson (2a) have two points apiece. Tayler VanDenakker and Julie Friend have split time in goal as each has two starts this season. VanDenakker leads the goalie duo with a 3.73 goals-against average and has 96 saves on the young season. 

BUCKEYES VS. ST. CLOUD STATE
Ohio State holds a slight lead in the all-time series with St. Cloud State at 26-23-6. The Buckeyes swept the Huskies in both regular season series last season, opening with 3-1 and 6-1 wins, Oct. 15-16 at the OSU Ice Rink. In St. Cloud, Ohio State picked up 6-1 and 3-2 wins, Jan. 28-29.

Senior Laura McIntosh has dished out 17 assists and tallied four goals for 21 points in 12 games against the Huskies. Natalie Spooner has seven goals and seven assists for 14 points vs. SCSU, while senior Kelly Wild has scored two goals and handed out seven assists for nine points against the Huskies. 

LAST MEETING
The Buckeyes traveled to St. Cloud State, Jan. 28-29, last season and picked up the series sweep. In the 6-1 win to open the series, Natalie Spooner led Ohio State with three goals and one assist for four points. Classmate Laura McIntosh dished out four assists in the game, while Ally Tarr had two goals and Kelly Wild had three assists. Ohio State followed with a 3-2 win the next day and was led by Tarr, Spooner and Minttu Tuominen with one goal apiece. McIntosh finished with two assists in the win. 

CAREER FIRSTS
Five Buckeyes scored their first-career points last weekend against Bemidji State. Friday night had three of the five tally points in sophomores Annie Svedin and Madison Marcotte and freshman Taylor Kuehl. Svedin and Kuehl picked up assists on Natalie Spooner’s second goal of the game at 3:41 in the first period. Marcotte followed with an assist on another Spooner goal at 5:00 in the second.

Freshman Kayla Sullivan scored the first goal of her career, finding the back of the net at 1:41 in the second period in the 5-3 win over the Beavers Saturday. She was assisted by classmate Danielle Gagne, earning her first collegiate point. 

BUCKEYE CORNER
Ohio State returns 17 letterwinners from last season, including its top three scorers who combined for more than half of the team’s goals – Natalie Spooner (26g, 13a), Laura McIntosh (14g, 33a) and Hokey Langan (13g, 18a). McIntosh and Spooner enter their senior seasons as members of the Century Club. McIntosh ranks third at Ohio State with 133 career points (35g, 98a), while Spooner is sixth with 118 career points (74g, 44a). The duo have already made their mark in the program’s history as McIntosh is Ohio State’s leader in career assists and Spooner is second on Ohio State’s career goals list. Langan is on pace to join the Century Club as she enters the season with 86 career points (38g, 48a).

Heading the blueliner pack are seniors Kelly Wild and Brittany Carlson. Wild played a key role in scoring this season as the Mendota Heights, Minn., product finished fifth on the squad with 19 points on three goals and 16 assists. Carlson, from Hudson, Wis., will continue to hold the back and guide OSU’s defensive corps. Looking to be competitors in the net are goalies Chelsea Knapp and Lisa Steffes as both bring a wealth of experience in their young careers. 

SPOONER NAMED TO FOUR NATIONS TEAM
Senior Natalie Spooner, of Scarborough, Ontario, earned a spot on the Team Canada squad that will represent its country at the 2011 Four Nations Cup held Nov. 9-14 in Sweden. The tournament features teams from Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United States. Spooner was a member of the team that captured gold in last year’s tournament. 

UP NEXT
Ohio State takes to the road for the first time this season as the Buckeyes travel to Grand Forks, N.D., for a WCHA series against No. 7 North Dakota, Oct. 21-22. Games begin at 8:07 p.m. ET both days at the Ralph Englestad Arena.