Six third-period goals make it a rout for UMD women

Ohio State gave Minnesota Duluth all it could handle for two periods, and the defending NCAA Division I women's hockey champions gave the Buckeyes their all for one.

UMD vs. Ohio State
Minnesota Duluth's Jocelyne Larocque (3) and Ohio State's Natalie Spooner get tangled up Saturday evening at the DECC in Duluth. UMD won 7-2. (Derek Montgomery /

Ohio State gave Minnesota Duluth all it could handle for two periods, and the defending NCAA Division I women's hockey champions gave the Buckeyes their all for one.

The result was ugly for Ohio State.

UMD scored six goals in the third period to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 7-2 Western Collegiate Hockey Association rout before 862 fans at the DECC.

"We tried to make it fun, so our theme for this game was to be a tsunami," UMD coach Shannon Miller said. "I thought we played fairly well, but we were just a little off, and then the tsunami hit in the third period, and it was rather fitting. That's what happens, a tsunami just comes out once and, 'Kaboom!'"

The first two periods provided a scare for fourth-ranked UMD (21-7-4 overall, 16-6-4-1 WCHA), which is fighting for a home playoff berth. Ohio State (8-21-3, 6-18-2-2) nearly matched the Bulldogs shot for shot and took a 2-1 lead after getting two rebounds past UMD goalie Johanna Ellison (9-1-1).


That's when the Bulldogs' top line of Elin Holmlov, Haley Irwin and Sara O'Toole went to work, scoring three goals within a five minute span in the third. Holmlov had two goals to lead the way in another balanced Bulldogs performance, while Irwin added a goal and four assists.

"For us to be leading after two periods, that's where we want to be, and that's where we were," Ohio State assistant coach Catherine Hanson said. "We gave ourselves a chance, but Duluth is very skilled and has a deep team that just kept coming at us."

On a night when the Bulldogs honored their six seniors, at least three members of that class were among the key contributors: Ellison of Cloquet, who stopped 26 shots, O'Toole, who also earned her 100th career point, and Duluth native Tawni Mattila, who chipped in with two assists.

Irwin, a sophomore, also reached her 100th point as UMD improved to 38-3-4 all-time against Ohio State.

"We came together and had fun as a team in that third period, and that's when we play our best hockey," Mattila said. "It was Senior Night and, of course, there were a lot of emotions, but at the same time, you still have to show up and get it done, and that's what we did."


UMD junior forward Elin Holmlov and junior goalie Kim Martin are among the 43 players nominated for the 2009 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, announced Friday.

The award is presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women's hockey, with the nominations made by DI coaches. The field will be trimmed to three finalists, with the award winner presented on March 21 in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Frozen Four in Boston.


Ohio State........................1-1-0--2

Minnesota Duluth..................0-1-6--7

First period -- 1. Ohio State, Rachel Davis (Raelyn LaRocque, Laura McIntosh), 2:24. Penalties -- Laura Fridfinnson, UMD (body checking), 3:16; Christina Mancuso, Ohio State (holding), 8:13; Kelly Wild, Ohio State (roughing), 19:14.

Second period -- 2. UMD, Fridfinnson (Haley Irwin, Pernilla Winberg), :25; 3. Ohio State, LaRocque (McIntosh, Hayley Klassen), 9:23. Penalties -- Irwin, UMD (delay of game), 3:36; Olivia Antognoli (tripping), 11:00; Jaime Rasmussen, UMD (roughing), 12:00; Shannon Reilly, Ohio State (hooking), 14:43.

Third period -- 4. UMD, Sarah O'Toole (Irwin, Elin Holmlov), 5:20; 5. UMD, Holmlov (O'Toole, Irwin), 7:11 (pp); 6. UMD, Holmlov (Irwin, Rasmussen), 10:14; 7. UMD, Saara Tuominen (O'Toole, Emmanuelle Blais), 14:11; 8. UMD, Erin Olson (Tawni Mattila, Myriam Trepanier), 14:54; 9. UMD, Irwin (Mattila, Pernilla Winberg), 17:25 (pp). Penalties -- Olson, UMD (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:54; Reilly, Ohio State (hooking), 16:20; Brittany Carlson, Ohio State (holding), 17:12; Tuominen, UMD (interference), 17:54; LaRocque, Ohio State (checking), 19:44.

Shots on goal -- Ohio State 11-11-6--28; UMD 10-15-18--43. Saves -- Liana Bonanno (7-16-2), Ohio State (43 shots, 36 saves); Johanna Ellison (9-1-1), UMD (28 shots, 26 saves). Power plays -- Ohio State 0-of-5; UMD 2-of-7. Referees -- Chris Perrault, Dan Lick. Lineswomen -- Kristina Langley, Tai Thorsheim. Att -- 866.

Jon Nowacki joined the News Tribune in August 1998 as a sports reporter. He grew up in Stephen, Minnesota, in the northwest corner of the state, where he was actively involved in school and sports and was a proud member of the Tigers’ 1992 state championship nine-man football team.

After graduating in 1993, Nowacki majored in print journalism at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, serving as editor of the college paper, “The Aquin,” and graduating with honors in December 1997. He worked with the Associated Press during the “tobacco trial” of 1998, leading to the industry’s historic $206 billion settlement, before moving to Duluth.

Nowacki started as a prep reporter for the News Tribune before moving onto the college ranks, with an emphasis on Minnesota Duluth football, including coverage of the Bulldogs’ NCAA Division II championships in 2008 and 2010.

Nowacki continues to focus on college sports while filling in as a backup on preps, especially at tournament time. He covers the Duluth Huskies baseball team and auto racing in the summer. When time allows, he also writes an offbeat and lighthearted food column entitled “The Taco Stand,” a reference to the “Taco Jon” nickname given to him by his older brother when he was a teenager that stuck with him through college. He has a teenage daughter, Emma.

Nowacki can be reached at or (218) 380-7027. Follow him on Twitter @TacoJon1.
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