Ohio State battles Huskies in Saturday-Sunday series at the National Hockey Center
COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State women’s hockey continues its string of four of five series on the road when the Buckeyes travel to St. Cloud, Minn., to face the Huskies of St. Cloud State in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, Nov. 8-9. Games begin at 2 p.m. (CT) Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at the National Hockey Center.
    The Buckeyes, 4-6-0 overall and 2-6-0 in the WCHA, enter the series looking to rebound after dropping two games in a conference series at North Dakota by scores of 4-2 and 5-4 (OT). St. Cloud State is 4-4-2 and 1-4-1 in the league.

    Live scoring the Ohio State-St. Cloud State series will be available on the Huskies’ official athletics Web site: Links to the games are available on the Buckeye women’s hockey schedule page on
    A video webcast through the B2 Network is available for purchase also through the SCSU site.

    Ohio State stumbled in a series at North Dakota last season, dropping two games to the Fighting Sioux to move to 4-6-0 overall and 2-6-0 in the WCHA. Leading the Buckeyes is freshman forward Laura McIntosh with a team-high 13 points and nine assists. Fellow rookie forward Natalie Spooner is right behind her with 10 points and a Buckeye-best seven goals.
    Patrolling the Ohio State net for the majority of minutes is senior goaltender Liana Bonanno. The assistant captain is 4-4-0 with a .902 save percentage and 3.31 goals-against average.

    Ohio State will be without its leading scorer, freshman forward Natalie Spooner, for the second-consecutive series while she is with Team Canada. Spooner met up with the Canadian National Team last Wednesday in Quebec to prepare for the 2008 Four Nations Cup this week. The international tournament between the U.S., Canada, Finland and Sweden will be held Nov. 4-9 in Lake Placid, N.Y.
    Spooner, a native of Scarborough, Ontario, is the youngest member of the team turning 18 just two weeks ago. This is the third Team Canada squad she has been named to in 2008. She began the season as a member of the silver medal-winning U-18 team in January, was selected to the U-22 team in August and was chosen for the national team in September.

    Along with freshman forward Natalie Spooner, former Buckeye defenseman Tessa Bonhomme also will compete with the Canadian National Women’s Team at the 2008 Four Nations Cup. Team Canada will be playing for its fifth-consecutive Four Nations title.
    Bonhomme, of Sudbury, Ontario, is playing in her third Four Nations Cup. She helped Team Canada win gold in 2005 and ’06. She was a member of the gold-medal winning Canadian National Women’s Team at the 2007 IIHF World Women’s Championships and participated in the Olympic Centralization Program in 2005-06. She is currently playing with the Calgary Oval X-treme of the Western Women’s Hockey League.

     Laura McIntosh was named WCHA Co-Rookie of the Week, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association announced Wednesday. She shared the award with Alyssa Wiere, a forward from North Dakota.
    McIntosh played a part in five of six Buckeye goals in a road series at North Dakota, Nov. 1-2. The rookie forward from Waterloo, Ontario, had an assist on the second goal in game one. She followed by setting up or scoring all four OSU goals in the second game, alternating with assist, goal, assist and goal. Her line totaled 10 points that contest.

    Laura McIntosh’s rookie of the week award is the second-consecutive for a Buckeye. Natalie Spooner earned the award Oct. 29. 
    Spooner factored into four of Ohio State’s five goals in a sweep of Bemidji State at the OSU Ice Rink (Oct. 24-25). The freshman from Scarborough, Ontario, scored twice in a 3-0 shutout of the Beavers in game one. In the second game, Spooner set up the first goal before scoring the gamewinner for the 2-1 victory.

    Ohio State has a slight edge in the all-time series with St. Cloud State at 20-19-4. The two teams last met in a first-round WCHA playoff series last season in which the Huskies won 2-1. SCSU took the 2007-08 series with a 4-2-1 record. 

    Ohio State dropped two games in a road series last weekend at North Dakota. The Buckeyes lost by scores of 4-2 Saturday and 5-4 (OT) Sunday at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Freshman forward Laura McIntosh factored into all four Ohio State goals Sunday, scoring twice and adding two assists. She also had an assist in the first game for a five-point weekend.
    In the second game, McIntosh combined with linemates Hayley Klassen and Morgan Marziali to total 10 points. The senior co-captains each had three points on a goal and two assists. Marziali finished with four points in the series with an assist Saturday as well. Freshman forward Kim Theut scored her first collegiate goal Saturday. Junior Raelyn LaRocque had a goal Saturday and assist Sunday for a two-point weekend.

 It was the first time the Buckeyes have been swept by the Fighting Sioux.
 The losses snapped a 15-game unbeaten streak against UND. Ohio State had only lost just once before to the Sioux, their first meeting in 2004.
 The Buckeyes returned senior forward Hayley Klassen, who had missed the previous two series with an injury.

