No. 9 Ohio State Buckeyes (6-3-1, 2-3-1-1 WCHA) vs.
Minnesota State Mavericks (4-5-1, 3-5-0 WCHA)
Friday, Nov. 12 – 7 p.m. • Saturday, Nov. 13 – 7 p.m.
OSU Ice Rink • Columbus, Ohio
Live video (Friday): Buckeye Vision (OhioStateBuckeyes.com)
Live audio (Saturday): Scarlet & Gray Sports Radio (OhioStateSports.net)
Live stats: OhioStateBuckeyes.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The ninth-ranked Ohio State women’s hockey team welcomes Minnesota State to the OSU Ice Rink for a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series Nov. 12-13. Admission for Ohio State home games, as always, is free. The Buckeyes (6-3-1, 2-3-1-1) are only one point back from the Mavericks (4-5-1, 3-5-0) in the conference standings.
BUCKEYES IN A NUTSHELL
Ohio State stayed in the ninth spot in both national polls this week and is one of five WCHA teams in the national rankings. After going 6-2-0 in the opening month of the season, the Buckeyes started November with a loss and shootout win at No. 7 North Dakota last weekend. Like last season the OSU offense is among the best in the NCAA, tied for fifth with an average of 3.90 goals per game.
Leading the Buckeyes in points and assists is Laura McIntosh, with 21 and 15, respectively. Natalie Spooner has scored a team-high 12 goals, including five on the power play, and has 17 points. Hokey Langan is third with 16 points (4g, 12a). Patrolling the OSU net is freshman Lisa Steffes, who is 6-3-1 with a 2.17 GAA and .929 save percentage.
LAST TIME OUT: No. 7 NORTH DAKOTA
No. 9 Ohio State left Grand Forks with two WCHA points in a series at No. 7 North Dakota, Nov. 6-7 at Ralph Engelstad Arena. The Buckeyes won a shootout, 2-0, in the second game Sunday, following a 2-2 overtime tie. Game one also went into overtime, with North Dakota scoring the game-winning goal with just 14 seconds left for the 3-2 victory.
The Buckeyes rallied twice to tie the first game and send it into overtime with goals by sophomore Paige Semenza and freshman Ally Tarr. It was the first of the season for Semenza and first of her career for Tarr. In the second game, seniors Christina Mancuso and Shannon Reilly scored for Ohio State. UND again played spoiler in game two, scoring an extra-skater goal with 1:18 left in regulation to send it into overtime, but Laura McIntosh and Tarr scored for the Buckeyes in the shootout for the extra point.
Fighting Sioux Series Notes:
WISH YOU WERE HERE
Ohio State was without top goal-scorer Natalie Spooner for the North Dakota series, while Minttu Tuominen and Annie Svedin missed the second game against the Fighting Sioux. All three were preparing with their respective national teams for the Four Nations Cup and will miss the Minnesota State series this weekend while competing in the tournament.
FOUR BUCKS AT FOUR NATIONS
Four players with Ohio State ties are competing for their countries at the 2010 Four Nations Cup, Nov. 9-13 in St. John’s and Clarenville, N.L. Junior forward Natalie Spooner and former Buckeye defenseman Tessa Bonhomme are representing host country Canada. Spooner is playing in her second Four Nations Cup, (along with 2008), while Bonhomme has been a member of several National Women’s Teams and won Olympic gold last February.
Sophomore forward Minttu Tuominen (Finland) and freshman defenseman Annie Svedin (Sweden) also are playing in the tournament. This is Tuominen’s third Four Nations appearance after last competing for Finland at the Olympics where she won bronze. Svedin earned her second spot on the Swedish National Team and her first trip to Four Nations.
A LOOK AT MINNESOTA STATE
Minnesota State enters the series with the Buckeyes with momentum after a home sweep of St. Cloud State last weekend, winning by scores of 4-1 and 4-2. They are 4-5-1 overall and a point ahead of Ohio State in the WCHA standings at 3-5-0.
The Mavericks are led in scoring by freshman Kathleen Rogan with six goals and 10 points. Senior Nina Tikkinen has a team-high five assists and is second in points with six. MSU has split time between two goalies this season. Junior Alli Altmann is 2-3-1 with a 2.98 GAA and .898 save percentage and freshman Danielle Butters is 2-2-0 with a 3.44 GAA and .907 save percentage.
BUCKEYES VS. MAVERICKS
Ohio State swept both meetings with Minnesota State last season, winning 7-6 and 4-1 at home in October and 6-0 and 3-2 on the road in January. Leading the Buckeyes vs. the Mavericks offensively is Laura McIntosh with 16 points (6g, 10a) in eight games and Hokey Langan with nine points (5g, 4a) in four games.
Ohio State leads the all-time series 37-7-4, with a 18-4-2 record at the OSU Ice Rink.
ALL GOOD THINGS …
Hokey Langan ended her point streak at 11 games, dating back to the last two games of the 2009-10 season. The sophomore from Chatham, Ontario, was held without a point for the first time this season last Sunday. It was just the ninth time in 47 career games she did not have a point.
MAC JOINS THE CENTURY CLUB
Laura McIntosh became the fastest Buckeye to reach 100 points, surpassing the century mark Oct. 29 with five assists in a sweep of Syracuse. The junior from Waterloo, Ontario, reached the milestone with her second of three assists in a 5-1 win in the first game of the series.
McIntosh is just the sixth Buckeye to reach 100 points and did so in 80 games, 19 games faster than the previous mark held by All-American Jana Harrigan. McIntosh now has 105 points to stand fifth in Ohio State’s all-time point category and is third in assists with 78.
SPOONER THE SNIPER
By scoring twice in each game vs. Syracuse, Natalie Spooner extended her point streak to 12 games – the longest of her career and fourth-longest in Buckeye history. The Scarborough, Ontario, product also has scored at least one a goal in all eight games this year. Added to her goal from the final game of the 2009-10 season, she has set the Ohio State record for consecutive games with a goal at nine.
Spooner also has had a point in 20-consecutive series, dating back to the second series of last year. Her four goals upped her career total to 55 and the assistant captain is just the fourth Buckeye to reach the 50-goal mark.
THE BIG 4-0
Just eight games into her college career, Lisa Steffes already has turned in some of the top performances by an OSU goalie. She stopped 44 shots in Ohio State’s 6-2 win Oct. 30 vs. Syracuse for her third 40-save performance in a four-game span.
Steffes is just the fourth goalie to have three games with 40-plus games in her career and the first do so more than twice as a rookie. At Wisconsin (Oct. 22-23), the Amherstburg, Ontario, native made 44 and 43 saves for the first time in the 12-year history of the program an OSU netminder had back-to-back games with 40-plus saves.
Alternating home and road series continues next weekend when the Buckeyes travel to No. 3/4 Minnesota Duluth for a WCHA series, Nov. 19-20. Games begin at 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.