Melissa Feste leads Ohio State with two goals and assist, is one of five Buckeyes with multiple points

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s hockey team built a 4-1 lead in the first period and added a goal in each of the following stanzas for a 6-1 victory to complete the sweep of Robert Morris in a nonconference matchup Sunday at the OSU Ice Rink. Five Buckeyes had multiple-point games, led by sophomore forward Melissa Feste with two goals and an assist. Rookie forward Hokey Langan also recorded an assist to extend her point streak to 14 games, tying for the second-longest in team history.

The series was the third and final nonconference opponent for the Ohio State, who moves to 9-7-4 overall (6-6-2-0 Western Collegiate Hockey Association). Robert Morris falls to 5-12-1 (0-4-1 College Hockey America).

Along with Feste, linemates sophomore Natalie Spooner and freshman Paige Semenza each had a goal and assist as well as plus-4 ratings. Defensemen Kelly Wild and Sandy Nelson each had a career-high two assists.

 It took just 42 seconds for the Buckeyes to get on the board as sophomore Laura McIntosh weaved through the neutral zone past three Colonials and backhanded the puck in top-shelf. She was set up by Nelson and Langan.

Robert Morris’ lone goal was at 4:18 when Sara O’Malley put the puck in from low in the right circle off assists by Jennifer Kindret and Mallory Giambra.

Ohio State responded just 32 seconds later when Feste backhanded the puck from the left side off a rebound shot by Wild with Semenza on the second assist.

Feste tallied her second goal at 9:06 when she put in another rebound, this time from a shot by Nelson at the point.

Semenza then scored her second goal of the season at 13:17 to give the Buckeyes a 4-1 lead heading into the first intermission. She stopped along the middle of the far boards and fired a shot that sailed into the back of net with assists by Spooner and senior defenseman Rachel Davis.

Following the fourth Ohio State goal, RMU pulled starting goalie Kristen DiCiocco for Daneca Butterfield. DiCiocco finished with six saves and registered the loss to move to 0-3-0.

The teams skated through the second period with Ohio State holding a 12-3 advantage in shots, adding another goal with just 24 seconds left in the stanza. Spooner carried the puck into the zone and went to the right side, scoring on a wrist shot. Feste and Wild picked up the assists.

Senior Raelyn LaRocque then scored the final Buckeye goal 3:22 into the third when she tipped a shot from sophomore Kim Theut in front of the net. Junior defenseman Teal Bishop notched the other assist.

For the game, Ohio State had a 38-23 advantage in shots. Both teams were scoreless on the power play with the Buckeyes 0-of-2 and Robert Morris 0-of-3. Ohio State killed off a 1:40 of a 5-on-3 Colonial power play in the second period.

Rookie goalie Chelsea Knapp limited the opponent to just one goal for the third-consecutive game and made a total of 22 saves to improve to 7-7-4. RMU’s Butterfield had 26 saves during her 46:43 in net.

It is WCHA play for the remainder of Ohio State’s regular-season schedule, beginning with back-to-back road trips to No. 2 Minnesota (Jan. 8-9) and Minnesota State (Jan. 15-16). Games vs. the Golden Gophers begin at 6 p.m. (CT) Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.

Game Notes:

  • This was the second sweep for the Buckeyes this season, both coming on home ice.
  • Ohio State is 3-0-1 in its last four games.
  • The OSU penalty kill was a perfect 8-of-8 this weekend and improved to 89.8 percent this season (88-of-98).
  • The Buckeyes are 7-0-0 when leading after the first period.
  • Melissa Feste has scored eight of her 10 goals this season against nonconference opponents.
  • Sandy Nelson, who had two assists Sunday, entered the game with four assists in her previous 87 games played.
  • In her last four games, Chelsea Knapp is 3-0-1 with a 1.23 goals-against average and .947 save percentage. She has 89 saves and five goals allowed.
  • Natalie Spooner has six multiple-point games this year, trailing only Hokey Langan with eight.