COLUMBUS, Ohio - Natalie Spooner opened the second half of the season with three points to lead the Ohio State women's hockey team to a 3-2 victory over Wayne State Friday at the OSU Ice Rink. The junior forward from Scarborough, Ontario, factored into all three Buckeye goals by setting up the first one and scoring the next two, including the gamewinner with 5 minutes left.
Ohio State moves above .500 at 9-8-2 overall (4-8-2-2 Western Collegiate Hockey Association). Wayne State, the Buckeyes' last non-conference opponent of the season, falls to 7-10-0 (1-5-0 College Hockey America).
After a scoreless first period, the Buckeyes opened the scoring 2:42 into the second when Spooner centered the puck to sophomore Paige Semenza, who slipped it in five-hole while skating down the slot.
The Warriors responded with two goals in a 25 second span. Julie Ingratta evened the score at 1-all at 5:15 when she put in her own rebound while falling to the left of the net with assists to Micheline Frappier and Ciara Lee.
After drawing a penalty on its first goal, Wayne State quickly converted on its power play chance when Alyssa Baldin scored top-shelf at 5:40, set up by Gina Buquet and Jill Szandzik.
Spooner then tied the game at 2-2 when she weaved the puck through several Warriors and her shot rolled over WSU goalie Delayne Brian at 17:10. Sophomore Tina Hollowell collected the assist.
As time was winding down in the third period, Spooner grabbed the loose puck in the Ohio State zone and carried it up the ice to the Wayne State net, where she tucked in under the crossbar for the gamewinner at 15:00. Junior Melissa Feste also tallied the assist.
Freshman Lisa Steffes stopped a handful of breakaway chances by the Warriors while on her way to an 18-save game. The Amherstburg, Ontario, improved to 9-8-2 on the season. Brian stopped 39 shots for Wayne State and is 7-10-0.
Overall, the Buckeyes had a 42-20 margin in shots and were 0-of-5 on the power play. The Warriors' power play was 1-of-4.
Ohio State and Wayne State conclude their series with a 2 p.m. game Friday at the OSU Ice Rink. Admission, as always, is free.
- This was the first meeting between the Buckeyes and Warriors since 2001 (OSU leads 3-0-0).
- Ohio State improves to 5-0-0 in non-conference games this season - all against College Hockey America teams.
- Natalie Spooner now has 98 career points, tying her for eighth in the Ohio State records.
- Spooner tied the Buckeye record for career game-winning goals with 10, matching the mark set by Jeni Creary and Jennifer Desson (both 2002-05).
- It was Spooner's sixth game of the year with multiple goals and her 10th multi-point performance.
- The Buckeyes will be without Spooner and Laura McIntosh for the second game of the Wayne State series as they travel to Switzerland to compete with the Canadian Under-22 National Team at the MLP Cup, Jan. 4-8. Ohio State also is without freshman defenseman Annie Svedin, who will be competing in the international tournament with the Swedish National Team.