Kim Theut tallies last-minute gamewinner as Buckeye freshmen score all goals in 6-5 victory
MANKATO, Minn. Rookie forward Natalie Spooner set a Buckeye record with four goals to lead the Ohio State women’s hockey team to a 6-5 victory at Minnesota State Friday in Mankato, Minn. All six Buckeye goals were scored by the freshman class with Kim Theut tallying the last-minute gamewinner to snap a five-game losing streak.
Ohio State improves to 6-11-0 overall and 4-9-0 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. Minnesota State is 6-10-1 with a 3-9-1 mark in the conference.
Spooner, a native of Scarborough, Ontario, scored one goal in the first period and added three early in a 1:56 span in the second to set the OSU record for goals in a game. It was 22 seconds between her second and third goal to complete the natural hat trick.
Spooner gave Ohio State a quick 1-0 lead just 33 seconds into the game. While the Mavericks were trying to get the puck out of their zone, senior co-captain Hayley Klassen tapped the loose puck over to Spooner who skated it in and rifled a slap shot from the right faceoff circle to score top shelf on the first shot of the game.
Minnesota State came back with two goals in the remaining minutes of the period to carry a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. Ida Clark knotted the score at 2:39 when sophomore OSU goalie Deidre Facklis tried to make the save but the puck became loose with Clark tapping it into the open net. She was assisted by Christina Lee.
Ashley Young gave MSU its first lead just before the intermission at 19:23 scoring five-hole while skating across the goal crease. Clark added another goal 1:18 into the second period to up Minnesota State’s lead to 3-1.
The Buckeyes then responded with four goals in less than three minutes. Spooner continued her scoring streak with three in a row at 4:33, scoring a power play goal on a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle with assists by Klassen and sophomore defenseman Shannon Reilly.
At 4:55, Spooner capped off her first hat trick with an unassisted goal. She stole the puck from an MSU defenseman in the left corner and carried it to the net, tucking it into the left corner for the unassisted goal.
Spooner then became the first Buckeye to score four goals in a game at 6:29 when, stationed low in the slot, she deflected in a blast by fellow rookie Laura McIntosh from the top.
McIntosh completed the scoring flurry with an unassisted goal of her own at 7:17, picking up the puck at the red line and charging into the zone to score from the left side. Ohio State held onto its 5-3 lead at the end of two periods.
Minnesota State battled back in the third period, tying the game at 5-all with two goals by Ashley Young. She scored her first one at 4:46 off a rebound by Jackie Otto while on the power play. With the game in its final minutes, Young backhanded the puck in from the right side just as a Buckeye penalty expired at 16:43.
Just as the game entered the final minute, sophomore defenseman Sandy Nelson dumped the puck deep into the zone and junior forward Raelyn LaRocque came charging in after. She fed it from the right corner up to Theut, who fired it over the goalie’s glove and into the back of the net for the Buckeye victory.
Overall, Ohio State was 1-of-4 on the power play and 7-of-8 on the penalty kill. Minnesota State led in shots 38-21. Facklis finished with 33 saves her third game with over 30 saves this season.
The Buckeyes and Mavericks will conclude their series with a 3 p.m. (CT) game Saturday at All Seasons Arena. Live scoring and video links are available on the women’s hockey page on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com. The team will wrap up the first half of it season Sunday with an exhibition game against the U.S. Women’s Select Team at 10 a.m. in Blaine, Minn.
The goals by Natalie Spooner extended her goal streak to four games. She has nine goals in that span.
Spooner leads the team in goals with 16. She is second in points with 19.
With just 13 games under her belt, Spooner is tied for 10th in the Buckeye records for goals in a season.
Spooner’s hat trick was the 15th all-time in Buckeye history. The last one was scored by Erin Keys at Bemidji State, Feb. 22, 2008.
Hayley Klassen has an assist in each of the last three games. With two assists, she tied for 10th on the OSU points list with 76.
With her goal and assist, Laura McIntosh became the first Buckeye to reach the 20-point mark this season. She has five goals and a team-high 15 assists.
The line of Spooner, McIntosh and Klassen combined for eight points.
Sandy Nelson’s assist was her first point of the season and second of her career.
The four goals scored in the second tied the OSU record for goals in a period. The six goals scored were a season-high for the Buckeyes.