COLUMBUS, Ohio. - The Ohio State women's hockey team is off to a hot start in 2014 as they downed Penn State 4-0 Saturday afternoon at the OSU Ice Rink to earn the series sweep over the Nittany Lions.
With the win the Buckeyes improved their non-conference record to 5-1-0 this season, 7-11-2 overall.
Senior goaltender Lisa Steffes made 18 saves while posting her second-straight shutout, third for the season. It was the first back-to-back shutouts posted for Ohio State since March 1-2, 2002, when a Melissa Glaser backstopped the Buckeyes in consecutive 1-0 victories over in-state Findlay.
Ohio State's top line, consisting of senior Ally Tarr and juniors Taylor Kuehl and Danielle Gagne up front and junior defensemen Kari Schmitt and Sara Schmitt, paced the Buckeyes offensively in the win as they contributed to all four of the OSU goals. Gagne finished the game with four points, while Kuehl and Tarr finished with three points each.
Kari Schmitt got the scoring started for the Buckeyes just 2:34 into the game on her sixth goal of the season. Gagne and Sara Schmitt contributed with the assists on the score.
The Buckeyes went up by two scores at the 12:53 mark of the opening period when Tarr lifted the puck over the shoulder of Penn State goaltender Nicole Paniccia after being set up beautifully by Kuehl and Gagne.
It was Gagne's turn to light the lamp in the second period as she scored her sixth of the season at the 7:20 mark, this time being set up by Kuehl and Tarr. The final goal came at 4:45 of the third and this time it was Kuehl finding the back of the net after being set up by Tarr and Gagne.
The Buckeyes now look to translate their success into conference play as they will face all WCHA foes the rest of the way.
Next up for Ohio State is a trip to Minneapolis for a date with top-ranked Minnesota Jan. 10-11. Friday's game is set for an 8:07 p.m. ET start while Saturday's game will start at 7:07 p.m. ET and air live on the Big Ten Network.