OSU falls to U.S. Women’s Select Team 8-1 in Blaine, Minn.; former Buckeyes Erin Keys scores twice, Lisa Chesson has an assist
The Ohio State women’s hockey team wrapped up a trip to Minnesota and the first half of their season with an exhibition game Sunday morning against the U.S. Women’s Select Team at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn. Coming off a tough conference series at Minnesota State, the Buckeyes (6-11-1, 4-9-1-1 WCHA) fell by a score of 8-1 to some of the best women’s hockey players in the nation.

Ohio State faced off against two former Buckeyes participating in the USA Hockey’s Residency Program. 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.

The former Buckeyes played well against their past teammates, with Keys scoring twice and Chesson recording an assist.

Overall, the Team USA squad featured two three-time Olympians (Angela Ruggiero and Jenny Potter) and two two-time Olympians (Natalie Darwitz and Julie Chu). Ten of the 14 skaters dressed for Team USA were former Western Collegiate Hockey Association players with four from Minnesota, two from Ohio State, two from Minnesota Duluth and one each from Bemidji State and Wisconsin.

The Buckeyes got on the board first at 5:22 when junior defenseman Rachel Davis blasted in a shot from the point. Sophomore Christina Mancuso and junior Raelyn LaRocque had the assists, feeding the puck along the boards up to Davis.

Team USA responded with three goals in the last eight minutes of the first for a 3-1. Erica McKenzie tied the game at 1-all at 12:22 with assists by Ruggiero and Jessica Koizumi. Koizumi and Caitlin Cahow then set up Chu to give Team USA the lead at 14:13. Potter capped off the period by weaving in and out of Buckeyes down the ice to score from the left side off a pass from Chesson at 19:44.

Keys added another goal for Team USA at 8:20 of the second to build its lead to 4-1. She tipped in a shot from Ruggiero with Darwitz tallying the second assist.

Team USA added four more goals in the third period for the 8-1 final. McKenzie scored her second of the game shorthanded 1:22 on a pass from Potter. Keys had two goals in the game as well, adding a power play goal from in front of the net at 7:56, set up by Darwitz and Ruggiero, her third of the game.

Brooke White-Lancett scored the second shorthanded goal for Team USA at 14:44 with an assist by Molly Engstrom. Ruggiero then made it a four-point game for her with a goal in the closing minute. White-Lancett and Winny Brodt had the assists.

Ohio State played all three goaltenders in the game. Freshman Barbara Bilko made her first appearance of the season in net, starting the game and making 13 saves. Sophomore Deidre Facklis had 14 saves in the second and senior assistant captain Liana Bonanno made 15 in the third. Team USA had a 50-24 advantage in shots.

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