Feb. 21, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s hockey team hosts Minnesota State Feb. 22-23 at the OSU Ice Rink in its final regular season series.

Friday, Feb. 22, 2013/7:07 p.m. 
Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013/1:07 p.m.

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Ohio State has an overall record of 16-14-2, 11-13-2 in the WCHA. 

Ohio State fell twice to No. 7/8 North Dakota over the weekend in Grand Forks, losing 5-2 Friday and 3-2 Saturday. Senior captain Hokey Langan scored goals at 15:49 of the first period and 7:24 of the second to put the Buckeyes out front 2-1. Langan’s first score was unassisted and the second was set up by sophomore Sara Schmitt and freshman Julia McKinnon.

On Saturday, the Buckeyes cut two, two-goal UND leads in half with scores from sophomores Kari Schmitt and Danielle Gagne, but couldn’t get the tying goal. Gagne finished the game with two points. Sara Schmitt tallied an assist to finish with a two-point series. Redshirt junior goaltender Chelsea Knapp made 61 saves for the Scarlet and Gray over the weekend.

With two goals in the series last weekend at North Dakota, Langan now has 130 career points with the Scarlet and Gray, which puts her fifth on the all-time scoring list at Ohio State. Her first goal Friday moved the Chatham, Ontario native past former Buckeye Tessa Bonhomme (2004-08) on the all-time points list. Langan is also fifth on the all-time goals scored list for OSU with 55 and is fourth on the all-time assist list with 75.

The 2012-13 senior class of Hokey Langan, Minttu Tuominen, Kim Theut, Tina Hollowell and Paige Semenza are playing in their final regular season home series this weekend. The group has combined to don the Scarlet and Gray over 650 times. The class has racked up 63 wins over the last four seasons and they have recorded a combined 320 points on 132 goals and 188 assists.

Kari and Sara Schmitt combined for only 15 points in their rookie campaign a season ago. This season they have become leaders on the Ohio State defense while also being significant contributors on the offensive end. Kari and Sara are both in the top-10 of the WCHA in defenseman scoring. Kari is tied for third with 25 points and Sara is eighth with 20. Kari is tied for eighth nationally in the category. They also share the team lead with 13 points each on the Buckeye power play attack this season and are tied for 12th overall in the WCHA.

Ohio State finds itself in the top-half of the WCHA in many team statistical categories including: scoring offense (4th- 2.91 G/GM); power play (3rd- 21.7%); and penalty kill (4th- 82.8%). The Buckeye scoring defense ranks fifth in the WCHA at 2.66 goals surrendered per game. Junior Ally Tarr is tie for 15th in the league in overall scoring with 27 points. Langan (25 points), Kari Schmitt (25 points), sophomore Taylor Kuehl (23 points) and Semenza (21 points) all find themselves among the top-25 in the league for scoring as well. McKinnon is tied for fifth in the WCHA in rookie scoring with 19 points.

Ohio State enters the weekend in fifth place in the WCHA standings with 37 points. The top four in the final standings earn the right to host in the first round of the league playoffs. The Buckeyes are currently three points behind fourth-place Minnesota Duluth (40 points). UMD has the tiebreaker over OSU and therefore can clinch the fourth seed outright by picking up three points in their series with North Dakota.

Third-place Wisconsin (49) and second-place North Dakota (51) will be battling for the second seed. Minnesota has clinched the top seed with 78 points heading into this weekend. Minnesota State (23), St. Cloud State (18) and Bemidji State (16) round out the league standings.

This weekend’s league series include: Minnesota State at Ohio State, North Dakota at Minnesota Duluth, Wisconsin at Bemidji State and Minnesota at St. Cloud State.

Ten members of the Ohio State women’s hockey team have been named WCHA Scholar-Athletes for 2012-13. White Bear Lake, Minn., native Madison Marcotte (Jr., D) and Espoo, Finland product Minttu Tuominen (Sr., F) are both second-time recipients of the award.

First time honorees include: Becky Allis (Jr., D, West Olive, Mich.); Stacy Danczak (So., G, Macedonia, Ohio); Taylor Kuehl (So., F, Minnetrista, Minn.); Kari Schmitt (So., D, Canton, Mich.); Sara Schmitt (So., D, Canton, Mich.); Paige Semenza (Sr., F, Pittston, Pa.); Kayla Sullivan (So., F, Flower Mound, Texas); Kim Theut (Sr., F, Harrison Township, MI).

To earn recognition as a WCHA Scholar-Athlete, conference-member student-athletes must have completed at least one year of residency at their present institution prior to the current academic year and must also have a grade-point average of at least 3.50 on a 4.0 scale for the previous two semesters or three quarters, or may qualify if his/her overall GPA is at least 3.50 for all terms at his or her present institution.

The Mavericks come into the weekend with an overall record of 10-18-4, 6-16-4 in the WCHA. Depending on how the final standings shake out, Minnesota State will travel to either North Dakota or Wisconsin for their WCHA First Round Playoff matchup. MSU is led offensively by senior Lauren Smith who has tallied 33 points this season on 22 goals and 11 assists. Junior Tracy McCann is second with 22 points and senior Emilia Andersson has a team-leading 16 assists. Junior goaltender Danielle Butters has compiled a 9-17-4 record with a 2.97 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

The Buckeyes took five of six points, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, in Mankato. In a 0-0 tie in game one, Ohio State took the shootout, 3-1, with scores from Langan, Tarr and Kuehl. In a 4-3 victory the following day, Langan found the back of the net twice, while Semenza scored once and McKinnon had the game-winner. Knapp made 51 saves in the series.

Ohio State holds a commanding 44-9-5 edge in the all-time series with the Mavericks which dates back to Dec. 10, 1999. The last Buckeye loss to Minnesota State came back on Nov. 13, 2010 in Columbus.

Up next for the Buckeyes is the WCHA First Round Playoffs in which they will take on Minnesota Duluth. The best-of-three series, scheduled for March 1-3, will take place at either the OSU Ice Rink or at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minn., depending on the final WCHA standings.