COLUMBUS, Ohio - Just when the Ohio State women's hockey team should have been at its toughest point of the game, trailing 6-0 and killing off a 5-minute penalty, the No. 10 Buckeyes buckled down and not only held top-ranked Wisconsin scoreless on the power play but scored two shorthanded goals for a 6-2 final Friday night at the OSU Ice Rink.
Ohio State moved to 10-9-2 overall and 4-9-2-2 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while the Badgers won their seventh in a row to move to 19-2-0 and 13-2-0 in the conference.
This weekend, the Buckeyes are without their point leader, Laura McIntosh, and top goal-scorer, Natalie Spooner, who are playing with the Canadian Under-22 Team at the MLP Cup in Switzerland, along with rookie defenseman Annie Svedin who is competing with the Swedish National Team. Despite this, the Buckeyes had several quality scoring chances throughout the game.
Wisconsin opened the game with two quick goals and carried a 3-0 lead into the first intermission. Hilary Knight backhanded the puck in at 2:55 off a pass from Brianna Decker. Knight then connected with her other linemate, Meghan Duggan, who banked in a one-timer off the left post at 5:43.
The line connected again at 17:41 when OSU goalie Lisa Steffes was drawn out to the right side and Decker knocked the puck into the left corner with assists by Duggan and Knight.
The Badgers added another goal in the second period when Madison Packer put in her own rebound at the right doorstep, set up by Brooke Ammerman, at 7:37.
In the third period, Decker scored again, this time top-shelf unassisted 2:31 into the stanza. Geena Prough then fired a slapshot into the back of the net at 7:40 off a pass from Kelly Jaminski for the 6-0 lead.
At 11:20, senior defenseman Teal Bishop was assessed a 5-minute major and game misconduct for hitting from behind putting the Buckeyes on the ice for an extended penalty kill. However, the PK sparked Ohio State with two shorthanded goals.
Sophomores Tina Hollowell and Paige Semenza were battling in the neutral zone when Hollowell knocked the puck loose and over to Semenza who sprinted in on a breakaway and backhanded the puck in to erase the shutout at 15:22.
Just 45 seconds later, classmate Hokey Langan split two Badger defensemen, leaped over one with the puck and flicked it into the net for the unassisted goal at 16:07.
Overall, Wisconsin had a 37-27 advantage in shots on goal. Both teams were scoreless on the power play with the Buckeyes 0-of-4 and the Badgers 0-of-3.
Steffes, a freshman from Amherstburg, Ontario, made 31 saves but fell to 10-9-2. UW goaltender Alex Rigsby (13-1-0) stopped 25 shots.
Ohio State and Wisconsin conclude their season series with a 4 p.m. game Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink. Admission, as always, is free and the team will be celebrating Hockey Day Columbus with free tshirts to the first 50 fans. Following the game, a "Skate with the Buckeyes" session with autographs will take place.
* The two shorthanded goals were Ohio State's first of the season. They also were the first career SHG scored by Paige Semenza and Hokey Langan.
* Semenza has three goals and four points overall in the last three games. She had five points the first 18 games of the season.
* Langan is now tied for seventh in Ohio State's WCHA-only records with 30 goals against conference opponents. She is tied with Tessa Bonhomme (2004-08).
* Lisa Steffes has made 30-plus saves in 11 games. She surpassed the 600-save mark and now has 617 saves in 20 games this season.