No. 7-seed Ohio State faces No. 2-seed Wisconsin in a best-of-three series beginning Friday at Eagles Nest
COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State women’s hockey team begins postseason play with a First Round Western Collegiate Hockey Association Playoff matchup at second-ranked Wisconsin beginning Feb. 27. The No. 7-seed Buckeyes and No. 2-seed Badgers faceoff in a best-of-three series at the Eagles Nest in Verona, Wis., with games starting at 7:07 p.m. (CT) each night.
Ohio State (8-23-3, 6-20-2-2 WCHA) has stumbled in the second half of its season with a 2-12-2 mark in 2009. Last weekend the Buckeyes dropped their final two home games of the season with two one-goal losses (6-5 and 2-1) to Minnesota State. Wisconsin (27-2-5, 21-2-5-3 WCHA) closed out its regular season with a sweep of Bemidji State, posting 3-0 and 5-2 wins in Madison.
KEEPING AN EYE ON THINGS
Live scoring for the First Round WCHA Playoff series between Ohio State and Wisconsin will be available on the Badgers’ official athletics site at www.UWBadgers.com. Links to the games are available on the Buckeye women’s hockey schedule page on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
BUCKEYES IN A NUTSHELL
The Buckeyes finished the WCHA schedule in seventh place with 16 points. The lowest the team had previously placed was fifth. The OSU special teams are operating at 12.2 percent on the power play and 78.0 percent on the penalty kill.
Leading the Buckeyes is freshman forward Laura McIntosh with a team-high 38 points and 27 assists. Senior co-captain Hayley Klassen ranks second in points (31), goals (12) and assists (19). Rookie Natalie Spooner is just behind her with 30 points, including a Buckeye-best 21 goals.
The OSU net has been patrolled by senior Liana Bonanno and sophomore Deidre Facklis the majority of the season. Bonanno, who has started 11 of the last 12 games, is 7-18-2 with a 3.74 GAA and .891 save percentage. Facklis has a 1-4-1 record, 6.61 GAA and .842 save percentage in her 10 appearances.
OHIO STATE VS. WISCONSIN
Wisconsin leads the all-time series with Ohio State by a 35-3-6 margin. The Buckeyes are 1-16-3 in Madison with the win against the Badgers coming Nov. 1, 2003. Last season, OSU tied Wisconsin in the Kohl Center, 2-2, after falling 4-0 in the first game (Oct. 13-14, 2007).
WHEN LAST WE MET
The Buckeyes dropped a road series at then-No. 1 Wisconsin, Jan. 31-Feb. 1. Ohio State was defeated by a score of 7-0 both games. Senior goaltender Liana Bonanno made a total of 55 saves in her four periods played. She had 37 saves in her start Saturday and added 18 saves while patrolling the net in the third period Sunday. Sophomore Deidre Facklis had 25 saves in the first two periods Sunday. It was her first start since Jan. 2 vs. Boston University.
The special team highlight of the weekend was holding the top NCAA power play scoreless on a 5-minute penalty in the first game.
The Ohio State women’s hockey team hosted a toiletry drive to “Stock the Shelves” at Community Kitchen, Inc. last weekend during both games of the Minnesota State series. The Buckeyes collected 24 bags of donated items such as shampoo and conditioner, razors and shaving cream, combs and brushes, foot powder, toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant, lotions and baby care needs.
Community Kitchen, Inc. is a local non-profit located at 640 South Ohio Ave. in Columbus. Ohio State would like to thank its fans for all of their support and generosity!
FOUR BUCKEYES NAMED WCHA SCHOLAR-ATHLETES
Senior Liana Bonanno, juniors Rachel Davis and Raelyn LaRocque and sophomore Jenna Kilpatrick were named WCHA Scholar-Athletes, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association announced Feb. 19. It was the third time Bonanno received the award, second for Davis and LaRocque and first for Kilpatrick.
This is the fourth year of the WCHA Scholar-Athlete award. To earn the honor, student-athletes must be in their sophomore year of school and have a grade-point average of at least 3.50 on a 4.0 scale for the previous two semesters or three quarters. Student-athletes may also qualify if their overall GPA is at least 3.50 for all terms at their institution.
TONNESSEN HONORED AT BLUE JACKETS GAME
Junior forward Michele Tonnessen is featured in a “My Story” video on the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Web site (www.bluejackets.nhl.com). The Buckeye from Gahanna discusses growing up as a hockey player in Ohio and representing her home state while playing at Ohio State.
As part of the National Hockey League’s month-long “Hockey is for Everyone” celebration, Tonnessen lined up with the Columbus Blue Jackets during the national anthem Feb. 16 at Nationwide Arena before they faced the Dallas Stars. She also did an interview during the first intermission with Buckeye alum Bill Davidge of the Blue Jacket’s radio broadcast.
BONANNO SETS SEASON SAVES RECORD
With a total of 52 saves last weekend against Minnesota State, senior goaltender Liana Bonanno set an Ohio State record for saves in a season with 812. She is the first Buckeye goalie to reach the 800-save mark. The previous mark was 780 set by Erika Vanderveer (2004-07). In all, Bonanno ranks third on career saves with 2,077.
In her third season, junior Raelyn LaRocque has more than doubled her career scoring to 27 points. The forward from The Pas, Manitoba, had recorded career highs in goals (5), assists (9) and points (14) while playing in all 34 games this year. She combined for 13 points (5g, 8a) in 71 games during her first two seasons.
Last weekend against Minnesota State, Laura McIntosh scored three goals for her first career hat trick. It was the second hat trick by a Buckeye this season with fellow rookie Natalie Spooner also scoring one against the Mavericks Dec. 12. Both Buckeyes recorded theirs in a period, with McIntosh scoring all three of her goals in the third period of the Friday game and Spooner posting a natural hat trick in the second period of the previous series.
With her goal vs. Minnesota State last weekend, Natalie Spooner increased her season point total to 30, joining fellow rookie forward Laura McIntosh (38 points) at the 30-point mark. The last time Ohio State had two freshmen score 30 or more points in a season was 2000-01 with Emma Laaksonen and Kelli Helcisak.
All 20 Ohio State skaters have scored a point this season. Sophomore Jenna Kilpatrick was the last Buckeye to tally a point this season with an assist last Saturday against Minnesota State on OSU’s only goal.
The injury bug has worked its way through the Buckeyes this season. The team has missed a total of 28 man-games, led by freshman defenseman Kelly Wild out for 13. Senior co-captain Morgan Marziali follows with seven games missed.
LAST TIME OUT
Ohio State concluded its regular season with two one-goal losses to Minnesota State, Feb. 20-21 in Columbus. The Buckeyes fell by scores of 6-5 Friday and 2-1 Saturday. In the first game, Ohio State came back to tie the score three times in the third period before Minnesota State scored the game-winner with 2:56 left in regulation. All five OSU goals were scored by freshmen, led by Laura McIntosh with her first-career hat trick (all scored in the third period).
Sophomore defenseman Shannon Reilly scored the lone OSU goal Saturday. She was assisted by senior Olivia Antognoli and sophomore Jenna Kilpatrick.
NOTING MINNESOTA STATE SERIES
It was the first time the Mavericks swept the Buckeyes at the OSU Ice Rink and just the second time MSU has swept a series against Ohio State.
In the first game, senior co-captain Hayley Klassen set up all three of McIntosh’s goals. Junior defenseman Rachel Davis also had multiple assists in the contest with two.
Laura McIntosh is climbing two Buckeye records this season. Her 27 assists are tied for fourth in the Ohio State single-season records. Her 27 helpers also are tied for the most by OSU rookie (along with Kelli Halcisak in 2000-01). The Waterloo, Ontario, native is tied for third in scoring by a Buckeye freshman with former All-American defenseman Emma Laaksonen with 38 points.
QUITE A PAIR
Laura McIntosh and Natalie Spooner rank among the best rookies overall in the WCHA. McIntosh is tied for seventh in assists with 27, while Spooner is tied for seventh in goals with 21. In freshman scoring, McIntosh is fourth with 38 points, just ahead of Spooner sixth with 30.
In the NCAA, McIntosh is sixth in freshman scoring with 1.12 points per game, followed by Spooner in eighth with 1.07.
