Ohio State continues three-week homestand, remaining schedule features only WCHA opponents
COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State women’s hockey team continues a three-week homestand with a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series against No. 2 Minnesota, Jan. 9-10. Games begin at 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink. Admission is free and “Skate with the Buckeyes” and autograph sessions will be held following the Saturday game.
    The Buckeyes (6-12-2, 4-9-1-1 WCHA) concluded the nonconference games of the 2008-09 slate with a home series against Boston University last weekend. The teams skated to a 2-2 tie Saturday after the Terriers took the Friday game, 5-3. Minnesota (17-2-1, 12-1-1-1 WCHA) is on a 12-game win streak, including sweeping a series at Niagara last weekend by scores of 8-0 and 5-3.

    Live scoring the Ohio State-Minnesota series will be available on the Buckeyes’ official athletics Web site: Links to the games are available on the women’s hockey schedule page.

    The Buckeyes are sixth in the WCHA standings with 10 points, moving ahead of Minnesota State by a point after defeating the Mavericks twice before the break. Ohio State is 1-1-2 in its last four games after dropping the previous five.
    Leading the Buckeyes is freshman forward Laura McIntosh with a team-high 25 points and 19 assists. Fellow rookie forward Natalie Spooner missed last weekend with Team Canada, but is right behind her with 22 points and a Buckeye-best 17 goals. Senior co-captain Hayley Klassen is third in scoring with 18 points (7g, 11a).
    Patrolling the Ohio State net for four of the last six games, including both games at Minnesota State, has been sophomore Deidre Facklis. She is 1-3-1 with a 5.86 goals-against average and .859 save percentage while starting a total of six games with eight appearances. Also in goal for the Buckeyes is senior assistant captain Liana Bonanno, who started the 2-2 tie with Boston University last Saturday. She is 5-9-1 with a 3.47 GAA and .902 save percentage.

    Minnesota leads the all-time series with Ohio State by a 33-8-1 record, but the two teams have split five of their last seven series. They split the series in Columbus last season, with Ohio State winning 4-1 in the second game after a 7-4 loss in game one (Oct. 19-20, 2007).

    The Buckeyes fell to No. 2 Minnesota by scores of 8-1 and 8-2, Oct. 17-18 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.  Junior Raelyn LaRocque scored in the third period of game one to erase the shutout. Freshmen Laura McIntosh and Natalie Spooner set each other up for goals to tie the score at 2-all in the second game before the Gophers responded with three goals in each of the second and third periods to complete the sweep.
    Sophomore Deidre Facklis started her first game of the season against Minnesota (Oct. 18). She made 49 saves, one short of her career high. The Buckeyes were without senior co-captain Hayley Klassen, who missed the series with an injury.

    Sophomore defenseman Shannon Reilly had an assist in each game of the Boston University series extend her point streak to four games. In her first 15 games of the season, Reilly had just four points. She has six assists in the last four games.
    Last season, the Chanhassen, Minn., native led the Buckeyes in freshmen scoring with 24 points (6g, 18a). Reilly is currently tied for fourth on the team in scoring with 10 points, good for a tie for eighth overall among WCHA defensemen.

    Freshman forwards Laura McIntosh and Natalie Spooner rank among the best in the WCHA. McIntosh is fourth in rookie scoring with 25 points, followed by Spooner in fifth with 22. McIntosh’s 19 assists are tied for second in the league, while Spooner is third in goal-scoring with 17.

    The Ohio State power play struggled in the first half of the season, but has been clicking during the last few series. The Buckeyes have a power play goal in each of the last five games, including a season-high three at Minnesota State (Dec. 13). They are 7-of-22 for a 31.8 percentage in that span. OSU opened the season 8-of-84 for a 9.5 conversion rate.

    This weekend, the Buckeyes continue a season-long three-week homestand at the OSU Ice Rink. After hosting Boston University in a nonconference series last weekend, Ohio State welcomes WCHA foes Minnesota this weekend and St. Cloud State (Jan. 17-18). Five of eight series the rest of the season will be in Columbus.
    The Buckeyes concluded the first-half of their season with a stretch where they played four of five series on the road. So far this season, Ohio State has been away from Columbus for six out of 10 series.

