Ohio State plays in first of back-to-back WCHA road series Friday and Saturday
COLUMBUS, Ohio After a three-week homestand, the Ohio State women’s hockey team hits the road for back-to-back series against Western Collegiate Hockey Association opponents, opening with a trip to Bemidji, Minn., to face the Beavers of Bemidji State, Jan. 23-24. Games begin at 2 p.m. (CT) both Friday and Saturday at the John Glas Fieldhouse.
The Buckeyes (6-16-2, 4-13-1-1 WCHA) are still on the hunt for their first win of 2009 after going 0-5-1 in three home series to open the second half of the season. Last weekend, Ohio State dropped two one-goal games (3-2 and 4-3) to St. Cloud State. Bemidji State (5-17-2, 2-16-0 WCHA) are coming off two loses at top-ranked Minnesota but had a four-game win streak heading into the series.
KEEPING AN EYE ON THINGS
Live scoring and audio for the Ohio State-Bemidji State series will be available on the Beavers’ official athletics site at www.BemidjiState.edu/athletics. Links to the games are available on the Buckeye women’s hockey schedule page on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Junior defenseman Rachel Davis also will be keeping Buckeye fans in touch with the team this weekend through her blog on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
BUCKEYES IN A NUTSHELL
The Buckeyes are sixth in the WCHA standings with 10 points. They are seven points behind fifth-place North Dakota and a point ahead of seventh-place Minnesota State. The OSU special teams are operating at 12.5 percent on the power play and 78.3 percent on the penalty kill.
Leading the Buckeyes is freshman forward Laura McIntosh with a team-high 29 points and 22 assists. Fellow rookie forward Natalie Spooner is right behind her with 24 points and a Buckeye-best 17 goals. Senior co-captain Hayley Klassen is third in scoring with 21 points (9g, 12a).
The OSU net has been patrolled by senior Liana Bonanno and sophomore Deidre Facklis the majority of the season. Bonanno, who started both games against St. Cloud State last weekend, is 5-12-1 with a 3.68 GAA and .897 save percentage. Facklis has a 1-3-1 record, 6.35 GAA And .847 save percentage.
BUCKEYES VS. BEAVERS
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Bemidji State with a 24-11-5 record. The Buckeyes have swept the last three series, including 2-1 and 3-0 victories at the end of October earlier this season in Columbus. OSU closed of the 2007-08 regular-season schedule with 6-3 and 3-2 wins in Bemidji.
Senior co-captain Hayley Klassen leads the current Buckeyes in scoring against Bemidji State with 13 points (7g, 6a), including eight points last season. She missed the earlier series against the Beavers in October with an injury. Fellow co-captain Morgan Marziali is just behind her with 12 points, including 11 assists.
WHEN LAST WE MET
The Buckeyes snapped a four-game losing streak with a sweep of Bemidji State at home, Oct. 24-25 at the OSU Ice Rink. Ohio State shut out the Beavers, 3-0, Friday and completed the sweep with a 2-1 victory Saturday. Natalie Spooner factored into four of five Buckeye goals in the series. Laura McIntosh had three assists against the Beavers, including helpers on both Ohio State goals in the second game. Also scoring for the Buckeyes against Bemidji State was junior Rachel Davis and freshman Melissa Feste. The goal by Feste was set up by classmate Kim Theut with both forwards picking up the first points as Buckeyes.
Senior goaltender Liana Bonanno had a solid series against the Beavers, allowing just one goal with 50 saves for a .980 save percentage. The assistant captain posted her first shutout of the season in the first game, stopping all 24 shots faced. It was the fourth shutout of her career.
After ending her point streak at seven games last Friday vs. St. Cloud State, Laura McIntosh had two assists in the next game. She has a point in eight of the last nine games with 12 points (3g, 9a) in that span. She has been held without a point just seven games this season and only twice in back-to-back games.
Linemate Hayley Klassen has recorded a point eight of the last 10 games with three goals and nine assists during that time. In her first 10 games of the season, she recorded points in just three of them. She also missed four games with an injury during the first half.
QUITE A PAIR
Freshman forwards Laura McIntosh and Natalie Spooner rank among the best in the NCAA. Spooner is sixth in goals per game with 0.94 while McIntosh is ninth in assists per game with 0.92. In freshmen scoring, Spooner is fifth in points per game (1.33) and McIntosh is tied for seventh (1.21).
In the WCHA conference, McIntosh is tied for fourth overall in freshman points with 29 with Spooner just behind her in sixth with 24 points. McIntosh is fourth with 22 assists, while Spooner is tied for fifth with 17 goals and tied for sixth with four power play goals.
LAST TIME OUT
The Buckeyes wrapped up a three-week homestand with two one-goal losses to St. Cloud State, Jan. 16-17 at the OSU Ice Rink. Ohio State fell by scores of 3-2 Friday and 4-3 Saturday. The Buckeyes opened with a 2-0 lead in the first game but the Huskies scored three unanswered goals, including the gamewinner with six minutes left in the third period, to pull away with the win. Ohio State cut SCSU’s lead to one-goal three times in the second game but that was as close as it would get as the Huskies completed the sweep.
Senior co-captain Morgan Marziali had a goal and assist in the first game and scored two of OSU’s three goals in game two for a four-point weekend.
NOTING THE ST. CLOUD STATE SERIES
Sophomore defenseman Teal Bishop had an assist in each game, both on goals by Morgan Marziali.
The trio of Laura McIntosh, Natalie Spooner and Hayley Klassen were all held without a point Friday. It was the first time all three had been pointless since the Buckeyes were shutout 3-0 Nov. 14 against Minnesota Duluth a span of nine games.
After starting the season 4-4-0, the Buckeyes are 2-12-2 in their last 14 games. During their three-week homestand to open the second half of the season, they were unable to capitalize on familiar ice with a 0-5-1 combined mark against Boston University (Jan. 2-3), Minnesota (Jan. 9-10) and St. Cloud State (Jan. 16-17).
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.
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 18 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).
MOVING ON UP
With a goal against St. Cloud State, senior forward Hayley Klassen increased her career point total to 84. The co-captain from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, ranks 10th all-time in the OSU record books and is two points shy of the ninth position. Klassen has 40 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 21 points (9g, 12a) even after missing four games with an injury.
WITH OR WITHOUT YOU
Ohio State has been without its top goal scorer, Natalie Spooner, 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.
Most recently Spooner missed a home series vs. Boston University (Jan. 2-3) while she was in Europe with the Canadian Under-22 Team. They won the silver medal at the 2009 MLP Cup (formerly the European Air Canada Cup) in Ravensburg, Germany.
BUCKS FOR CANUCKS
Current freshman forward Natalie Spooner and incoming forward Casandra (Hokey) Langan were named to Canadian teams that competed in international events in January. 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. Both won silver medals at their respective tournaments.
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 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.
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 145-176-33 (94-130-26 WCHA) during their nine-plus seasons and have never finished below fifth in the conference standings.
Ohio State plays in its second of back-to-back road trips when the team travels to No. 2 Wisconsin to face the Badgers, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. Games begin at 2 p.m. (CT) Saturday and noon Sunday at the Kohl Center.