Oct. 22, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 10 Ohio State women's hockey team dropped an overtime heartbreaker at No. 1 Wisconsin Friday night at the Kohl Center. After a 1-0 Buckeye lead at the first intermission, it was a barnburner after that with the teams exchanging 10 goals the remaining 40 minutes for a 6-5 final in front of a crowd of 2,048 in Madison.

The loss is Ohio State's first of the season, moving the team to 4-1-0 overall and 2-1-0 Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The Badgers are 5-0-0 and 3-0-0 in the league.

The OSU special teams were clicking with four power play goals on seven chances and a perfect 4-of-4 mark on the penalty kill.

For the second-consecutive game, junior Laura McIntosh led the Buckeyes offensively with four points on a goal and three assists. Sophomore Hokey Langan scored the game-tying goal with 1 minute left in regulation and added two assists for three points, while junior Natalie Spooner scored the opening two goals for Ohio State.

On the other end of the ice, freshman Lisa Steffes (4-1-0) made 44 saves to tie for the fifth-highest save total in Buckeye history. She turned away all 14 shots faced by the Wisconsin power play.

Ohio State took advantage of an early power play opportunity to get on the board at 2:59. The Buckeyes converted just 22 seconds after the power play started when McIntosh fired a shot from just over the blue line and Spooner deflected it in from the slot. Langan picked up the second assist.

The second period started with a bang and the teams exchanged two goals apiece in the opening 5 minutes.

The three Buckeyes forwards combined again with the man-advantage just 39 seconds into the period for the 2-0 lead. The goal played out almost identical to Ohio State's first with Spooner deflecting in a shot by McIntosh and Langan tallying the second assist.

The Badgers cut the score to 2-1 at 3:42 when Stephanie McKeough slipped the puck in five-hole off a shot by Hilary Knight from the top of the slot.

Ohio State regained the two-goal lead at 5:11 when McIntosh put in a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle with an assist by junior defenseman Kelly Wild, but Wisconsin responded just 15 seconds later when Meghan Duggan returned to the ice from the penalty box to score off a pass by Mallory Deluce.

Junior forward Kim Theut gave the Buckeyes a 4-2 lead heading into the second intermission when she scored from the left side of the net at 17:46 while on another power play. McIntosh threaded the puck over to Theut for her fourth point of the game.

Brianna Decker ignited Wisconsin's rally with back-to-back goals to tie the score at 4-all. She scored her first goal by putting in her own rebound at 5:40, then tallied her second at 9:57 on a wrist shot from the slot with an assist by Duggan.

Just under a minute later, at 10:55, the Badgers took their first lead when McKeough scored her second goal of the game unassisted.

As time was winding down, the Buckeyes pulled Steffes for an extra skater - a move the proved successful when Langan tied the game at 19:00. She scored from the left side, putting in the long rebound off a shot by sophomore Minttu Tuominen. Her goal sent the game into overtime for the third-consecutive meeting between the Buckeyes and Badgers.

Decker completed her hat trick in the overtime session, scoring at 2:08 while charging toward the net for the 6-5 UW win. She was assisted by Duggan for the second time in the game.

Overall, the Badgers had a 50-22 advantage in shots. Alex Rigsby (3-0-0) finished with 17 saves in the Wisconsin net.

Ohio State and Wisconsin conclude their series in Madison with a 7 p.m. (CT) game Saturday at the Kohl Center. The game will be streamed live on www.BigTenNetwork.com.