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Natalie Spooner tallies two goals to nab her 100th point

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Down 2-1 in the third period, the Ohio State women’s hockey team scored twice in the last 5 minutes to rally for the 3-2 victory at Minnesota State Friday night in Mankato, Minn. Junior forward Natalie Spooner tallied the gamewinner with 1:12 left in regulation to pick up her 100th career point after opening the scoring for the Buckeyes in the first period.

The Buckeyes moved back over .500 at 11-10-2 and are 5-10-2-2 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The Mavericks fall to 6-14-3 and 5-11-1-1 in the conference.

As time was ticking away in the third period, Ohio State started its comeback. Following a faceoff, junior forward Laura McIntosh scored top-shelf on a wrist shot from the slot to move the score at 2-all with just 4:32 left in regulation. Classmate Kelly Wild had the assist.

Spooner then snagged the puck off a turnover just over the blueline, carried it into the MSU zone and scored right in front of the net for the unassisted game-winning goal at 18:48. 

Minnesota State jumped on the board first when Moira O’Connor picked up the loose puck in the left corner of the OSU zone, spun and shot it on net. Tracy McCann cleaned up the rebound for the 1-0 lead at 11:26.

The Buckeyes responded to tie the score at 1-all at the first intermission. Junior Melissa Feste poked the puck along the boards to senior defenseman Shannon Reilly, who passed it to Spooner. She pulled back and fired it in from the left faceoff circle for the goal at 16:05.

Lauren Smith scored the only goal in the second period to return the lead to the Mavericks. While on the power play, her wrist shot went over the glove of Buckeye goalie Lisa Steffes and dropped into the net at 18:59.

Steffes finished with 28 saves to move to 11-10-2 this season. Danielle Butters (3-3-1) stopped 23 shots in the MSU net.

Overall, Minnesota State led in shots, 30-26. The Buckeyes were 0-of-2 on the power play while the Mavericks were 1-of-2.

Game Notes:

  • It was the first WCHA win for the Buckeyes since Nov. 27 (3-1 vs. Bemidji State).
  • It was Ohio State’s first win this season after trailing at the second intermission (1-6-1).
  • Natalie Spooner became the seventh Buckeye to reach the 100-point milestone. She is the second player to reach it this year as Laura McIntosh also collected her 100th point. Spooner is the second-fastest Buckeye to 100 points, reaching it in 81 games – just one behind McIntosh.
  • Spooner moved into third in the Ohio State career goals category with 62. She now owns the record for career game-winning goals with 11.