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Sophomore forward scored twice and had assist in road sweep of Minnesota State

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Natalie Spooner, a sophomore forward on the Ohio State women’s hockey team, was named WCHA Offensive Player of the Week, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association announced Wednesday. It is the first offensive weekly honor of her career for Spooner, who set a program record with four WCHA rookie of the week awards last season.

After missing the previous series while playing with the gold medal-winning Canadian Under-22 Team at the MLP Cup in Germany, Spooner returned to the Buckeyes and had three points to help them to a sweep of Minnesota State, Jan. 15-16 in Mankato, Minn.

The native of Scarborough, Ontario, scored the third goal and assisted on the fifth in Ohio State’s 6-0 shutout of the Mavericks Friday. Trailing 2-1 heading into the third Saturday, Spooner scored the game-tying goal 4:59 into the period as the Buckeyes rallied for the 3-2 victory.

The two goals scored by Spooner moved her into a tie for eighth in the Buckeye career records with 34 goals just 52 games into her young career. She ranks seventh in Ohio State’s WCHA career records with 28 goals vs. conference opponents.

Along with her offensive production, Spooner continues to be a mainstay on the Buckeye penalty kill that had a perfect 8-of-8 performance and upped its percentage to 90.2 overall for second in the WCHA and fourth in the NCAA.

Ohio State (11-9-4, 8-8-2-0 WCHA) begins a three-week homestand this weekend when it takes on Bemidji State (7-11-6, 6-6-6-3 WCHA). Four critical conference points are up for grabs with the fifth-place Buckeyes just three points behind the Beavers, in a tie for third.

Games begin at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink and admission, as always, is free. Following the Saturday game, the team will host “Skate with the Buckeyes” and autograph sessions.

2009-10 Ohio State WCHA Player of the Week Awards

Minttu Tuominen – Rookie of the Week, Oct. 21 (at Bemidji State)
Hokey Langan – Rookie of the Week, Nov. 4 (vs. Minnesota State)
Raelyn LaRocque – Offensive Player of the Week, Nov. 11 (at North Dakota)
Chelsea Knapp – Defensive Player of the Week, Jan. 6 (vs. Robert Morris)
Natalie Spooner – Offensive Player of the Week, Jan. 20 (at Minnesota State)