   In the five series the Buckeyes have played this season, they have either swept their opponents or have been swept. Ohio State took both games on the road at Providence (Oct. 3-4) and at home against Bemidji State (Oct. 24-25). OSU has dropped series to WCHA foes Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.

    The Ohio State freshman class continues to be the backboard of the team’s offense, accounting for 52 percent of its points. All six rookie skaters have collected a point this season, totaling 30 points on 13 goals and 17 assists. Laura McIntosh leads the team in points (13) and assists (9), followed by Natalie Spooner with 10 points, including a team-high seven goals. Defenseman Kelly Wild has dished out three assists.
    The other three classes have combined for 28 points. The seniors are second with 13 points, followed by the juniors with nine and sophomores with six.

    This weekend Ohio State continues a stretch where it plays four of five series on the road to close out the first half of the season. After the trip to North Dakota, the Buckeyes travel to St. Cloud State this weekend. Ohio State returns to Columbus to host defending NCAA champion Minnesota Duluth (Nov. 14-15) before hitting the road once again. The team heads to St. Lawrence over Thanksgiving and wraps up the first half with a series at Minnesota State (Dec. 12-13) and exhibition game against the U.S. Women’s Select Team in Blaine, Minn.

    The Ohio State women’s hockey program is celebrating its 10th year throughout the 2008-09 season. Under the direction of head coach Jackie Barto for the duration of the program, the Buckeyes have developed into a nationally-ranked team while battling in the top women’s hockey league, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The Buckeyes have an overall record of 143-166-31 (92-123-25 WCHA) during their nine-plus seasons and have never finished below fifth in the conference standings.

    Ohio State had two ceremonies to celebrate the 10th anniversary of women’s hockey program during the Wisconsin series (Oct. 10-11). Prior to game one, Ohio State Director of Athletics Gene Smith dropped the puck and members of the inaugural women’s hockey team, along with other program alumni, were recognized.
    Before the second game, former OSU defenseman Emma Laaksonen became the first women’s hockey player to have her jersey No. 3 retired. Among her many accomplishments, she was the first Buckeye to be named an AHCA All-America selection and is a three-time Olympian for her native Finland.

    Senior goaltender Liana Bonanno earned two Defensive Player of the Week awards to open the 2008-09 season. She received the honors from U.S. College Hockey Online, Oct. 6, and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, Oct. 8.
    Bonanno backstopped Ohio State to an upset sweep at then-No. 9 Providence, Oct. 3-4 in Providence, R.I. The assistant captain made a total of 70 saves with just three goals allowed to the Friars for a .959 save percentage. She made 39 saves, just three shy of her career high, in a season-opening 2-1 victory. She then made 31 saves in the second game as the Buckeyes rallied for a 3-2 win to complete the sweep. A native of Mount Sinai, N.Y., Bonanno has now made 30 or more saves in a game 19 times in her career.

    The Buckeyes hosted Wilfrid Laurier in an exhibition game at the OSU Ice Rink, Sept. 26, in which they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Golden Hawks. WLU goalie Liz Knox, the Canadian Under-22 netminder, stopped 41 shots.
    The loss might be a good sign for the upcoming season, though. The Buckeyes fell to Wilfrid Laurier, 2-1, in an exhibition game prior to 2006-07 and then went on to set the team record for wins in a season with a 20-13-4 mark.

    The Ohio State women’s hockey team selected senior forwards Morgan Marziali and Hayley Klassen as captains and senior goaltender Liana Bonanno as assistant captain for the 2008-09 season, head coach Jackie Barto announced Sept. 26. It is the first captain honor for all three.

    The Western Collegiate Hockey Association has become the first NCAA Division I women’s conference to officially re-introduce the shootout to college hockey, after the option was installed by the rules committee, associate commissioner Sara R. Martin announced Aug. 28. The Central Collegiate Hockey Association, of which the Ohio State men’s hockey team is a member, also announced plans to use the shootout in its men’s games.
    A National Hockey League-style three-player shootout will be used to determine a winner for all WCHA regular season games still tied after regulation and the standard five-minute (5:00) overtime.

    Two former Buckeyes Lisa Chesson and Erin Keys, have been chosen to participate in a residency program hosted by the U.S. Women’s National Team, USA Hockey announced last May. The two Buckeyes recently completed their college careers and are part of the 18 post-NCAA players that have been selected to the training program that will take place from September 2008 to April 2009 in Blaine, Minn.
    Chesson and Keys will get the opportunity to face their former teammates during the 2008-09 season, as the Buckeyes play the U.S. Select Team in an exhibition game in Minnesota, Dec. 14.

    Ohio State plays in its final home series of the first half of the season, hosting defending NCAA champion Minnesota Duluth, Nov. 14-15. Games begin at 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink.