MADISON, Wis. (PRESS RELEASE) - No. 10 Wisconsin dropped its first game of the WCHA playoffs to Ohio State Friday night at the Eagle's Nest Ice Arena in Verona, Wis. OSU's Natalie Spooner notched a hat trick to lead the Buckeyes to a 3-2 victory in the first game of the best-of-three series.
Although the shot distribution was even at 10-10 in the first twenty minutes of play, the Badgers took a 2-0 lead in the first period.
Wisconsin sophomore Brooke Ammerman (River Vale, N.J.) was the first to put the Badgers on the scoreboard at the 5:07 mark. Senior captain Jasmine Giles (Ottawa, Ontario) took a hard shot from the left face-off circle that bounced off OSU goaltender Chelsea Knapp's pads. Ammerman capitalized on the ricochet and sent the puck over Knapp's left shoulder to give Wisconsin the 1-0 lead. Freshman Saige Pacholok (Edmonton, Alberta) was credited with the secondary assist.
With 7:57 left in the first frame, freshman Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba) notched her seventh goal of the season with a wrist shot from the right face-off circle. Pacholok and senior Kyla Sanders (Fort Myers, Fla.) recorded the assists.
Wisconsin's lead did not last long as OSU went on to record back-to-back goals to tie the score at 2-2 during the second period.
The Buckeyes decreased the deficit to 2-1 at the 11:07 mark of the third period when Laura McIntosh took a shot from in front of the blue line and Spooner notched the rebound goal with the man advantage.
With just over seven minutes left in the second period, Spooner broke through on a one-on-one opportunity with Wisconsin goaltender Alannah McCready (Blaine, Minn.). However, McCready prevented the breakaway goal with a pad save.
Once again, Spooner pestered the Badgers with 4:22 left in the second frame with a shot from the right face off circle. She sent the puck over McCready's right shoulder to even the score at 2-2.
After a scoreless third period, the teams headed to overtime. Natalie Spooner found the back of the net just 2:30 into the extra frame to give the Buckeyes the victory.
McCready finished with 29 saves for the Badgers and Knapp stopped 31 of Wisconsin's shot attempts.
The Badgers outshot OSU 33-32. Ohio State capitalized on 1-of-3 power play opportunities and Wisconsin finished 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
The teams will face-off in game two of the series on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Eagle's Nest Arena in Verona, Wis. If necessary, game three will be on Sunday at 7 p.m. The winner of the series will advance to the 2010 WCHA Final Face-off, which will be held March 6-7 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.