… AND COUNTING
Rookie Natalie Spooner ranks seventh with 21 goals in the OSU single-season record books. She scored three goals against North Dakota (Feb. 6-7) to become just the fifth Buckeye to reach the 20-goal mark in a season, joining Jeni Creary (three times), Erin Keys (twice), and once each for Jana Harrigan and Shana Frost. Spooner and Creary are the only two Buckeyes to score 20 or more goals as rookies.
A LEAGUE OF HER OWN
Laura McIntosh leads the Buckeyes in points with 38 recorded all but four of them against Western Collegiate Hockey Association opponents. She is tied for eighth in points in WCHA games only with 34 and her 24 assists against league teams tied for fifth.
This season, the WCHA introduced a shootout format to determine the winner of tied overtime games. After not playing in one during their first 13 conference games of the season, the Buckeyes have participated in shootouts twice in their last seven league games and have won both by scores of 1-0.
OSU’s first shootout came at Minnesota State (Dec. 13) to settle a 5-5 tie, with sophomore Jenna Kilpatrick netting the winner in nine rounds. Last weekend at Bemidji State, freshman Natalie Spooner scored the winner in round three after a 3-3 tie.
MOVING ON UP
With three assists vs. Minnesota State last weekend, senior forward Hayley Klassen increased her career point total to 94. The co-captain from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, ranks eighth all-time in the OSU record books. She has 43 career goals to stand in fifth.
Klassen has seven multi-point performances this season, including a career-high four points against Minnesota State (Dec. 13) and is third on the team in scoring with 31 points (12g, 19a) even after missing four games with an injury.
IT’S BEEN A WHILE
On Jan. 8, senior defenseman Megan Hostasek got to celebrate something that had been missing for a while. The Kimberley, British Columbia, native scored a goal against Minnesota that day her first since Jan. 19, 2007. It was a stretch that covered all of last season and totaled 65 games.
Natalie Spooner set an Ohio State record for goals in a game with four vs. Minnesota State (Dec. 12). She scored 33 seconds into the first period, then added a natural hat trick in a span of 1:56 in the second, including two goals 22 seconds apart (4:33, 4:55, 6:29). Fellow rookie Laura McIntosh scored at 7:17 for a four-goal outburst in a span of 2:44. The four goals tied the OSU record for goals in a period.
WITH OR WITHOUT YOU
Ohio State has been without its top goal scorer, Natalie Spooner, for three series this season while she was playing with Team Canada. The Scarborough, Ontario, native missed back-to-back road series at North Dakota (Nov. 1-2) and St. Cloud State (Nov. 8-9) while playing with the National Women’s Team at the Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid. Spooner then missed a home series vs. Boston University (Jan. 2-3) while she was in Europe with the Canadian Under-22 Team.
The Ohio State women’s hockey team has signed five student-athletes to NCAA National Letters of Intent, head coach Jackie Barto announced Nov. 25. The freshman class of 2009-10 includes: Krystina Hollowell (F, Little Casesars U-19; Clinton Township, Mich.), Chelsea Knapp (G, Lawrence Academy; York, N.Y.), Casandra “Hokey” Langan (F, London Jr. Devilettes; Chatham, Ontario), Paige Semenza (F, North American Hockey Academy; Pittston, Pa.) and Minnamari “Minttu” Tuominen (F, Espoo Blues; Espoo, Finland).
VANDERVEER A VOICE FOR THE HOCKEY NEWS BLOG
Erika Vanderveer, a former goaltender for the women’s hockey team, has been added as a blogger to the “Hockey Insiders” section of The Hockey News’ Web site (www.thehockeynews.com). The 2007 Ohio State graduate had her first blog posted Dec. 12 and is the only female blogger for the site on either their “The Hockey News” or “Hockey Insider” blogs. The Bradford, Ontario, native is a graphic designer for the magazine and a goaltender with the Burlington Barracudas of the Canadian Women’s League.
Vanderveer patrolled the Ohio State net from 2004-07 and concluded her career with several Buckeye records in both season and career categories, including career wins (42) and season save percentage (.920). She earned a total of eight Western Collegiate Hockey Association player of the week awards. While at Ohio State, Vanderveer had strong performances in the classroom as well and received a number of honors. She was a three-time Scholar All-American selection by the American Women’s Hockey Coaches Association, a two-time Scholar-Athlete and three-time All-Academic Team honoree by the WCHA.
