Buckeyes Start WCHA Playoff Push at Minnesota Duluth
Feb. 26, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s hockey team travels to Duluth, Minn., for the WCHA First Round Playoffs, for a best-of-three series with Minnesota Duluth Feb. 28-March 2. It marks the third-consecutive season that the Buckeyes have been in Duluth for their first-round matchup as the five seed. Each year ended up in a sweep with UMD advancing in 2012 and OSU advancing in 2013.
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Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 – 7:07 p.m. ET
Saturday, March 1, 2014 – 7:07 p.m. ET
Sunday, March 2, 2014 – 7:07 p.m. ET – If Necessary
Ohio State has an overall record of 14-15-5, 9-14-5 in the WCHA.
Last Time Out: North Dakota
The Buckeyes are coming off of a sweep of No. 7 North Dakota at the OSU Ice Rink Feb. 21-22. OSU rode the back of a 32-save, shutout performance by senior goaltender Lisa Steffes Friday night. It was the fifth shutout of the season for Steffes, who is posting personal-best and OSU all-time single season best numbers of 1.84 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage. The goals came from junior defensemen Kari Schmitt and Sara Schmitt, their eighth and seventh goals on the season, respectively. Redshirt senior goaltender Chelsea Knapp got the start on Saturday and allowed one goal while stopping 30 UND shots to pick up her 42nd-career victory and move into a tie for most career wins in OSU program history with former Buckeye Ericka Vanderveer. After falling down early 1-0 to UND, senior Ally Tarr evened the score with her 10th goal of the season. She would later add an assist to finish the weekend with three points. Sophomore Kendall Curtis scored on an unassisted blast in the third period for the game-winner and junior Danielle Gagne scored her tenth of the season later in the third to seal the victory. Junior Taylor Kuehl had three assists on the weekend.
News and Notes
- Tarr has a team-leading 30 points this season on 10 goals and 20 assists. She is tied for sixth all-time at OSU with former Buckeye Laura McIntosh with 47 career goals apiece.
- Tarr was named WCHA Co-Offensive Player of the Week for her performance against North Dakota this past weekend.
- Knapp and Steffes have combined to start 178 out of the last 180 games for OSU. They are 1-2 in career saves.
- Steffes is posting career-best numbers in goals-against average (1.84) and save percentage (.936). The best single-season statistics in those two areas in OSU program history are by Erika Vanderveer, who posted a 2.19 GAA and a .920 save percentage during the 2006-07 season.
- Freshman Claudia Kepler has a team-leading 12 goals on the season. She has scored the second-most goals out of freshmen in the WCHA this season.
- Sara and Kari Schmitt are both in the top-five in the WCHA in defensemen scoring with 26 and 22 points, respectively.
- Eight Buckeyes are in double-digits for points this season, including five with 20-plus.
- OSU is 11-0-0 this season when scoring at least three goals, 3-15-5 when scoring two goals or less.
- The Buckeyes are 12-5-2 when scoring the first goal of the game, 2-10-2 when the opponent scores first. OSU is 12-0-2 when leading after the second period.
- The eight Buckeyes who were named 2014 WCHA Scholar-Athletes (Madison Marcotte, Becky Allis, Kari Schmitt, Sara Schmitt, Taylor Kuehl, Kayla Sullivan, Stacy Danczak and Bryanna Nuewald) will also be recognized at the game Saturday.
About Minnesota Duluth
Led by head coach Shannon Miller in her 15th season, the Bulldogs enter the WCHA playoffs with an overall record of 13-13-6, 11-11-6 in WCHA play. Offensively UMD is paced by junior Jenna McParland and her team-leading 31 points on 10 goals and 21 assists. Senior Jamie Kenyon (14-13-27), junior Zoe Hickel (10-13-23) and freshman Lara Stalder (4-17-21), who is returning from Sochi after representing Team Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, all have been big contributors this season as well. Sophomore Kayla Black has seen most of the time between the pipes for UMD, recording a 12-11-6 record while posting a goals-against average of 2.35 and a save percentage of .919.
Buckeyes vs. Bulldogs
It marks the third-consecutive season that the Buckeyes have been in Duluth for their first-round matchup as the five seed. Each year ended up in a sweep with UMD advancing in 2012 and OSU advancing in 2013. The Buckeyes were swept by the Bulldogs in Columbus, Nov. 15-16, in the only home series played at Value City Arena. OSU tied UMD in two games played in Duluth Jan. 18-19, picking up the shootout win in one game and losing the shootout in the other. In the last 10 games played between OSU and UMD the road team is unbeaten (8-0-2). UMD holds the lead in the all-time series, 11-52-6.
Three alumni of the OSU women’s hockey program were in Sochi representing their respective nations at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Natalie Spooner (2009-12), skating for Team Canada, picked up a gold medal. Emma Terho (Laaksonen; 2001-04) and Minttu Tuominen (2010-13), representing Finland, finished in fifth place. It was the first Olympic appearance for Spooner, second for Tuominen and a women’s ice hockey record fifth appearance for Terho.
2014 WCHA FINAL FACE-OFF Tickets on Sale Now
Tickets for the 2014 WCHA FINAL FACE-OFF, the women’s WCHA playoff championship which will be held at Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn., March 7-8, are now on sale.
Semifinal games will be played at 4:07 pm and 7:37 pm CT on Friday, March 7. The semifinal winners will then play at 7:07 pm CT on Saturday, March 8 in the championship game. The winner of this game receives an automatic berth into the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.
Tickets for all Sanford Center events may be purchased at the Sanford Center ticket office, any Ticketmaster retail location, Lueken’s Village Foods, charge by phone at 1.800.745.3000, or on-line at www.ticketmaster.com.