COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State women's hockey team had a tough time with fifth-ranked Minnesota Saturday and fell to the Golden Gophers by a score of 8-1 at the OSU Ice Rink. Junior forward Natalie Spooner scored the lone goal for the Buckeyes, who fall to .500 on the season at 12-12-2 overall and 6-12-2-2 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. Minnesota, who extended its unbeaten streak to eight games, is 18-11-1 overall and 13-6-1-1 in the league.
The Gophers came out shooting and carried a 3-0 lead in the first intermission. Kelly Terry opened with an unassisted goal that slid in five-hole at 4:52, followed by an unassisted shorthanded goal scored on a breakaway by Amanda Kessel at 8:56. Terra Rasmussen then scored a power play goal from the slot, off a long pass from goalie Noora Raty, at 15:16.
In the second period, Minnesota tacked on two more goals in a 50 second span. Becky Kortum tapped the puck in off a pass from behind the net at 6:07. Sarah Erickson then tucked the puck on the crossbar at 6:57.
Ohio State erased the shutout at 12:14 by capitalizing on a power play opportunity. Spooner jammed in her own rebound from the goal mouth with assists from sophomore Hokey Langan and junior Laura McIntosh.
Minnesota added two power play goals for a 7-1 lead at the second intermission. Mira Jalosuo slipped the puck in from the slot at 16:07. Anne Schleper then scored on a 5-on-3 opportunity at 18:10.
Ten seconds into the third period, the Gophers scored again for the 8-1 final. Kortum netted her second goal of the game, scoring from the left side of the net.
Each team had two goalies get time in net. Lisa Steffes started for the Buckeyes and registered the loss to move to 12-12-2. She finished with 15 saves and six goals allowed in 36:07. Freshman Loren Carrier played the first minutes of her career, patrolling the last 23:53 with 13 saves.
Raty (17-4-1) played the first two periods for Minnesota and made 26 saves. Jenny Lura stopped the five shots faced in the third period.
Overall, the Gophers had a 36-32 lead in shots. They were 3-of-6 on the power play while the Buckeyes were 1-of-7 with the man-advantage.
Ohio State next travels to St. Cloud State for a WCHA series Jan. 28-29. Games begin at 2 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn.