McIntosh and Spooner have goal and assist apiece, Steffes makes 34 saves

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Junior assistant captains Laura McIntosh and Natalie Spooner had a goal and assist apiece and freshman goaltender Lisa Steffes stopped 34 of 35 shots faced as the No. 9/10 Ohio State women’s hockey team defeated Bemidji State, 3-1, Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink.

The win gives the Buckeyes (8-6-2, 4-6-2-2 WCHA) five points for the weekend to vault them from seventh to fourth in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings. Bemidji State is behind them by a point with a 4-4-2-1 conference record (6-6-2 overall).

McIntosh factored into four of the Buckeyes’ five goals in the Bemidji State series, while Steffes (8-6-2) made a total of 67 saves with three goals allowed against the Beavers for a .957 save percentage.

Just as the first period was winding up, McIntosh scored an impressive goal from the slot to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead at the first intermission. She put the puck in while falling down toward her right side. The goal was off the rebound of a shot by sophomore Hokey Langan.

The score remained the same for most of the second period until Danielle Williams of the Beavers capitalized on a turnover by OSU in its own zone and rattled the puck in top-shelf to tie the score at 1-all at 17:25.

However, the Buckeyes responded with a minute left to regain the lead at 2-1 at the second intermission. While on the power play, McIntosh fired a shot from the top of the slot that was deflected in by Spooner at the right post. Junior defenseman Kelly Wild tallied the second assist.

With time winding down in regulation, Bemidji State pulled goalie Zuzana Tomcikova for an extra skater but Ohio State sealed the win with an empty-net goal by sophomore Minttu Tuominen at 19:06 with assists from classmate Tina Hollowell and Spooner.

Overall, the Beavers had a 35-34 edge in shots. The Buckeyes were 1-of-3 on the power play and a perfect 3-of-3 on the penalty kill. Tomcikova finished with 31 saves to move to 5-5-1.

Ohio State will be off next weekend to prepare for finals before wrapping up the first half of the season with a WCHA series at No. 7 Minnesota, Dec. 10-11 in Minneapolis.

Game Notes:

  • Just 16 games into the season, Laura McIntosh leads the Buckeyes with 30 points and 22 assists. Both lead the WCHA overall. She also has a league-high 13 power play points.
  • McIntosh has tied the Ohio State record for career assists in WCHA games with 67. She is tied with former All-American Jana Harrigan (2003-06).
  • Natalie Spooner scored her 15th goal of the season, second-most in the WCHA, and it also was her sixth power play goal of the year.
  • Spooner now has 95 career points (58g, 37a) to tie for ninth all-time in the OSU record books.
  • Hokey Langan has nine points, including six goals, in six career games against Bemidji State.
  • Lisa Steffes has made 30-plus saves in four-consecutive games. She has made 30 or more saves nine times already just 16 games into her young career.
  • Ohio State improves to 5-2-1 at the OSU Ice Rink this season.