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Hokey’s historic night gives OSU hockey split

Even with freshman forward Hokey Langan’s record-tying Friday night, the Ohio State women’s ice hockey team ended the weekend with a split against Bemidji State.

Senior co-captain Rachel Davis said the Buckeyes’ first goal by Langan Friday caused a momentum shift where, “you could just see the other team sink back a little bit.”

Langan’s first goal transpired with 1:26 left on the clock in the first period Friday. From a line change, Langan skated up the ice and received a crisp pass from sophomore forward Natalie Spooner. Langan wound up, shot and scored top shelf, sending the BSU goalie’s water bottle soaring into the air.

Langan tied the OSU single-game records for most goals and points with four and five, respectively.

Sophomore defenseman Kelly Wild scored the third goal of the night, while senior Raelyn LaRocque had three assists. Spooner and sophomore Laura McIntosh each had two assists on the night.

The Buckeyes skated away with 42 shots on goal and a 5-2 victory leading into Saturday’s game.

But the momentum wasn’t there Saturday as the Buckeyes lost 1-0 to the Beavers. Even with 38 shots on goal, BSU goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova, “made a difference,” OSU coach Jackie Barto said. Tomcikova will compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics as a member of the Slovakian National Team.

It was a battle of the defenses with countless shots deflected by the sticks and bodies of BSU players, and OSU freshman goaltender Chelsea Knapp, who saved 32 shots for the Buckeyes.

“We weren’t as consistent between the games as we’d like to be, so we have to play like we did the first game all the time,” Knapp said. “Tonight we weren’t really getting as many shots through as we would have liked.”

The only goal came at 10:07 in the third period. With just less than one minute left in a BSU power play, Knapp made two quick stops. But a backside rebound by BSU’s Emily Erickson put it in the net for the Beavers to lead 1-0 midway through the third period.
Power plays and penalty kills were abundant with seven OSU and nine BSU penalties Saturday.

But it was Spooner’s penalty for “embellishment” in the second period that set off an eruption of excessive jeers from Buckeye fans and parents. A new rule approved for NCAA men’s and women’s hockey July 2, 2008, embellishment is called in conjunction with an opponent’s penalty as an exaggeration of the offense committed by the opponent.

With a first period that lacked flow and a second period filled with unforced turnovers, the Buckeyes worked hard in the third.

“We struggled at it tonight,” Barto said. “We had a good third, but it’s hard to keep that energy and momentum up.”

Saturday’s game was the sixth game this season where Knapp has made 30 or more saves, and it was the second time the Buckeyes were shut out.

Ohio State moves to 12-10-4 overall and 9-9-2-0 in the WCHA. The Buckeyes continue their home series against defending NCAA champion Wisconsin Jan. 29 at 7:07 p.m. in the Ohio State Ice Rink.

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