Keys extends goal streak to four games, Reilly records two assists
ST. CLOUD, Minn. The fifth-seed Ohio State women’s hockey team dropped game one of the first round of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs to fourth-seed St. Cloud State by a score of 4-2 Friday at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn. The teams were tied at 2-all in the third period, but the Huskies scored two power play goals in the last seven minutes for the win. Ohio State is 16-16-3 overall (11-14-3 WCHA) while St. Cloud State is 17-13-5 (11-13-4 WCHA).
The Buckeyes carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission with a goal by senior forward Erin Keys at 6:05. While skating with a 4-on-3 advantage, freshman Shannon Reilly fed the puck across the slot to fellow defenseman Rachel Davis. She tapped it down to Keys, who was closing in on the left side of the net and banked it in on a wrist shot for her team-leading 23rd goal of the season. The St. Paul, Minn., native has scored seven goals in the last four games. The assists were Davis’ 10th and Reilly’s 16th of the year.
Meaghan Pezon of St. Cloud State scored twice in the second period to give the Huskies a 2-1 lead after two. Her first goal came at 5:39 when she fired the puck into the net top shelf off the cross bar with assists from Brita Schroeder and Stacy Dey. Pezon scored again at 11:37 when she tapped the puck past junior goaltender Liana Bonanno into an open OSU net after Bonanno tried making a sprawling save. Caitlin Hogan picked up the single assist on the goal.
Ohio State knotted the score at 2-all 7:21 into the third period with a power play goal. Reilly blasted a slap shot from the left faceoff circle and SCSU goaltender Kendall Newell made the initial save. The puck popped loose, however, and senior defenseman Tessa Bonhomme was waiting at the right doorstep to knock it in for her 15th goal of the year. The team captain from Sudbury, Ontario, has a five-game point streak. Keys picked up the second assist, her 22nd of the year, while Reilly collected her second assist of the game and 17th overall. The two-assist game was the sixth multi-point performance for the native of Chanhassen, Minn.
St. Cloud State scored twice on the power play within a two-minute time span to pull away. The Huskies regained the lead at 3-2 when Laura Fast scored at 13:51 during a scramble around the net. Marie-Michel Lemieux built the lead to two goals at 15:48 when she scored on the rebound off a shot by Megan McCarthy.
The Buckeyes pulled Bonanno for an extra skater in the last 1:43 of the game, but were unable to score for a 4-2 final as the Huskies took the first game of the best-of-three series.
Overall, Ohio State had a 33-30 edge in shots with a 2-of-8 mark on the power play. St. Cloud State was 2-of-7 with the man-advantage.
Bonanno, of Mount Sinai, N.Y., made 26 saves and moved to 13-12-3 on the season. Newell had 31 saves for SCSU and is 11-10-4.
The first round playoff series between the Buckeyes and Huskies continues Saturday at 2:07 p.m. (CT).