Bianca Briggs / Lantern photographer
The Ohio State women’s hockey team looks to get back on track and set some records this weekend as it heads to St. Cloud, Minn., to face St. Cloud State.
The Buckeyes are 12-12-2 and hoping to better that record against the winless Huskies in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association matchup.
“On the ice we’re just trying our best and working hard, and I think our hard work is just paying off and as a result we’re getting success in not only our points but in our team succeeding as well,” said junior forward Natalie Spooner.
Several Buckeyes have been leaving their mark on the program and their names in the record books. Spooner and junior forward Laura McIntosh have both joined the 100-point club at OSU this year, albeit in different ways. Spooner has 63 career goals, and McIntosh has 88 career assists. Points are calculated by combining assists and goals.
“It’s a good feeling, we don’t really think about it. Neither of us think about it but I mean to get recognized and noticed, it’s an accomplishment,” McIntosh said. “We got to keep pushing forward and see if we can keep going with that.”
They are two of only seven Buckeyes ever to reach this mark and they both did it faster than the rest — McIntosh in 80 games and Spooner in 81.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized for 100 points, and to be able to get that in my career at Ohio State is an accomplishment,” Spooner said. “Hopefully I can get a few more.”
Last weekend against No. 5 Minnesota, Spooner contributed on all three Buckeye goals, with two assists Friday and one goal Saturday. OSU was swept 4-2 and 8-1. Spooner’s goal was her 20th of the season, something she has accomplished in all three of her years at OSU. She is only the second Buckeye to do so, joining forward Jeni Creary, who played from 2002–05.
Spooner could move into second place in career goals this weekend. She is just five from tying forward Jana Harrigan, 2003-06. Jeni Creary tops the list with 86 career goals.
McIntosh’s 88 assists leave her four behind all-time leader Harrigan.
When the Buckeyes last faced the Huskies, Oct. 15–16, McIntosh scored a hat trick to help complete a sweep in Columbus.
Freshman goalie Lisa Steffes has also made a splash on the team this year, leading the NCAA with 762 saves and 1550:36 minutes played. Next on the minutes played list is Victoria Vigilanti, a sophomore goalie for Quinnipiac with 1447:31. Only three other goalies have more than 700 saves on the season. Steffes has also won WCHA Rookie of the Week twice this season.
“It’s tough as a freshman to come in and be expected to play the number of games she’s had,” coach Jackie Barto said. “I think she’s learned a lot this year and hoping for her to have a good rebound after Saturday night.”
Steffes allowed six goals against Minnesota on Saturday but hopes to bounce back against a struggling St. Cloud State squad that is 0-24-1 and has been shut out in its last two games.
The series begins at 2 p.m. Friday and continues at 1 p.m. Saturday at the National Hockey Center.
“We’ve had a good week of practice; energy has been good,” Barto said. “We talked about keeping the game a little bit simpler, and the girls have done that this week. Our captains have done a great job of leading, of setting the example.”