COLUMBUS, Ohio - With goals by four different Buckeyes, the Ohio State women's hockey team topped Robert Morris, 4-1, Saturday to complete a season-opening sweep of the Colonials in Pittsburgh. The Buckeyes (2-0-0) trailed 1-0 after the first period, but put four on the board in the second, including three goals in the last 2:36 to pull away for the win.
Making the first starts of her young career, freshman Lisa Steffes backstopped the Buckeyes to the sweep by allowing only one goal in each game. She made 23 saves Saturday and stopped 40 of 42 shots faced in the series for a .952 save percentage.
Junior forward Natalie Spooner added another goal and assist to finish the series with three goals and five points. Classmate Laura McIntosh was just behind her with four points on two goals and two assists.
Robert Morris (1-3-0) opened the scoring 11:37 into the game with a goal by Maria Stoa, assisted by Kelsey Thomas.
But it would be all Ohio State in the second period with Christina Mancuso getting things started by tying the score at 6:26 with an assist by Spooner.
Spooner then put the Buckeyes in the lead by tallying one of her own at 17:24, fed by sophomore Paige Semenza.
The Buckeyes added two more in the last 18 seconds of the stanza - first by senior defenseman Shannon Reilly from junior Melissa Feste at 19:42 and a second one by sophomore Hokey Langan from McIntosh at 19:49.
Ohio State had a 33-24 overall lead in shots and both teams were 0-of-2 on the power play. Daneca Butterfield had 29 saves for Robert Morris and is 0-2-0.
Up next, Ohio State returns to Columbus for its Western Collegiate Hockey Association and home-opener against St. Cloud State, Oct. 15-16. Games begin at 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink and admission, as always, is free.
* Ohio State has swept Robert Morris in its first two meetings starting last season (4-0-0). The Buckeyes have held the Colonials to a single goal in each game and outscored them 18-4. Melissa Feste has six points in those four games against RMU (4g, 2a).
* The Buckeyes are 13-6-3 all-time in the opening series of a season.
* This was the first of three series Ohio State will play against teams from the College Hockey America conference. The other two series will be in Columbus vs. Syracuse (Oct. 29-30) and vs. Wayne State (Dec. 30-31).
* The Buckeye penalty kill was a perfect 7-of-7 in the series.
* An assist on the fourth goal extended Laura McIntosh's point streak to 10 games (carrying over from last season).