Junior defenseman Sara Schmitt has three assists for Buckeyes

Junior defenseman Sara Schmitt had three assists for the Buckeyes

St. Cloud, Minn. - The Ohio State women's hockey team won its third-consecutive game and stretched its unbeaten streak to six games after taking down St. Cloud State Friday evening, 4-1 at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn.

Senior goaltender Lisa Steffes improved her record to 8-6-4 on the season with a 23-save performance. Shots on goal were in favor of OSU in the contest, 31-24.

The Buckeyes took advantage of an early power play opportunity to jump out front 1-0 at the 3:51 mark of the first period. The score came from junior forward Taylor Kuehl, who dropped a back-handed shot over the shoulder of Huskies goaltender Julie Friend. The play was set up nicely by freshman Breanne Grant who carried the puck deep in the zone before finding Kuehl in front. Grant and junior Kari Schmitt were credited with the assists on the play.

St. Cloud State evened the score at 1-1 at 16:28 of the first when senior Molli Mott was able to sneak a shot through the legs of Steffes and the teams went to the first intermission all-square.

Ohio State took control in the second period, finding the back of the net three times to take a 4-1 lead. Sophomore Julia McKinnon put the Buckeyes in front for good at 6:26 of the second after being set up by junior Sara Schmitt and freshman Claudia Kepler.

The next two scores came less than two minutes apart to stretch the OSU lead to three scores. Kepler had the first, her team-leading 11th of the season, at the 15:20 mark, while senior Ally Tarr got the second at 16:51, her seventh.

McKinnon and Sara Schmitt tallied the assists on the Kepler goal. Tarr tipped in a shot from Sara on her score to give Schmitt her third helper of the game. Kuehl was also credited with an assist on the play.

The teams skated to a scoreless third period. The Buckeyes finished 1-2 on the power play attack while holding St. Cloud State scoreless on its one opportunity.

Ohio State (10-12-5, 5-11-5 WCHA) and St. Cloud State (4-22-3, 3-18-2 WCHA) play game two of the series Saturday with opening face-off set for 4:07 p.m. ET.

Game Notes

- The win combined with a Bemidji State loss to Minnesota Duluth moved the Buckeyes into fifth place in the WCHA standings

- First three-game winning streak for the Buckeyes this season

- Grant's assist was the first of her career

- Kuehl and junior Danielle Gagne were playing in their 100th-career game for OSU

- Sara Schmitt leads the Buckeyes in points (22) and assists (17) this season