Buckeyes Prepare for Second Half Push
Dec. 14, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s hockey team finished the first half of its schedule with an overall record of 14-5-1; 9-4-1 in the WCHA. The Buckeyes return to the ice Jan. 5, 2013, for an intrasquad scrimmage and skills competition, before beginning the second half docket with a league series in Madison against the Badgers.
LAST TIME OUT: RIT
Ohio State earned a non-conference sweep of RIT at the OSU Ice Rink, Dec. 8-9, winning by scores of 3-1 and 6-2. Saturday night the Buckeyes were paced by goals from three seniors in Minttu Tuominen, Hokey Langan and Tina Hollowell. On Sunday, junior Ally Tarr and freshman Julia McKinnon provided two goals each, while redshirt senior Kim Theut and Hollowell each tallied their 16th career goals.
Sophomore Sara Schmitt had four assists in the series with RIT, including three on Sunday. Redshirt junior goaltender Chelsea Knapp made 41 saves in the series and picked up her 13th and 14th wins for the season.
IN THE POLLS
Ohio State finds itself back in the USCHO.com DI Women’s Poll after a two-week hiatus, coming in at No. 10. The Buckeyes are receiving votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine DI Women’s Poll.
Ohio State will see an all-WCHA schedule in the second half, consisting of a series with every team in the league. The Buckeyes currently sit in second place in the WCHA with 29 points, one ahead of Wisconsin; although the Badgers have played two more league games than OSU. The Buckeyes will be on the road for series at Wisconsin (Jan. 11-12), Bemidji State (Feb. 1-2), and North Dakota (Feb. 15-16). Home matchups will include series with St. Cloud State (Jan. 18-19), Minnesota Duluth (Jan. 25-26), Minnesota (Feb. 8-9), and Minnesota State (Feb. 22-23). The series against UMD and MSU will be played at Value City Arena, while the series with SCSU and Minnesota will be played at the OSU Ice Rink.
A START FOR THE RECORD BOOKS
The 14 wins are the most for a Buckeye team in a season prior to the New Year; the previous best being 12 wins during the 2006-07 season. Several single-game team records fell in the first-half, including most shots in a game, when the Buckeyes put up 64 in the first game of the season against Lindenwood. OSU put up 10 goals against Bemidji State on Oct. 27, the highest amount for a single game in program history. Other offensive school records that fell in that game included points (28); assists (18); assists in one period (9); points in one period (14); and the nine goal margin of victory is the highest ever for Ohio State. The 14 goals tallied in the series with Bemidji State are the most against a WCHA opponent in a single series. The Buckeyes also made history when hosting Wisconsin in the first women’s hockey series played at Value City Arena, Nov. 16-17. On Oct. 15, Ohio State received its highest ranking in the national polls in program history, coming in at No. 6 in the USCHO.com DI Women’s Poll.
Ohio State has racked up four WCHA player of the week awards this season. Chelsea Knapp took home Defensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 10; Paige Semenza and Taylor Kuehl were each named Offensive Player of the Week, Oct. 17 and Oct. 31, respectively; and Julia McKinnon was named Rookie of the Week on Dec. 5.
It has been a total team effort this season as the Buckeyes have 11 skaters with double-digit points, which is tied with No. 1 Minnesota for the most in the nation. Seven Buckeyes have already set new career highs in points this season and OSU has tallied 189 total scoring points, third most in the nation behind Minnesota and Boston College. The Buckeyes have 121 assists this season which is second to only Minnesota.
Senior forward Paige Semenza has tallied a team-leading 20 points at the break. Her 11 goals are tied for most on the squad with sophomore forward Taylor Kuehl. Kuehl has 19 points, tying her for second on the team with senior forward Hokey Langan. Langan has recorded five goals and 14 assists. Junior forward Ally Tarr has a team-leading 15 assists and is fourth in points for OSU with 18. Sophomore defenseman Kari Schmitt has 16 points this season including 14 assists. Four players have tallied 14 points in freshman forward Julia McKinnon, junior defenseman Annie Svedin, and senior forwards Minttu Tuominen and Tina Hollowell. Sophomore forward Danielle Gagne has totaled 12 points, while sophomore defender Sara Schmitt has 11.
PROTECTING THE PIPES
Redshirt junior goaltender Chelsea Knapp finished the first half with an overall record of 14-4-1 and a .763 winning percentage. She has started 19 of 20 games this season for Ohio State. Knapp is seeing career bests in goals-against average (2.09) and save percentage (.925).
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY
Claudia Kepler, Katie Matheny, Hayley Studler, Breanne Grant and Alexa Ranahan have all committed to be Buckeyes by signing NCAA National Letters of Intent to enroll at Ohio State. The group, which includes three forwards and two defensemen, is set to join the team Fall 2013.
The Buckeyes return to the ice for the Scarlet and Gray Scrimmage and Skills Competition, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, at the OSU Ice Rink.