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Ohio State nabs first conference sweep since mid-October, McIntosh tallies game-winner and assist

COLUMBUS, Ohio – In almost a repeat of the first game of the series, the Ohio State women’s hockey team rallied from a one-goal deficit in the third period for the 3-2 victory to complete the sweep of Minnesota State Saturday afternoon at All Seasons Arena in Mankato, Minn.

Ohio State, who entered the series tied with the Mavericks in the conference standings, picked up six much needed points in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. It was also a little revenge for an earlier matchup this season in which Minnesota State came to Columbus and won both games.

The Buckeyes, who picked up their first sweep of a WCHA opponent since mid-October, improve to 6-10-2-2 in the league and 12-10-2 overall. Minnesota State is 6-15-3 overall and 5-12-1-0 in conference.

Trailing 1-0 with 20 minutes to play, the Buckeyes came back in the opening five minutes of the third period. Junior forward Kim Theut evened things up 1:37 into the stanza when she jammed the puck in from the right post after a bounce off the boards with an assist from sophomore Paige Semenza.

Senior Shannon Reilly then gave Ohio State its first lead at 4:27. The defenseman skated around a pair of Mavericks and whipped a wrist shot from right side of the slot over a flattened Alli Altmann in the MSU net. Sophomore Tina Hollowell and junior Laura McIntosh collected the helpers.

The Mavericks battled back to tie the score again. From just over the blueline, Amy Udvig fired a slap shot that traveled through traffic and into the back of the net at 10:41. Darion Bruyere collected the single assist.

Just 32 seconds later, the Buckeyes regained the lead for the final time. McIntosh buried the puck on a one-timer from the slot off a centering pass from behind net by junior defenseman Kelly Wild. Hollowell picked up the second assist.

As time was winding down Ohio State locked down on defense and did not allow the Mavericks to get the puck out of their zone to pull Altmann for an extra skater.

Minnesota State jumped on board first in the second period when, charging toward net, Kelsie Scott slipped the puck in for the 1-0 lead at 5:08 set up by Nicole Germaine and Kari Lundburg.

Rookie goalie Lisa Steffes stopped 21 shots to up her record to 12-10-2. Altmann (3-12-2) had 28 saves for Minnesota State.

Overall, the Buckeyes led 31-23 in shots. Both teams were 0-of-2 on the power play.

Up next, Ohio State returns to Columbus to host No. 7 Minnesota in a WCHA series Jan. 21-22. Games begin at 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink and admission, as always, is free.

Game Notes:

  • Ohio State and Minnesota State split their season series at 2-2-0.
  • The Buckeyes are 19-3-2 in Mankato and lead the all-time series with MSU at 39-9-4.
  • OSU is now 12-4-0 when scoring three or more goals and 12-2-2 when allowing three or fewer goals.
  • Hokey Langan missed her first career game Saturday with an injury.
  • Shannon Reilly tied her career-high for goals in a season with her sixth of the year.
  • Laura McIntosh tallied her 10th multiple-point game of the season. It was her third game-winning goal.
  • Lisa Steffes surpassed the 700-save total with 708. She is one of only two goalies in the nation to stop more than 700 shots this year.
  • Tina Hollowell had a season-high and tied her career-high with two assists. It was her second multi-point outing this year.