Ohio State BUCKEYES (12-12-2, 6-12-2-2 WCHA) vs.
St. Cloud State HUSKIES (0-24-1, 0-19-1-1 WCHA)
Friday, Jan. 28 – 2 p.m. (CT) • Saturday, Jan. 29 – 1 p.m. (CT)
National Hockey Center • St. Cloud, Minn.
Live video: America One Broadband Broadcasts (B2LiveTV.com)
Live audio (local): KVSC 88.1 FM (KVSC.org)
Live stats: StCloudState.edu/athletics
Links to video/audio/stats available on the women’s hockey schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio – After a tough home weekend against nationally-ranked Minnesota, the Ohio State women’s hockey team hits the road to travel to St. Cloud State for a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series, Jan. 28-29. Games begin at 2 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn.
The Buckeyes (12-12-2, 6-12-2-2) fell to the Golden Gophers by scores of 4-2 and 8-1 in Columbus. The Huskies (0-24-1, 0-19-1-1) are looking to snap a shutout streak after being held scoreless by North Dakota, 5-0, both games last weekend.
BUCKEYES IN A NUTSHELL
Ohio State is averaging 2.92 goals per game while allowing an average of 3.23. The Buckeye special teams are operating at 16.7 percent on power play (18-of-108) and 81.9 percent on penalty kill (77-of-94).
Leading the Buckeyes in points and assists is Laura McIntosh, with 35 and 25, respectively. Natalie Spooner has scored a team-high 20 goals, including seven on the power play, and has 29 points. Hokey Langan is second in points, goals and assists with a 13-17-30 line. Patrolling the OSU net is freshman Lisa Steffes, who is 12-12-2 with a 3.10 GAA and .905 save percentage.
LAST TIME OUT: No. 5 MINNESOTA
Ohio State dropped both games of a WCHA home series to No. 5 Minnesota, Jan. 21-22 at the OSU Ice Rink. The Buckeyes led 2-1 in the third period of the opening game, but the Golden Gophers came back with three goals in the last 10 minutes for the 4-2 win. The next night, Ohio State had a tough time getting things going and fell 8-1.
Junior forward Natalie Spooner had two assists in the first game and added the lone OSU goal in game two for a three-point weekend. Also with two points Friday was freshman forward Ally Tarr, who had a goal and assist. It was the first multi-point game of her career.
Golden Gopher Series Notes:
Natalie Spooner entered elite company last weekend. After netting her 20th goal of the year, she is only the second Buckeye to have three 20-goal seasons in her career, joining Jeni Creary (2002-05).
The Scarborough, Ontario, native has seven multiple-goal performances and has tallied two or more points 12 times this year in 19 games played. Of her team-leading 20 goals, seven have been scored on the power play and four are gamewinners.
THE DISH ON SPOONER
After a goal vs. Minnesota last weekend, Natalie Spooner stands in third in the Ohio State career goals category with 63 and is only six away from second place. She also owns the Buckeye record for career game-winning goals with 11 and stands sixth in career points with 103.
A LOOK AT ST. CLOUD STATE
St. Cloud State took a hit offensively this season after the graduation of its top 5 scorers from 2009-10, including the WCHA Co-Player of the Year Felicia Nelson. The Huskies returned their goalie, Ashley Nixon, who is 0-24-1 with a 4.89 GAA and .880 save percentage.
SCSU is led by Molli Mott with a team-high seven points and four assists. Brittany Toor has four goals to lead the Huskies.
BUCKEYES VS. HUSKIES
Ohio State has a slight edge in the all-time series with St. Cloud State at 24-23-6. The Huskies lead the games in St. Cloud at 13-11-3. The Buckeyes swept an earlier series this season by scores of 3-1 and 6-1, Oct. 15-16 at the OSU Ice Rink. It was their first sweep against SCSU since Oct. 7-8, 2005 in Columbus.
Junior forward Laura McIntosh has 15 points (4g, 11a) in 10 games vs. SCSU. Senior defenseman Shannon Reilly is behind her with 14 points, including 11 assists, in 17 career games against the Huskies.
WHEN LAST WE MET
The Buckeyes opened their home and WCHA schedule with a sweep of St. Cloud State, Oct. 15-16 at the OSU Ice Rink. Ohio State took the first game by a score of 3-1 Friday before a third-period outburst in a 6-1 win Saturday. The Buckeyes scored the first two goals in game one, but SCSU cut the score to 2-1 in the third period. Natalie Spooner sealed the win by scoring with just under 5 minutes remaining.
Laura McIntosh led the attack in game two, scoring a hat trick and adding two assists to tie the OSU record for points in a game. Spooner and Kelly Wild also had a goal and assist in the game and Hokey Langan tallied two assists as nine Buckeyes had a point.
SPOONER REACHES CENTURY CLUB
Natalie Spooner became the seventh Buckeye to reach the 100-point milestone Jan. 14 with her two goals at Minnesota State. She was the second player to become a member of the Century Club this year and the second-fastest Buckeye to do so, reaching it in 81 games – just one behind Laura McIntosh.
REILLY RETURNS TO FORM
After 24 points as a freshman and 19 as a sophomore, Shannon Reilly had a tough season last year with only 11. However, the Chanhassen, Minn., native has found the scoring touch once again this season. She is second in the WCHA overall in defenseman scoring with 19 points and is 10th in the NCAA with 0.73 points per game. Reilly ranks third on the Buckeyes with 13 assists and has tied her season-high for goals with six.
STEFFES STEPS UP
Rookie goaltender Lisa Steffes has made 30-plus saves in 13 games and has five games with over 40 saves. The Amherstburg, Ontario, native leads the NCAA with 762 saves this season and is one of only four goalies in the nation with over 700 saves. She also leads in the NCAA in minutes played at 1550:36.
Laura McIntosh collected her 88th helper last weekend and is second in the Ohio State career assists column. Jana Harrigan (2003-06) holds the all-time record with 92. With an assist at Minnesota (Dec. 12), McIntosh set the Buckeye record for career assists in WCHA-only games (surpassing the previous mark set by Harrigan). She now has 70 assists in conference games.
Ohio State returns to Columbus for back-to-back home series beginning with the Fighting Sioux of North Dakota, Feb. 4-5. Games begin at 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink and admission, as always, is free.