Trailing 4-0, Ohio State scores three goals in the third but falls by a final of 5-3
ST. CLOUD, Minn. The fifth-seed Ohio State women’s hockey team fell to fourth-seed St. Cloud State by a score of 5-3 Sunday at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn. The Huskies won the best-of-three series, 2-1, to advance to the WCHA Final Faceoff, the league’s championship series, March 8-9 in Duluth, Minn. The loss ends Ohio State’s season with a 17-17-3 overall record (11-14-3 WCHA). St. Cloud State is 18-14-5 (11-13-4 WCHA).

Trailing 4-0 heading into the third period, the Buckeyes rallied with three goals in the opening nine minutes of the stanza. Ohio State got on the board at 2:44 to erase the shutout when senior defenseman Tessa Bonhomme fired on two shots on goal and fellow senior Erin Keys knocked in the loose puck from directly in front of the net. Junior forward Morgan Marziali picked up the second assist.

The Buckeyes came charging down the ice once again, to cut the lead to 4-2 when senior forward Jody Heywood scored on a wrist shot from the right side of the net at 4:35 with assists from classmates Lisa Chesson and Mallory Peckels.

Ohio State scored its third goal at 9:05 while on the power play. Keys jammed the puck in five-hole during a scramble in front of the goal with assists by Peckels and Bonhomme as the Buckeyes closed in on the net.

With time winding down in regulation and the score standing at 4-3, the Buckeyes went on a power play opportunity at 18:15. After taking a timeout, Ohio State had a couple of scoring opportunities before Caitlin Hogan of St. Cloud State grabbed the puck on the blueline and scored shorthanded on a breakaway at 19:23 for a final score of 5-3.

The Huskies built a 4-0 lead over the opening two periods with a goal in the first and three in the second. SCSU scored 6:14 into game for a 1-0 lead they would hold into the first intermission. Hogan scored into an open OSU net after junior goaltender Liana Bonanno moved outside the crease to the left to make a save. Despite trailing by a goal, the Buckeyes led in shots, 14-7.

In the second period, the Huskies capitalized on 2:52 of a 5-on-3 power play with three Buckeyes in the penalty box, scoring twice with the two-man advantage. Laura Fast scored the first off a rebound at 4:26, followed by tip by Amy Currier through the five-hole at 5:51. SCSU upped the score to 4-0 at 12:22 when Megan McCarthy scored top-shelf with Danielle Hirsch on a 2-on-1.

For the second game in a row, all five Ohio State senior skaters had a point. With two goals, St. Paul, Minn., native Keys concluded her season with 50 points on 26 goals and 24 assists. She is just the second Buckeye to ever reach the 50-point mark in a season. Bonhomme, the team captain from Sudbury, Ontario, ended with 16 goals and 29 assists for 45 points this season.

Assistant captains Peckels, of Minocqua, Wis., and Chesson, of Plainfield, Ill., finished with 27 and 26 points, respectively. Regina, Saskatchewan, native and fellow assistant captain Heywood had four goals this season, including two in the playoff series.

Overall, Ohio State had a 35-32 edge in shots, including a 16-9 margin in the third. The Buckeye power play was 1-of-8 while St. Cloud State was 2-of-7. Bonanno made 27 saves and concluded the season with a 14-13-3 record. SCSU netminder Kendall Newell had 32 saves and is 12-11-4.