While in Minnesota, Buckeyes also will face U.S. Select Team in exhibition game Sunday
COLUMBUS, Ohio After breaking for finals last weekend, the Ohio State women’s hockey team wraps up 2008 with a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series at Minnesota State, Dec. 12-13 in Mankato, Minn. Games begin at 7 p.m. (CT) Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday at All Seasons Arena. While in Minnesota, the Buckeyes also face the U.S. Select Team in an exhibition game at 10 a.m. Sunday at Schwan Super Rink as part of the National Sports Center in Blaine.
    After dropping two games at St. Lawrence in a non-league series over Thanksgiving weekend, Ohio State is 5-11-0 overall and 3-9-0 in the WCHA. The Mavericks are 3-8-1 in the conference with a shootout win and 6-9-1 overall. They were off last weekend as well after playing Team USA in an exhibition game Thursday, Dec. 4.

    Live scoring the Ohio State-Minnesota State series will be available on the Mavericks’ official athletics Web site: Links to the games are available on the Ohio State women’s hockey schedule page on
    Live video of the games also will be available free by All Pro Media with links on both the Minnesota State and Ohio State Web sites.
    Against the U.S. Select Team, fans will be able to watch the game online for a fee at It also is linked to the OSU women’s hockey schedule page.

    The Buckeyes (5-11-0, 3-9-0 WCHA) are seventh in the conference standings, two points behind Minnesota State, whom they face this weekend. Ohio State has swept or been swept in seven of eight series this season.
    Leading the Buckeyes is freshman forward Laura McIntosh with a team-high 18 points and 14 assists. Fellow rookie forward Natalie Spooner is right behind her with 15 points and a Buckeye-best 12 goals.
    Patrolling the Ohio State net for the majority the season has been senior goaltender Liana Bonanno. The assistant captain is 5-9-0 with a .898 save percentage and 3.70 goals-against average. Sophomore netminder Deidre Facklis has started three games with five appearances.

    When the Buckeyes face Team USA Sunday, they will be playing against two of Ohio State’s top players from last season. Forward Erin Keys and defenseman Lisa Chesson completed their Buckeye careers last year and were invited to participate in the U.S. Residency Program beginning in September.
    Chesson was Ohio State’s first three-time All-WCHA selection. The native of Plainfield, Ill., totaled 27 goals and 62 assists for 89 points to rank fourth all-time in the OSU record books in defenseman scoring and eighth all-time overall. Keys was a two-time All-WCHA honoree, including a first-team nod in 2008. The St. Paul, Minn., native ranks fourth all-time in Buckeye scoring with 121 points (61g, 60a) and led the team in scoring her junior and senior seasons with 48 and 50 points, respectively.

    Ohio State leads the all-time series against Minnesota State with a 32-5-3 record. The Buckeyes swept the last meeting by scores of 3-2 and 4-0, Feb. 15-16, 2008 in Columbus. The last time Ohio State visited Mankato, MSU made history by sweeping the Buckeyes for the first time. It ended an eight-game winning streak against the Mavericks.
    Senior forward Hayley Klassen leads Ohio State in scoring against Minnesota State. The co-captain has totaled 18 points (8g, 10a) in 14 games.

    This weekend, the Buckeyes conclude a stretch where they play four of five series on the road. So far this season, Ohio State has been away from Columbus for six out of nine series. Home ice will welcome the Buckeyes back in 2009 with three-consecutive series at the OSU Ice Rink and five of eight series the rest of the season will be in Columbus.

    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 this week. 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 took a break from WCHA play with a series at No. 5/6 St. Lawrence, Nov. 28-29. The Buckeyes dropped the Friday game by a score of 5-1 and battled to a 5-4 loss Saturday. Freshman forward Natalie Spooner scored three of the Buckeyes’ five goals on the weekend. She had the lone goal in the first game and added two more the next night. Senior forward Hayley Klassen also had multiple points against SLU with an assist in each game.
    Goalies Deidre Facklis started the first game and Liana Bonanno started game two. Both made 34 saves in their 60 minutes.

 The series was the first between Ohio State and St. Lawrence. The previous four meetings were single games. It was the first game between the Buckeyes and Saints since January 2003.
 The four goals scored by the Buckeyes in the second game tied their season high.
 Liana Bonanno has made 30 or more saves in eight starts this season, including her last four.

     Ohio State faced its fifth nationally-ranked opponent of the season last time out at St. Lawrence. In the first half of their season, the Buckeyes also have played No. 2 Minnesota and Wisconsin, No. 5/6 St. Lawrence, No. 8/9 Minnesota Duluth 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).

    With two assists against St. Lawrence (Nov. 28-29), senior forward Hayley Klassen increased her career point total to 74. The co-captain from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, ranks 11th all-time in the OSU record books and is three points shy of entering the Top 10. Klassen has 36 career goals to rank sixth. She has three three-point performances this season and ranks third on the team in scoring with 11 points (5g, 6a) even after missing four games with an injury.

    In her third season, junior forward Raelyn LaRocque quickly tied her career high in points just 14 games into the schedule. The native from The Pas, Manitoba, set a career high for points in a season with an assist at St. Lawrence (Nov. 29) for eight points on three goals and five assists.

    Freshman forwards Laura McIntosh and Natalie Spooner rank among the best in both the WCHA and NCAA. Overall in the conference, McIntosh is fifth in freshman scoring with 18 points while Spooner is seventh with 15 points. The two are flipped in the NCAA with Spooner fifth among national rookies with 1.25 points per game. McIntosh is tied for eighth with 1.12.

    The Ohio State freshman class continues to be the backboard of the team’s offense, accounting for 49 percent of its points. All six rookie skaters have collected at least two points this season, totaling 44 points on 18 goals and 26 assists.   The other three classes have combined for 46 points. The seniors are second with 21 points, followed by the juniors with 13 and sophomores with 12.

 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.
 Senior goaltender 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 144-171-31 (93-126-25 WCHA) during their nine-plus seasons and have never finished below fifth in the conference standings.

    The Buckeyes will then be off until Jan. 2-3 when they ring in 2009 with a nonconference series against Boston University at the OSU Ice Rink.