Feb. 27, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s hockey team travels to Duluth, Minn., for a best-of-three first round WCHA Playoffs series with the Bulldogs of Minnesota Duluth. Fifth-seed OSU and fourth-seed UMD will play Friday and Saturday at 3:07 p.m. ET, and Sunday at the same time if necessary.


Friday, March 1, 2013/3:07 p.m. ET  

Saturday, March 2, 2013/3:07 p.m. ET

Sunday, March 3, 2013/3:07 p.m. ET

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Video: Coach Handrahan Series Preview

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Ohio State has an overall record of 17-14-3, 12-13-3 in the WCHA. 


Ohio State took five of six points in a league series with Minnesota State over the weekend at the OSU Ice Rink. OSU took 10 of 12 points that were up for grabs against the Mavericks this season. Friday night the Buckeyes won 4-1. OSU and MSU skated to a 3-3 tie Saturday afternoon and the Buckeyes took the extra point in the shootout, winning it 1-0. On Friday, sophomore Taylor Kuehl scored to put OSU up 1-0. Following a Mavericks score, junior Ally Tarr would score the eventual game-winner midway through the second. Senior Hokey Langan would later score on a penalty shot and fellow senior Minttu Tuominen scored her fifth of the season to make it 4-1.

On Saturday, the Buckeyes got two goals from Tarr and one from freshman Melani Moylan, her second of the season. Following four straight shootout rounds without a successful try, sophomore Danielle Gagne put one home for OSU and redshirt junior goaltender Chelsea Knapp stopped her fifth straight to give the Buckeyes the shootout victory. Knapp made 37 saves in the series.


The 2012-13 senior class of Langan,Tuominen, Kim Theut, Tina Hollowell and Paige Semenza played in their final home game Saturday. The group has combined to don the Scarlet and Gray over 650 times. The class has racked up 64 wins over the last four seasons and they have recorded a combined 324 points on 134 goals and 190 assists.


Sophomore defensemen Kari Schmitt and Sara Schmitt have combined for 41 assists this season; a team-leading 22 from Kari and Sara’s 19 trails only her sister. Kari added two more in Friday’s victory over Minnesota State and Sara tallied one in Saturday’s tie. The defensive pair is producing on special teams as well with 14 points each while on the power play this season. Kari’s 27 points ranks her tied for eighth nationally in defensemen scoring and Sara’s 21 is tied for 19th nationally.


Junior forward Ally Tarr netted three goals over the weekend to give her a team-leading 30 points at the end of the regular season. The London, Onatario native’s previous seaso high was 27 during her sophomore campaign a season ago. She came in this season as the leading returning scorer on the roster from last season. Tarr has heated up in the latter half of the season, scoring all 12 of her goals in the Buckeyes last 19 games. Her goal on Friday was the fourth game-winning score of the season and 11th of her career, which ranks second all-time at OSU behind only former Buckeye Natalie Spooner (2009-12) who had 16 career game-winners. 


Sophomore forward Taylor Kuehl’s goal in Friday’s victory gave her the team-lead in goals scored at the end of the regular season with 13. Kuehl found the back of the net six times on the power play to tie for the team lead in power play goals with freshman Julia McKinnon and Hollowell. The Minnitrista, Minn., native has a career best 25 points this season.


Ohio State finds itself in the top-half of the WCHA in many team statistical categories including: scoring offense (3rd- 2.94 G/GM); power play (3rd: 33-151 – 21.9%); and penalty kill (T-4th: 104-127 – 81.9%). The Buckeye scoring defense ranks fifth in the WCHA at 2.62 goals surrendered per game. Ohio State is averaging 9.0 penalty minutes per game, which is third lowest in the league. Tarr is tied for 13th in the WCHA in overall scoring with 30 points. Kari Schmitt (27 points), Langan (26 points), Kuehl (25 points) and Semenza (23 points) all find themselves among the top-25 in the league for overall scoring. McKinnon is tied for fifth in the WCHA in rookie scoring with 20 points. Kari Schmitt is third in the league in defensemen scoring and Sara Schmitt is ninth, while both are tied for 10th in the WCHA for power play points.  


We had to wait until the last league game of the regular season for the WCHA playoffs to come into clear picture. With the shootout victory over North Dakota Saturday night, Minnesota Duluth moved into a tie with the Buckeyes for fourth place in the WCHA. With one more league victory than Ohio State this season, the Bulldogs earned the fourth seed and the right to host in the first round. Ohio State slides to the fifth seed and will travel to Duluth for the best-of-three series, March 1-3.

The last game also had big impact on four other teams. The North Dakota loss allowed Wisconsin to move ahead to the second seed, as they tied UND in the standings and won the head-to-head matchup in the regular season series. Wisconsin will now play host to St. Cloud State in Madison, while UND will host Minnesota State in Grand Forks. Top-seeded Minnesota will welcome Bemidji State to Ridder Arena, the site of the following weekend’s WCHA Final Face-Off, in Minneapolis.  


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 Bulldogs finished the regular season with an overall record of 14-14-4, and went 13-13-2 in league play. Protecting the pipes this season for Minnesota Duluth has been freshman Kayla Black. In her rookie campaign Black has compiled a 13-13-4 record with a 2.28 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage. The Bulldogs are led offensively by sophomore Jenna McParland who has a team-leading 28 points on 11 goals and 17 assists. Senior Jessica Wong (7-16-23) and sophomores Brigette Lacquette (7-15-22) and Zoe Hickel (10-11-21) have also been regular offensive contributors for UMD this season.    


Although Ohio State trails in the all-time series, 9-50-4, the Buckeyes have been much more competitive with the Bulldogs over the last two seasons. OSU and UMD have split the last two regular season series, including this season in which the road team won all four games. The Buckeyes and Bulldogs also met in the first round of last season’s WCHA Playoffs and UMD came away with two one-goal victories, 4-3 and 3-2 (OT).

In the first road series of the season, Ohio State took two games from UMD at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth Oct. 5-6. OSU skated to a 3-1 victory in game one and edged the Bulldogs 3-2 the following day. UMD returned the favor in a series at Value City Arena Jan. 25-26, winning 7-5 and 3-2.


The winners of first round series’ will advance the WCHA Final Face-Off, March 8-9, at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minn.