Ohio State faces Fighting Sioux Friday and Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink
COLUMBUS, Ohio After back-to-back road series, the Ohio State women’s hockey team returns to Columbus to host North Dakota in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series, Feb. 6-7. 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 after the game Saturday.
    The Buckeyes (6-19-3, 4-16-2-2 WCHA) are looking to rebound after a series shutout at No. 1 Wisconsin last weekend, dropping both games by scores of 7-0. The Fighting Sioux (13-11-4, 9-10-3) took three points from Bemidji State in Grand Forks last weekend. UND won 6-3 and tied 0-0, falling in a shootout 2-0 to the Beavers.

    Live scoring for the Ohio State-North Dakota series will be available on the Buckeyes’ official athletics site at Links to the games are available on the women’s hockey schedule page.

    The Buckeyes remain in seventh place with 12 points in the WCHA standings. They trail sixth-place Minnesota State by a point and are ahead of eighth-place Bemidji State by three points. The OSU special teams are operating at 12.2 percent on the power play and 77.9 percent on the penalty kill.
    Leading the Buckeyes is freshman forward Laura McIntosh with a team-high 31 points and 24 assists. Fellow rookie forward Natalie Spooner and senior co-captain Hayley Klassen are tied for second with 25 points. Spooner leads the team with 17 goals, while Klassen is second in both goals (11) and assists (14).
    The OSU net has been patrolled by senior Liana Bonanno and sophomore Deidre Facklis the majority of the season. Bonanno, who has started five of the last six games, is 5-14-2 with a 3.76 GAA and .894 save percentage. Facklis has a 1-4-1 record, 6.61 GAA and .842 save percentage in her 10 appearances.

    Ohio State is 13-3-2 all-time against North Dakota. It is the shortest series history the Buckeyes have against a WCHA team with the Fighting Sioux joining the conference in the 2004-05 season. The Buckeyes own a 7-0-1 record against North Dakota in the OSU Ice Rink.

    Ohio State dropped two games in a road series at North Dakota, Nov. 1-2, marking the first time it had been swept by the Fighting Sioux. The Buckeyes lost by scores of 4-2 and 5-4 (OT) at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Freshman forward Laura McIntosh factored into all four Ohio State goals the second game, scoring twice and adding two assists. She also had an assist in the first game for a five-point weekend. McIntosh was named WCHA Rookie of the Week for her efforts at North Dakota
    In the second game, McIntosh combined with linemates Hayley Klassen and Morgan Marziali to total 10 points. The senior co-captains each had three points on a goal and two assists. Marziali finished with four points in the series with an assist Saturday as well. Freshman forward Kim Theut scored her first collegiate goal Saturday. Junior Raelyn LaRocque had a goal Saturday and assist Sunday for a two-point weekend.
    The Buckeyes were without freshman forward Natalie Spooner for the series, who was away playing in the Four Nations Cup with Team Canada.

    Freshman forwards Laura McIntosh and Natalie Spooner rank among the best overall in the WCHA. McIntosh is tied for sixth in assists with 24, while Spooner is tied for seventh in goals with 17. In freshman scoring, McIntosh is fifth with 31 points, just ahead of Spooner tied for sixth with 25.
    In the NCAA, Spooner is seventh in freshman scoring with 1.11 points per game, followed by McIntosh in eighth with 1.04.

    Laura McIntosh leads the Buckeyes in points with 31 and has recorded all but four of them against Western Collegiate Hockey Association opponents. She is eighth in points in WCHA games only with 27 and her 21 assists against league teams is third.

    Senior co-captain Hayley Klassen has scored all 11 of her goals against WCHA opponents. She is tied for 10th in goal-scoring in WCHA games only is tied for 14th in points with 22. 

    Laura McIntosh is climbing two Buckeye records this season. Her 24 assists are tied for seventh in the Ohio State single-season records. The Waterloo, Ontario, native also has moved up to fourth in scoring by a freshman. Her 24 helpers are the second-most by an OSU rookie, trailing the record set by Kelli Halcisak by three.

    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.

    The Buckeyes dropped a road series at 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.

 It was the third Saturday-Sunday series for the Buckeyes this season.
 Ohio State was 0-of-10 on the power play and 4-of-6 on the penalty kill against the Badgers.

    After starting the season 4-4-0, the Buckeyes are 2-15-3 in their last 20 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). Ohio State then hit the road where it tied Bemidji State, 3-3, before winning the shootout (1-0), and dropped game two by a score of 3-1, followed by two 7-0 losses at No. 1 Wisconsin last weekend.

    Ohio State has been held without a goal in its last 133:34 minutes played. Senior co-captain Hayley Klassen last lit the lamp 6:26 into the third period Jan. 24 at Bemidji State. The Buckeyes were shut out in back-to-back games and for an entire series for the first time since Feb. 24-25, 2006 in a home series against Wisconsin (scores of 3-0 and 1-0).

    With a four points at Bemidji State (Jan. 23-24), senior forward Hayley Klassen increased her career point total to 88. The co-captain from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, ranks ninth all-time in the OSU record books and is a point away of the eighth position. She has 42 career goals to tie for fifth with former teammate Tessa Bonhomme.
    Klassen has five multi-point performances this season, including a career-high four points against Minnesota State (Dec. 13) and is tied for second on the team in scoring with 25 points (11g, 14a) even after missing four games with an injury.

    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 has had trouble finding the back of the net as of late. She is scoreless in her eight games played in 2009 despite firing a combined 47 shots on goal in those games. She has three assists in that span.

    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 20 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 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.

    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 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.

 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 145-180-33 (94-135-26 WCHA) during their nine-plus seasons and have never finished below fifth in the conference standings.

    Ohio State travels to No. 3/4 Minnesota Duluth for a series at the DECC in Duluth, Minn. Games begin at 7:07 p.m. (CT) both Friday and Saturday.