Buckeyes Host Penn State in Non-Conference Play
Jan. 2, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s hockey team hosts Penn State this Friday and Saturday in non-conference play. Game times are set for 7:07 p.m. Friday and 4:07 p.m. Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink.
Friday, Jan. 3, 2014 – 7:07 p.m. ET
Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014 – 4:07 p.m. ET
Ohio State has an overall record of 5-11-2, 2-10-2 in the WCHA.
In the Polls
Ohio State is currently receiving no votes in the USCHO.com or USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Division I women’s hockey polls.
First Half Review
Ohio State enters the midseason break with a 5-11-2 record and is sitting in eighth place in the WCHA standings. After a strong 3-1-1 start to the season, including wins on the road against nationally ranked Mercyhurst and North Dakota teams, the Buckeyes went through a rough stretch of games in which they went 0-8-1, falling in five of those contests by just one score. OSU recovered with a sweep of New Hampshire on the road winning by scores of 3-2 and 2-0 and is 3-1-0 in non-conference play. The Buckeyes were swept by top-ranked Minnesota to close out the first half of the season.
OSU has been led offensively largely by a pair of defensemen in juniors Kari Schmitt and Sara Schmitt. Sara leads the team with 14 points on four goals and 10 assists, while Kari has 12 points on four goals and eight assists. Sara is ninth nationally in defensemen scoring while Kari is tied for 11th. Senior Ally Tarr has 12 points on two goals and ten assists while junior Danielle Gagne and sophomore Julia McKinnon each have eight points. Five players share the team lead in goals scored with four apiece including the Schmitt’s, Gagne, sophomore Kendall Curtis and freshman Claudia Kepler. McKinnon and junior Taylor Kuehl each have a pair of game-winning scores and Gagne has one as well.
Time between the pipes for the Buckeyes has been split this season by redshirt senior Chelsea Knapp (576:39 minutes; 2-6-1 record) and senior Lisa Steffes (506:59 minutes; 3-5-1 record). Knapp, who earlier this season became the all-time leader at OSU in saves made, is posting a 3.75 goals-against average and a .877 save percentage. Steffes is seeing career best numbers with a goals-against average of 2.01 and a .933 save percentage. The penalty kill unit has been effective, holding opponents scoreless on 61 of 74 opportunities (82.4 percent). The Buckeye power play unit is clicking at a 15.4 percent rate having gotten 12 goals on 78 chances.
Last Time Out: Minnesota
The Buckeyes were swept at the hands of No. 1 Minnesota Dec. 7-8 at the OSU Ice Rink, losing 9-2 Saturday and dropping Sunday’s contest 5-1. Sophomore Cara Zubko and freshman Alexa Ranahan each scored their first career goals in the loss Saturday. The Zubko goal was assisted on by freshman Claudia Kepler and sophomore Julia McKinnon while the Ranahan goal was set up by helpers from redshirt junior Kara Gust and senior Madison Marcotte. Junior Danielle Gagne scored the lone Buckeye goal Sunday. The goal, which at the time tied the game at 1-all, was assisted on by junior Sara Schmitt and senior Ally Tarr.
About Penn State
The Nittany Lions are in their second season of NCAA women’s hockey after their inaugural campaign in 2012-13 and are members of College Hockey America. Led by head coach Josh Brandwene the program tallied seven wins a year ago and is off to a 3-14-2 start this season. Offensively PSU is led by sophomore Shannon Yoxheimer, who has a team-leading 11 points on five goals and six assists. Senior Taylor Gross has 10 points including a team-high six goals scored, while sophomore Hannah Hoenshell has a team-leading seven assists. Senior Nicole Paniccia and sophomore Celine Whitlinger have split time between the pipes, with Paniccia going 0-8-2 while putting up a 3.57 goals-against average and .910 save percentage, and Whitlinger going 3-6-0 while recording a 3.46 GAA and .918 save percentage.
Buckeyes vs. Nittany Lions
This marks the first meeting between the two programs. Penn State has never faced a team from the WCHA prior to this matchup with Ohio State.
Three Former Buckeyes are Sochi Bound
Three alumni of the OSU women’s hockey program will be heading to Sochi this February to represent their respective nations at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Natalie Spooner (2009-12) will skate for Canada while Emma Terho (Laaksonen; 2001-04) and Minttu Tuominen (2010-13) will represent Finland. It will mark the first Olympic appearance for Spooner, second for Tuominen and an unprecedented fifth appearance for Terho.
Buckeyes Sign Seven to National Letters of Intent
Nate Handrahan, head coach of the Ohio State women’s hockey team, has announced the signing of seven new student-athletes to National Letters of Intent who are expected to join the program in Fall 2014. The new class of signees includes forwards Allison Gasuik, Julianna Iafallo and Lauren Spring, defensemen Jessica Dunne and Danielle Sadek, and goaltender Kassidy Sauve. Another goaltender signee will be named at a later date.
Ohio State travels to Minneapolis to take on top-rated Minnesota Jan. 10-11. Friday is set for an 8:07 p.m. ET start time while Saturday’s game is set for 7:07 p.m. ET and will air live on the Big Ten Network.