COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s ice hockey team defeated St. Cloud State, 3-2, Saturday afternoon in thrilling fashion at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn. With the score tied 2-2, freshman forward Ally Tarr tallied the game-winning goal with 51 seconds remaining in regulation for her third goal of the series and sixth overall in 2011.
The Buckeyes improve to 14-12-2 and 8-12-2-2 in conference action, while the Huskies fall to 0-26-1 overall and 0-21-1 in WCHA play. Ohio State is now 5-1-1 in the last six meetings vs. St. Cloud State.
Junior forward Laura McIntosh posted her 30th and 31st assists of the season to become Ohio State’s all-time career assists leader with 94 helpers passing former Buckeye Jana Harrigan (2003-06). The native of Waterloo, Ontario, has posted six assists in the last two games and has had back-to-back seasons with at least 30 assists.
In the first period, the Buckeyes scored the first goal of the day after sophomore forward Minttu Tuominen recorded her second goal of the season, set up by junior forwards Natalie Spooner and Melissa Feste at 15:47. Ohio State outshot St. Cloud State 13-6 in the first 20 minutes.
The Scarlet and Gray took a 2-0 advantage in the second period when Spooner posted her fourth goal of the weekend at 6:10 during a power play. McIntosh was credited with the assist, while Spooner claimed her 24th goal of the year, which leads the team.
The Huskies cut the Buckeye lead in half after Michelle Burke scored her first goal of the season at 11:22. St. Cloud State kept the momentum going to begin the final period, tallying its second goal to tie the game after Julia Gilbert scored an even strength goal at 4:15.
The next 15 minutes went scoreless until Tarr’s last-minute goal at 19:09 with assists coming from McIntosh and senior defenseman Shannon Reilly. The native of London, Ontario, Tarr scored from the right side with a shot that passed over the right shoulder of St. Cloud goalie Tayler VanDenakker to seal the Buckeye victory. Her 11 points this season leads all Buckeye freshmen in point scoring.
Freshman goalie Lisa Steffes improves to 14-12-2 this year, totaling 21 saves vs. the Huskies. Steffes surpassed the 800-save total with 814. She is the one goalie in the nation to stop more than 800 shots this year.
The Buckeyes will next host North Dakota in a two-game series Feb. 4-5 at the OSU Ice Rink in Columbus. The first game will begin at 7 p.m. ET Friday.