OHIO STATE SKATES TO 1-1 TIE WITH NIAGARA
Senior forward Natalie Spooner scores a goal for Buckeyes

Natalie Spooner scored for the Buckeyes

COLUMBUS, Ohio - With both teams only scoring in the first period, the Ohio State women's hockey team (8-5-2) concluded game one of its series with Niagara (7-6-5) in a 1-1 tie at the OSU Ice Rink.

Skating 5 on 4 after a checking call sent Niagara's Erin Burns to the penalty box, senior Natalie Spooner nabbed her 14th goal of the season when she found the back of the net from junior Minttu Tuominen. The goal came at 5:21 in the first period to put the Buckeyes on the board at 1-0.

The Purple Eagles answered the Buckeyes later in the stanza when Kelsey Welch scored high in the slot from Jessica Hitchcock and Burns at 17:30 to send both teams to the lockerroom with one goal apiece.

Neither team was able to generate offensive momentum in the second or third period, with Ohio State putting up 16 shots on goal to Niagara's 13 throughout the two stanzas. Defensive play continued to guide the game through overtime and the score remained locked at 1-1 despite an Ohio State power play that occurred in the final seconds.

Propelled by goals from junior Hokey Langan and Spooner, Ohio State won the shootout after Niagara was unable to get past goalie Chelsea Knapp.

Between the pipes, Abby Ryplanski made 23 saves to Knapp's 22. In the face-off circle, the Buckeyes and Purple Eagles were balanced at 30 possessions apiece.

The Buckeyes close the Niagara series Saturday with a 2:07 p.m. puck drop at the OSU Ice Rink.