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Sophomore forward leads Ohio State in opening game of WCHA First Round Playoff series

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Natalie Spooner led the charge, scoring all three Buckeye goals including the overtime gamewinner, in the Ohio State women’s hockey team’s 3-2 victory over 10th-ranked Wisconsin Friday at Eagle’s Nest Arena in Verona, Wis. The game was the opener for the WCHA First Round Playoff series between the fifth-seed Buckeyes and fourth-seed Badgers.

Trailing 2-0 after the first intermission, Spooner tallied twice in the second period then scored the game-winning goal just 2:30 into the 20-minute overtime session. It was the second career hat trick for the Scarborough, Ontario, native and the third hat trick by a Buckeye this season.

Ohio State took advantage of a power-play opportunity to begin its rally, with Spooner scoring 11:07 into the second period off an assist by fellow sophomore Laura McIntosh.

Spooner added her second goal to tie the score at 2-all at 15:38, scoring off a pass by defenseman Brittany Carlson.

After a scoreless third period, Spooner completed the hat trick with her third goal set up by freshman Paige Semenza and sophomore defenseman Kelly Wild.

Wisconsin scored twice in the first period, beginning with a goal by Brooke Ammerman just 5:07 into the contest with assists by Jasmine Giles and Saige Pacholok.

Breann Frykas then tallied for the Badgers at 12:02, set up again by Pacholok and Kyla Sanders.

Overall, Wisconsin had a 33-32 edge in shots. The Buckeye penalty kill had a strong 4-of-4 performance while the power play was 1-of-3.

Rookie goaltender Chelsea Knapp had a stellar performance in net with 31 saves to improve to 14-14-5. Alannah McCready (9-7-0) had 29 saves for UW.

The playoff series between Ohio State and Wisconsin continues with a 7 p.m. (CT) game Saturday at the Eagle’s Nest.

Game Notes:

  • Ohio State is 3-2-0 vs. Wisconsin this season.
  • This was the fourth-consecutive series the Buckeyes have played in an overtime game (2-1-1).
  • Ohio State is 2-2-5 in overtime games this season.
  • Natalie Spooner has 21 goals this season to rank second on the team in scoring. Her 42 career goals tie for sixth all-time for the Buckeyes.