Ohio State battles Badgers into third period, UW seals win with two empty net goals
VERONA, Wis. The Ohio State women’s hockey team closed out its 2008-09 season with a tough 4-1 loss against Wisconsin Saturday at the Eagles Nest Ice Arena in Verona, Wis., outside of Madison. The No. 7-seed Buckeyes put up a good fight against the No. 2-seed Badgers with the score tied 1-1 into the third, but UW pulled away with a power play goal and two empty netters in the final period.

The series was a First Round WCHA Playoff matchup with Wisconsin advancing to the conference’s Final Faceoff Championship next weekend in Minneapolis. Ohio State ends its 10th-anniversary season with an 8-25-3 overall record (6-20-2-2 Western Collegiate Hockey Association). The Badgers, ranked second in the nation, are 29-2-5 (21-2-5-3 WCHA).

Ohio State and Wisconsin skated to a scoreless first period with senior goaltender Liana Bonanno stopping all 13 shots faced. The Buckeyes came out of the gate ready to go and generated a number of scoring opportunities while peppering eight shots on goal.

The teams exchanged power play goals in the second period for a 1-all tie at the end of two. The Badgers jumped on the board first at 8:26 scoring during a scramble in front of the net with Hilary Knight collecting the goal with an assist by Jasmine Giles.

The Buckeyes responded by capitalizing on a 5-on-3 opportunity. Freshman Laura McIntosh cycled the puck from the right point to sophomore defenseman Shannon Reilly at the left point. She wound up and fired a slap shot that was tipped by senior co-captain Hayley Klassen stationed in the slot.

The goal by Klassen, her 13th of the season, snapped Wisconsin’s shutout streak against Ohio State at just over 281 minutes. The Badgers had held the Buckeyes scoreless in their last four meetings.

Wisconsin regained the lead in the third period on a second power play goal at 5:48. Erika Lawler flicked the puck in from the right corner of the net, set up by Meghan Duggan and Giles.

With time winding down, Ohio State called a timeout at 18:46 and pulled Bonanno for an extra skater. The Buckeyes fired several shots on goal but could not get anything past UW netminder Jessie Vetter.

The Badgers battled the regain the puck and added two empty net goals in the last minute to pull away for the 4-1 win. Knight tallied the first one at 19:24, followed by Lawler at 19:55.

Overall, Wisconsin had a 41-27 advantage in shots. The Buckeyes were 1-of-5 on the power play while the Badgers were 2-of-7. Bonanno concluded the season with a 7-20-2 record. Vetter is 28-2-5.

Klassen, a forward from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, concludes her Buckeye career with 95 points to rank eighth all-time in the OSU records. Her 44 career goals rank fifth.

McIntosh, a forward from Waterloo, Ontario, closes her rookie season with a team-high 39 points. She finished fourth in the Buckeye season records with 28 assists.

Bonanno, an assistant captain from Mount Sinai, N.Y., extended her lead in the single-season saves record with 37 more saves Saturday. She holds the record with 886 more than 100 over the previous mark.