COLOMBUS, Ohio. - A flurry of Buckeye goals in the first period gave the Ohio State women's hockey team an early lead as the Scarlet and Gray skated to a 6-2 victory over conference foe No. 5 North Dakota Friday at the OSU Ice Rink. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 14-9-4, 11-9-1-1 (WCHA), while North Dakota falls to 15-9-2, 11-7-2-1 (WCHA).
At the 3:50 mark of the first period, freshman Danielle Gagne earned her sixth goal of the season with the help of senior captain Laura McIntosh to put Ohio State on the board. Shortly after at 7:19, junior Paige Semenza and sophomore Annie Svedin assisted on a Taylor Kuehl goal to give the Buckeyes a two-score advantage.
Semenza, a forward from Pittston, Pa., nabbed a goal of her own minutes later at 12:08. A North Dakota checking call put the Buckeyes on the power play and Semenza notched her third goal of the season. Freshmen Sara Schmitt and Gagne were accredited with the assists.
With Ohio State firing 14 shots on goal to UND's four in the first period, senior Natalie Spooner was the next Buckeye to score on the power play off a dish from McIntosh and junior Hokey Langan at 13:59.
Down 4-0, sophomore Michelle Karvinen put North Dakota on the board after junior Tina Hollowell went to the box for a holding call at 14:38. Seconds later at 14:43, Karvinen found the net from freshman Josefine Jakobsen to end the first period, 4-1, in the Buckeyes' favor.
Off an assist from junior Minttu Tuominen, freshman Kari Schmitt carded her first career point with a goal at 16:36 in the second stanza for team's only score of the period.
Swapping goalies to start the second period, UND increased their offensive attack, notching nine shots on goal to Ohio State's 10, and answered with a goal of their own at 18:52. Skating 4-on-3 after a slew of penalties, junior Jocelyne Lamoureux scored from junior Monique Lamoureux-Kolls and Jakobsen to cut the UND deficit to 5-2.
Spooner again found the net at 10:19 in the third period with assists from Langan and McIntosh. Langan's dish gave her 100 career points, while McIntosh's moved her into a tie for first in the all-time career-points scored category with 160.
In the net, OSU sophomore goalie Lisa Steffes made 32 stops, while junior Jorid Dagfinrud and senior Stephanie Ney combined to make 24 saves between the pipes for North Dakota. In the faceoff circle, Ohio State trailed North Dakota, 28-26.
Game two of the series will take place tomorrow with a 4:07 p.m. puck drop at the OSU Ice Rink.