COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State women's hockey team downed Minnesota State Friday night at the OSU Ice Rink by a final score of 4-1.
Redshirt junior goaltender Chelsea Knapp stopped 22 of 23 shots faced and four different Buckeyes found the back of the net in the crucial WCHA victory.
In the first period the Buckeyes were unable to capitalize on an early five-minute power play following a checking-from-behind and game misconduct penalty on Minnesota State's Danielle Scholzen. The Mavericks also failed to score on their power play opportunity later in the period and the teams went to the locker rooms scoreless after one.
The scoring opened up in the second; started off by a power play goal at the 6:10 mark from sophomore Taylor Kuehl. The score was a team-leading 13th for Kuehl and was assisted by sophomore Kari Schmitt and senior Minttu Tuominen.
Lauren Smith would clean up her own rebound to knot the score up at 1-all 7:47 into the second; her 23rd goal of the year for the Mavericks.
It took the Buckeyes only a minute to respond as Kuehl set up junior Ally Tarr beautifully in front of the net to take a 2-1 lead at the 8:58 mark. The game-winner was goal number ten for Tarr and her team-leading 28th point of the season. Kuehl and sophomore Danielle Gagne were credited with the assists.
With 14 seconds left on the clock in the second, Minnesota State was whistled for covering up the puck in the crease and Ohio State was awarded a penalty shot. Senior captain Hokey Langan took the shot for the Buckeyes and beat Maverick goaltender Danielle Butters to extend the lead to 3-1. It was Langan's 10th goal of the season and 56th of her career.
Tuominen made it a 4-1 game at 6:28 of the third on her fifth goal of the season. Senior Paige Semenza and Kari Schmitt tallied assists on the score. Schmitt leads the team with 22 assists this season.
Butters finished with 32 saves for Minnesota State. Ohio State outshot the Mavericks 36-23. OSU finished 1-4 on the power play and killed off the Mavericks only chance.
With the win, and help from a 4-1 North Dakota victory over Minnesota Duluth, the Buckeyes moved into a fourth-place tie with UMD in the WCHA standings heading into the final day of the regular season. The top four teams in the final league standings will host during the first round of the WCHA playoffs next weekend. The Bulldogs hold the tie-breaker over Ohio State so the Buckeyes will need to take more points than UMD in tomorrow's contests.
Ohio State (17-14-2, 12-13-2 WCHA) and Minnesota State (10-19-4, 6-17-4 WCHA) play the final game of the series at 1:07 p.m. Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink. It will be Senior Day for the Buckeyes and the five Ohio State seniors will be honored in a special ceremony prior to the game.