Senior forward Natalie Spooner scores all four goals for Buckeyes

Natalie Spooner scored all four goals for the Buckeyes

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Senior forward Natalie Spooner led the Ohio State women's hockey team by scoring all four goals in the 4-1 win over No. 8 Minnesota Duluth Friday at the OSU Ice Rink. The four-goal performance is the second of the season for Spooner and the third of her career.

The four goals moved Spooner to third overall on Ohio State's career points list with 129. She is also just four goals away from tying former Buckeye Jeni Creary's record of 86 career goals.

"Everything just clicked today," Spooner said. "We came out with a lot of energy and I was fortunate to get the puck on some breakaways. The team gave me opportunities and was able to use them."

With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 8-4-1 on the year and 6-4-1-1 in the WCHA. The loss drops the Bulldogs to 5-7-1 overall and 2-6-1 in conference competition.

Minnesota Duluth scored its lone goal early in the first period on the power play at 4:47. After an Ohio State tripping penalty, Vanessa Thibault fired a shot from the right that slipped past Buckeye goalie Lisa Steffes for the score. Assists went to Haley Irwin and Pernilla Winberg.

A little over five minutes into the second period, Spooner scored an even-strength goal at 5:17 to lock the game at 1-1. The assistant captain from Scarborough, Ontario, took a pass from junior Minttu Tuominen and broke away to tally her first goal of the game.

Spooner's second score came at 10:56 in the second with assists to junior Paige Semenza and freshman Sara Schmitt. Goal number three happened only two minutes later at 12:50 when Spooner picked up a pass from junior Hokey Langan and snuck a goal past Bulldog goalie Jennifer Harss. The Buckeyes headed into the second intermission with a 3-1 advantage.

A Minnesota Duluth penalty at 6:04 in the third gave Ohio State its fourth power-play opportunity and the Buckeyes capitalized at 7:23 when Spooner rebounded off an Ally Tarr shot to tap in the goal. Assists went to Tarr and senior captain Laura McIntosh.

With the assist, McIntosh moved into a tie for second overall in Ohio State history with 146 career points.

Steffes tallied 26 saves to improve to 6-2-0 on the year, while Harss finished with 22 saves and fell to 5-7-1 overall. The teams finished even with 27 shots apiece.

The teams conclude the two-game series tomorrow and return to the ice for a 4 p.m. game at the OSU Ice Rink.