No. 10 Buckeyes Face Big Road Test at No. 2 Wisconsin
Oct. 31, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The tenth-ranked Ohio State women’s hockey team faces another big early season road test, traveling to No. 2 Wisconsin for games this Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 2-3.
Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 – 3:07 p.m. ET
Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013 – 1:07 p.m. ET
Last Time Out: North Dakota
The last time the Buckeyes were in action they earned a series split with No. 5/6 North Dakota in Grand Forks, dropping game one but rebounding for the victory the following night. OSU fought back from an early three-goal deficit Friday night to make it 3-2 after two periods but eventually fell 5-2. Sophomore Julia McKinnon scored her first of the season in the loss and junior Sara Schmitt had the other Buckeye tally. Both goals came on the power play attack. OSU picked up a 2-1 win Saturday evening, getting a 36-save performance out of senior Lisa Steffes in her first start of the season. Steffes finished the game with a .973 save percentage and held UND to 1-7 on the power play in a game OSU was outshot 37-18. Sophomore Kendall Curtis and junior Taylor Kuehl scored the goals for the Buckeyes in the win.
In the Polls
Ohio State is the tenth-ranked team in the USCHO.com Division I Women’s Poll for the second week in a row. The Buckeyes are ranked just outside of the top ten in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine DI Women’s Poll, receiving 23 votes. OSU came in at No. 10 in that poll a week ago prior to its off-week.
Junior defensemen line mates and twin sisters, Sara and Kari Schmitt are off to a hot start through five games this season, leading the Buckeyes in scoring with nine and seven points, respectively. At least one of the Schmitts have been seen in the scoring line on 10 of 14 goals this season and the pair have both been on the scoring line on six of those scores. Sara leads the nation in points per game (1.80) and power play points per game (1.00) out of players with at least five games played. Kari shares the team lead in goals scored this season with three. Sara and Kari currently sit ninth and tenth in all-time defensive scoring at Ohio State with 42 and 41 points, respectively.
News and Notes
Wisconsin comes in as the second-ranked team in the nation in both national women’s hockey polls and carries a 6-2-0 overall record, 4-2-0 in the WCHA. The Badgers have series sweeps against Minnesota State, St. Cloud State and Lindenwood, while their only losses came on the road against top-ranked Minnesota. Brittany Ammerman (6-7-13) and Blayre Turnbull (3-6-9) lead an offensive attack that ranks eighth in the nation, while senior goaltender Alex Rigsby backstops a defense which is ranked tied for first in the country allowing an average of one goal per game.
Buckeyes vs. Badgers
Wisconsin holds a strong edge in the all-time series with the Buckeyes. OSU is just 9-49-6 all-time against the Badgers, 5-24-3 in Madison. The Buckeyes went 1-3-0 last season against Wisconsin, picking up a series split at home in the first series ever played in Value City Arena at the Schottenstein Center, and dropping two on the road in the first games played by OSU in the new LaBahn Arena. McKinnon and Kuehl each had separate two-goal performances last season against UW in Columbus, while senior Ally Tarr scored the lone goals for the Buckeyes in each game at LaBahn.
The Buckeyes are home next weekend as they play host to Bemidji State at the OSU Ice Rink Nov. 8-9. Friday is set for a 7:07 p.m. start while the puck will drop at 4:07 p.m. Saturday.
The Buckeyes return 18 letterwinners from last season and roughly 64 percent of their scoring. Senior Ally Tarr returns after leading the Buckeyes in scoring a season ago with 32 points. Tarr currently sits tenth on the OSU all-time goals scored list with 37 career scores and her 11 game-winning goals has her second all-time at OSU in that category. Junior Taylor Kuehl and sophomore Julia McKinnon will look to build off of breakout seasons last year offensively, while juniors Kari Schmitt and Sara Schmitt are back to lead an OSU defense that gave up 2.59 goals-per-game last season. Redshirt senior Chelsea Knapp is back for one last season after starting 36 of 37 games last season and posting career bests in wins (19), goals-allowed average (2.50) and save percentage (.911).