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Sioux women's hockey: Ohio State earns weekend split

The UND women's hockey team seems to have solved its scoring struggles and power-play woes. Now the only thing plaguing the Sioux is consistency. After UND's five-goal showing on Friday night, Ohio State downed UND 3-1 on Saturday to earn the spl...

The UND women's hockey team seems to have solved its scoring struggles and power-play woes. Now the only thing plaguing the Sioux is consistency.

After UND's five-goal showing on Friday night, Ohio State downed UND 3-1 on Saturday to earn the split in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play.

"There are going to be ups and downs, with 10 freshmen and only six upperclassmen," UND coach Brian Idalski said. "But it's getting too late in the year for that. It's time for us to figure it out. Those kids aren't freshmen anymore. They can't keep playing like freshmen."

The Sioux had five-goal games in two consecutive weekends after earning the split at St. Cloud State on Oct. 30-31. Against the Huskies, UND won 5-4 Friday night before losing 3-2 in the series finale.

UND was 3-for-44 on the power play coming into Saturday's game against the Buckeyes. The Sioux were able to find the net with the extra skater, as Ashley Furia scored her fourth goal of the year on the power play.

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UND held Hokey Langan, Ohio State's leading scorer and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association rookie of the week, scoreless on Friday night.

But Langan's line was successful against UND on Saturday night. Langan scored in the first period and linemates Raelyn LaRocque and Laura McIntosh had a hand in the Buckeyes' third goal.

"Ohio State played with a little more sense of urgency," Idalski said. "They did a better job defensively of taking away a lot of our speed on neutral ice."

Langan got her eighth goal of the season for the Buckeyes unassisted at the 13 minutes, 12 seconds of the first period.

Then, Natalie Spooner gave Ohio State a 2-0 lead late in the first on a power play. Rachel Davis fired in a shot from the left wing and Spooner redirected it past Sioux goalie Stephanie Ney, who finished with 16 saves. It was Spooner's seventh goal of the season.

"To score the first goal on the road is huge," Ohio State coach Jackie Barto said. "That McIntosh line -- Laura McIntosh, Langan and LaRocque -- did well.

"I thought we won our battles and played more physically. We played more as a unit out there. North Dakota won the battles on Friday night and we made some adjustments. We were a hungry team tonight."

Midway through the second period, Ashley Holmes took a shot that Ohio State goalie Chelsea Knapp couldn't get a hold on. Furia was there to bang in the rebound to cut the Buckeyes lead to 2-1.

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But just 1:23 later, LaRocque got her fourth point of the weekend on a rebound goal, assisted by Brittany Carlson and McIntosh.

"I thought we turned the puck over way too much," Idalski said. "We didn't make sound decisions."

Knapp finished with 15 saves for Ohio State, which improved to 6-4-3 (6-4-1 WCHA).

UND (3-6-1 overall, 3-7-1 WCHA) has a break until Nov. 21 when it hosts the Manitoba Maple Leafs in an exhibition game.

"We're going to work on everything," Idalski said. "A lot of game situations. We're going to teach. We're going to try to sharpen up our decision making and our poise, those things that are lacking and hampering us a little bit."

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