After a back-and-forth battle Friday between the Badgers and the Buckeyes, freshman forward Hokey Langan’s game-winning goal Friday wasn’t enough momentum for an Ohio State win Saturday. The OSU women’s ice hockey team split a pair of weekend games against defending National Champion Wisconsin.
With a feed from sophomore Natalie Spooner, junior Christina Mancuso put the first point on the scoreboard with a shot from the left side, only 4:27 into the first period.
The Badgers answered back with two power-play goals at 13:28 and 4:35 on the clock to lead 2-1 at the end of the first period.
Just about six minutes into the second period, Spooner scored from the right post on a Buckeye power play to tie it up 2-2.
Wisconsin’s Jasmine Giles took advantage of a loose puck in the Buckeye defensive zone and backhanded it for the lead at 11:13 in the second period. But just 43 seconds later, senior co-captain Raelyn LaRocque scored her first of the night to even the score to 3-3.
Another goal by Wisconsin just before the second intermission gave the Badgers a 4-3 lead going into the third period, but the Buckeyes came back with two unanswered goals for the win.
Sophomore Laura McIntosh grabbed her own rebound, netting a top-shelf goal, while freshman forward Hokey Langan’s wrist shot scored the game-winner with only nine seconds left in the game. Friday’s win is the fifth OSU victory over Wisconsin in the all-time series.
With Buckeye spirits high Saturday, the Badgers played for redemption.
Freshman goaltender Chelsea Knapp stopped 31 shots on goal in the first and second period combined, and 42 on the night.
Wisconsin took the lead in the first with just about three minutes left on the clock, but Spooner netted a top-shelf goal 12 seconds later, tying the game 1-1.
An even-matched second period left both teams scoreless heading into the third period, but Wisconsin took the lead scoring two with under 10 minutes left in the game.
With chants from young Buckeye fans in the crowd, the OSU team rallied together after a timeout call, pulling Knapp from the goal for the extra skater. With just 1:01 left in the game, sophomore forward Kim Theut charged the net and scored from a line change to bring the Buckeyes within one. But the Badger defense held off eager Buckeyes while time ran out. Wisconsin won 3-2 for a weekend split.
While disappointed about the loss, coach Jackie Barto said her team really hung in for a full 60 minutes Saturday against a Wisconsin team that never backed down.
“Tonight Wisconsin won a few more battles, a few more foot races,” Barto said. “[Knapp] was solid and kept us in the game.”
Barto said the team will get back to work and prepare for another tough weekend against North Dakota Feb. 5-6.
Despite the heartbreaking loss, LaRocque remained upbeat about the progress of the team looking forward to their series against North Dakota.
“We just got to look at the positives this weekend. We played well against them, we were able to come back, [and] we know we can come back,” she said. “We just got to take the positives out of it [and] we’ve got to run with it.”