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Oct. 30, 2014

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s hockey team (4-2-0, 2-2-0 WCHA) returns after a short hiatus to face St. Cloud State (2-3-1, 1-0-1 WCHA) for a two-game series at the OSU Ice Rink. Puck drop is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. (ET) and Saturday at 1 p.m.

Follow the Buckeyes
Fans unable to make the trip to Columbus have a variety of ways to follow the action. Scoring updates will be available from the Buckeyes’ official Twitter account, @OhioState_WHKY, while a link to live stats has been provided above. Both games will be available for streaming through BuckeyeVision ($). Scarlet and Gray Sports Radio will also be on the call with play-by-play coverage.

Football Frenzy
With the Ohio State vs. Illinois football game set for an 8 p.m. (ET) kickoff in adjacent Ohio Stadium, fans attending the hockey game Saturday should plan accordingly. Parking will be available in all “Day of Game” lots, with a set fee of $15.00. A game day parking map can be found at the link provided: http://go.osu.edu/gameday_parking.  All “Day of Game” lots are labeled in red.

Last Time Out – OSU 2-0-0 vs. Bemidji State
Ohio State completed a series sweep of Bemidji State, Oct. 18, at the OSU Ice Rink. In the first game of the series, the Buckeyes handed the Beavers their first loss of the season with a dominating 5-1 performance. Ohio State switched gears and recorded a gritty 1-0 shutout over BSU in game two.

“I think we came out and played with that little bit extra you need in every game in order to have an impact on it,” Ohio State head coach Nate Handrahan said. “I thought we competed and poured some of our heart and soul into the game, as opposed to just going out and playing robotic. You get rewarded when you invest and I think we invested.”

Game One Highlight – Ohio State 5, Bemidji State 1
Junior forward Julia McKinnon sparked the Buckeyes, netting her first career hat trick vs. the Beavers. A native of Kelowna, British Columbia, McKinnon last notched a two-goal performance on Dec. 9, 2012 in a matchup with RIT. Her three-goal performance marked the 25th hat trick in program history. The last time a Buckeye earned a hat trick was Oct. 27, 2012, also against Bemidji State.

Game Two Highlight – Ohio State 1, Bemidji State 0
Senior forward Danielle Gagne lit the lamp for the second time this season off a feed from teammates Melani Moylan and Cara Zubko. Splitting two defenders, Gagne scored on a breakaway to put the Buckeyes up, 1-0.

Husky Highlights
St. Cloud State was also idle last weekend after playing its first WCHA series against Minnesota State in Mankato, Oct. 17-18.

The Huskies took five out of six available points against the Mavericks with a Friday night win and a Saturday night shootout win. Senior captain Audrey Hanmer, who was named WCHA Co-Defensive Player of the Week following the series, is on a five-game point streak, with seven points tallied in the span.

Defending the net for the Huskies vs. Minnesota State were goalies Julie Friend and Katie Fitzgerald. Friend, a senior this season, has earned a save percentage of .904 and a goals against average of 2.73 in four starts. Fitzgerald has been credited with two starts, recording a .926 save percentage and a 1.68 goals against average.

Buckeyes vs. Huskies
Ohio State holds the edge in the all-time series with St. Cloud State, posting a record of 35-23-7.

The Buckeyes went 3-0-1 against the Huskies last season. OSU took four out of six points in a home series between the conference foes (Oct. 11-12, 2013). The teams skated to a 2-2 tie in the first game, while the Buckeyes responded with a 4-2 victory the following day. Traveling to St. Cloud, Minn. later in the season, Ohio State swept SCSU with a 4-1 victory on Friday, Jan. 31 and 6-1 win on Saturday, Feb. 1.

Sauve Named WCHA Player of the Week
Kassidy Sauve, a freshman goalie on the Ohio State women’s hockey team, was named WCHA Rookie of the Week by the Western Collegiate Hockey Association following the Bemidji State series. It marked the first occasion Sauve received the honor during her collegiate career.

A native of Whitby, Ontario, Sauve recorded 39 saves to help Ohio State sweep BSU. The rookie earned her second career shutout with a 15-save blanking in the second game of the series. Following the weekend, Sauve tied for third in the nation with two shutouts overall. So far this season, she has recorded a cumulative save percentage of .925 and a goals against average of 2.10.

Buckeye Depth
Ohio State has had 16 different players record one or more points over the course of its six games played, including 11 different individuals netting points in conference play. McKinnon and Kendall Curtis each lead the Buckeyes with four points earned. McKinnon has tallied three goals and an assist, while Curtis has contributed two goals and two assists.
Six freshmen have suited up for the Scarlet and Gray this season – Lauren Spring, Dani Sadek, Jessica Dunne, Alison Gasuik, Julianna Iafallo and Kassidy Sauve. Spring leads the class in scoring with two points earned – both of which were assists.

The Dynamic Duo
With two assists vs. the Beavers, Sara Schmitt passed former Buckeye Kelly Wild for seventh in career points by a defenseman at Ohio State. Schmitt has 64 points thus far and needs 14 to pass Shannon Reilly for sixth all time. Her sister Kari sits in ninth on the same list with 57 points to her credit.

Oh Captain, My Captain
Sara Schmitt, a senior this season, will don the captain’s “C” for the Scarlet and Gray during the 2014-15 season, while fellow seniors Kari Schmitt and Kara Gust will be recognized as the team’s assistant captains. The leadership unit, announced by head coach Nate Handrahan, exhibits excellence on and off the ice as backbones of the Buckeye defense and Ohio State Scholar-Athletes.

“I believe they are very capable and responsible to lead our team to where we want to be,” Handrahan said. “Sara is an excellent person who has been an unrecognized leader in her time as a Buckeye. She has shown to be well rounded in all areas of her life and will be able to interact with all team members in a positive, constructive way. I trust her and her abilities to lead us effectively.”

Behind the Bench
Handrahan is in his fourth season at the helm of the Ohio State women’s hockey program. In his first three seasons as a Buckeye, Handrahan has compiled an overall record of 50-48-12. He is the second women’s hockey coach in the 12-year history of the program. Handrahan, a graduate of Niagara University, is joined by second-year assistant coaches Carson Duggan and Keith Maurice.

Handrahan has high expectations for the 2014-15 Buckeyes following a fifth-place WCHA run last season.

“I thought from Thanksgiving moving forward, especially into the second half of the season, we were one of the hottest teams in the country,” Handrahan said. “If the second half of last year was any indication, I’m pretty excited about the group as they come back.”

The Buckeyes Are Back
Ohio State returns 17 letterwinners from a season ago, including nine forwards, seven defensemen and one goaltender. Eight have been welcomed into the Buckeye family as newcomers, four of which will suit up as forwards, two on defense and two in goal.

On offense, the Buckeyes will be led by nine of the Top 10 point earners from the 2013-14 campaign. With a line of 7-21-28, Sara Schmitt ranks as Ohio State’s top returning point producer, while Kepler led the Buckeyes with 13 goals last season. After losing both goaltenders to graduation, the Buckeyes will look to Stacy Danczak or newcomers Alex LaMere and Sauve to fill the role.

On to the Next One
The Buckeyes will hit the road for a series with Minnesota State, Nov. 7-8. Face off is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET) on Friday and 2 p.m. (ET) on Saturday.