    Freshman forward 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 just 14 games under her belt, rookie Natalie Spooner already ranks 10th in season goals at Ohio State with 17. The Buckeye record is 29 goals scored by Jeni Creary in 2004-05. Only four players have ever scored 20 or more goals in a season (Creary three times, Erin Keys twice, and once each for Jana Harrigan and Shana Frost).

    Ohio State was without its top goal scorer, freshman forward Natalie Spooner, last weekend against Boston University while she is in Europe with the Canadian Under-22 Team. They won the silver medal at the 2009 MLP Cup (formerly the European Air Canada Cup), Jan. 2-6 in Ravensburg, Germany. Canada is the six-time defending champion, fell to Sweden by a score of 2-1 in the championship game Tuesday.
    Spooner was on three Team Canada squads in 2008. She began the season as a member of the silver medal-winning U-18 team in January, was selected to the U-22 team in August and was chosen for the national team in September that finished second in the Four Nations Cup in November.

    Current freshman forward Natalie Spooner and incoming forward Casandra (Hokey) Langan were named to Canadian teams that will compete in international events in January, Hockey Canada announced in December. Spooner was selected to the Under-22 Team for the 2009 MLP Cup, Jan. 2-6 in Ravensburg, Germany. Langan was named to the Under-18 Team for the 2009 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championships, Jan. 5-10 in Fssen, Germany.

    Ohio State opened 2009 with its final nonconference series of the season, facing No. 9 Boston University Jan. 2-3 at the OSU Ice Rink. The Terriers won, 5-3, in the first game before the teams skated to a 2-2 tie in game two. Junior defenseman Rachel Davis scored a goal in each game. She entered the series with two goals in the previous 18 games this season.
    Freshman forward Laura McIntosh had an assist in each game to extend her point streak to five games. Sophomore defenseman Shannon Reilly had an assist in each game as well to extend her point streak to four games. Senior goaltender Liana Bonanno played five of six periods against the Terriers. She totaled 50 saves with three goals allowed for a .943 save percentage.

 It was the first meeting between the Buckeyes and Boston University. Ohio State concluded its non-league games for the season with a 2-3-1 mark.
 The series vs. BU was the Buckeyes’ first in Columbus since Nov. 14-15.
 Liana Bonanno’s start Saturday was her first since Nov. 28 at St. Lawrence. Sophomore netminder Deidre Facklis started four-consecutive games before then.
 The BU series saw the return of senior co-captain Morgan Marziali after she missed the Minnesota State series with an injury. She scored a goal in the second game against the Terriers.

    With an assist vs. Boston University, senior forward Hayley Klassen increased her career point total to 81. The co-captain from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, ranks 10th all-time in the OSU record books and is five points shy of the ninth position. Klassen has 38 career goals to rank sixth. She has five multi-point performances this season, including a career-high four points against Minnesota State (Dec. 13) and ranks third on the team in scoring with 18 points (7g, 11a) even after missing four games with an injury.

    Three Buckeyes are on points streaks of three games or longer. Laura McIntosh has a five-game streak (8 points) and Natalie Spooner has a five-game streak (12 points), including a five-game goal streak to tie for the third-longest in Buckeye history. Sophomore defenseman Shannon Reilly is on a four-game point streak with six assists in that span.

     Ohio State will face its seventh nationally-ranked opponent in a series this weekend against No. 2 Minnesota. In the first half of their season, the Buckeyes also played No. 2 Minnesota (in Minneapolis) and No. 2 Wisconsin, No. 5/6 St. Lawrence, No. 8/9 Minnesota Duluth, No. 9 Boston University and No. 9 Providence (rankings as of date of games). North Dakota entered the polls at No. 10 following its series against Ohio State.

    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).

    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 ( 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 goals-against average (9.20). 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.

 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.

    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 145-172-33 (94-126-26 WCHA) during their nine-plus seasons and have never finished below fifth in the conference standings.

    The Buckeyes conclude their three-week homestand with a conference series against St. Cloud State, Jan. 16-17. Games begin at 7 p.m. Friday at 2 p.m. Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink.