COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s hockey team lost to No. 6 Minnesota Duluth, 5-1, in the final regular-season home game for the squad Saturday afternoon in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series at the OSU Ice Rink. The Buckeyes’ five seniors were recognized before the opening faceoff.
Ohio State is now 14-16-2 overall and 8-16-2-2 in the WCHA, while the Bulldogs improve to 18-7-3 and 16-7-3-0 in conference action.
The teams were scoreless after the first period. Buckeye goalie Lisa Steffes stopped all 10 shots she faced, while Ohio State put 12 shots on the Bulldog net. The Buckeyes had the only power play chances in the stanza. Ohio State’s best chance came when Shannon Reilly’s shot rang off the pipe midway through the period.
The Bulldogs led 3-0 after the second period. Brienna Gillanders opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 3:52, as her shot trickled over the line. Minnesota Duluth extended the lead to 2-0 on Katherine Wilson’s goal from the slot off a 2-on-1 at 12:52. Elin Homlov scored on a rebound from the just outside the crease at 15:37 to make the score 3-0. Shots were 19-8 in favor of the Bulldogs in the period, with Steffes making 16 saves.
Jocelyne Larocque scored 12:05 into the third period to give the Bulldogs a four-goal lead. At 13:48 Buckeye junior Natalie Spooner scored unassisted, beating the goalie high for her team-best 25th goal of the year, to break up the shutout. With the goal, Spooner ties former Buckeye Jana Harrigan (2003-06) for second on the all-time career list with 68 goals.
The final scored came from Audrey Coumoyer with 40 seconds remaining. With the Bulldogs on a power play the Buckeyes were called for another penalty, allowing UMD to pull the goalie. Coumoyer converted for the delayed penalty score and 5-1 final.
Shots in the game were 38-27 in favor of the Bulldogs. Steffes had 33 saves in 59:58 between the pipes. For Minnesota Duluth, Jennifer Harss had 26 saves in 59:56.
The Buckeyes were unable to score on four power-play chances, while the Bulldogs converted three of five opportunities.
Ohio State closes out the regular season next weekend as the team travels to Minnesota to face Bemidji State Feb. 18-19 with 2 p.m. CT start times for both games.