Natalie Spooner earned the WCHA’s Rookie of the Week award Feb. 11. Spooner factored into half of Ohio State’s scoring with three goals and an assist in a home sweep of WCHA opponent North Dakota, Feb. 6-7. She scored the fourth goal in the Buckeyes’ 4-1 win Friday. She then built the OSU lead Saturday by scoring a goal in both the first and second periods before assisting on the third Buckeye lamplighter in the 4-2 victory. The second game was Spooner’s 10th multiple-point performance of the season and sixth game with multiple goals. Spooner was plus-4 and a mainstay on the Buckeye penalty kill that was 16-of-19 for the series.
Hayley Klassen picked up WCHA Offensive Player of the Week Dec. 17. She totaled six points in a conference series at Minnesota State, helping Ohio State take four points from the Mavericks. She had two assists in a 6-5 victory Friday and followed with a career-high four points in game two. The forward from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, scored twice and added two assists as the Buckeyes skated to a 5-5 tie and won in a shootout. Klassen and her linemates (Spooner and Laura McIntosh) combined for 18 points in the two games.
Natalie Spooner was named WCHA Rookie of the Week Dec. 17. She continued her outstanding play, setting a Buckeye record for goals in a game while totaling seven points (5g, 2a) in a road series at Minnesota State. Spooner scored four goals in game one against the Mavericks to set the single-game goal record at Ohio State. She scored her first goal 33 seconds into the contest and added a natural hat trick in a 1:56 span in the second period. She had two goals 22 seconds apart and added a third 1:34 later (4:33, 4:55, 6:29). In the second game, Spooner had a goal and two assists.
Natalie Spooner earned WCHA Rookie of the Week honors Dec. 3. She scored three of Ohio State’s five goals against No. 5/6 St. Lawrence in a nonconference series in Canton, N.Y. The Scarborough, Ontario, native had a goal in the first game and added two in the second to extend her goal streak to three games. She had a point in six of the last seven games. It was her fourth multiple-goal game.
Laura McIntosh was named WCHA Co-Rookie of the Week Nov. 5. She shared the award with Alyssa Wiere, a forward from North Dakota. McIntosh played a part in five of six Buckeye goals in a road series at North Dakota, Nov. 1-2. The rookie forward from Waterloo, Ontario, had an assist on the second goal in game one. She followed by setting up or scoring all four OSU goals in the second game, alternating with assist, goal, assist and goal. Her line totaled 10 points that contest.
Natalie Spooner earned the WCHA Rookie of the Week award Oct. 29. Spooner factored into four of Ohio State’s five goals in a sweep of Bemidji State at the OSU Ice Rink (Oct. 24-25). The freshman from Scarborough, Ontario, scored twice in a 3-0 shutout of the Beavers in game one. In the second game, Spooner set up the first goal before scoring the gamewinner for the 2-1 victory.
Liana Bonanno earned two Defensive Player of the Week awards to open the 2008-09 season. She received the honors from U.S. College Hockey Online, Oct. 6, and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, Oct. 8. Bonanno backstopped Ohio State to an upset sweep at then-No. 9 Providence, Oct. 3-4 in Providence, R.I. The assistant captain made a total of 70 saves with just three goals allowed to the Friars for a .959 save percentage. She made 39 saves, just three shy of her career high, in a season-opening 2-1 victory. She then made 31 saves in the second game as the Buckeyes rallied for a 3-2 win to complete the sweep. A native of Mount Sinai, N.Y., Bonanno has now made 30 or more saves in a game 19 times in her career.
A DECADE OF OHIO STATE WOMEN’S HOCKEY
The Ohio State women’s hockey program is celebrating its 10th year throughout the 2008-09 season. Under the direction of head coach Jackie Barto for the duration of the program, the Buckeyes have developed into a nationally-ranked team while battling in the top women’s hockey league, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The Buckeyes have an overall record of 147-184-33 (96-139-26 WCHA) during their nine-plus seasons and have never finished below fifth in the conference standings.