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January 5, 1999

Columbus, Ohio

GAMES NO. 21 & 22

The Ohio State hockey team (10-8-2, 9-4-2), two points out of first place in the CCHA standings, hosts Lake Superior (3-12-3, 2-8-2) in a two-game set this weekend. The two teams will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at noon in Value City Arena (17,500).

THE BROADCAST

WOSU Radio (820 AM) will continue its inaugural season of live Ohio State hockey action with a Thursday night broadcast. Herb Howenstine and former Buckeye John Mowat will call the game.

Central Ohio Sport! Television, also in its first year of broadcasting Ohio State hockey games, will produce Saturday’s game for a tape-delay broadcast. Central Ohio Sport! Television, a partnership between Insight Communications (Channel 36) and Time Warner Communications (Channel 24), can be found in over 300,000 households in central Ohio. The game will air Jan. 10 and 12 at 7 p.m. both nights. Randy Rhinehart and former NHL goaltender and OSU assistant coach Bill McKenzie will call the game.

HOW SWEET IT IS

Ohio State ushered in a new facility with a memorable 1-0 win over Michigan last weekend. After playing over 50 minutes of scoreless hockey, Chris Richards broke the tie with a long slapshot on the power-play at the 13:51 mark. Jeff Maund recorded his fifth career shutout and 10th win of the season. It was the first time Michigan, the then-fourth ranked team in the nation, had been shut out this season.

Coupled with OSU’s 4-2 win over Michigan in the CCHA semifinals last season, the Buckeyes now have a two-game winning streak over the Wolverines for the first time since 1989.

GOOD TIMING

Ohio State has begun heating up at precisely the right time. Six of Ohio State’s next seven CCHA games will be at home. In the second half of the season, Ohio State will play ten CCHA games at home and only six on the road. In the first half of the season, the Buckeyes played nine league games on the road and only five at home. TICKET INFO

Tickets still remain for both Ohio State hockey games this weekend. Call 1-800-GO-BUCKS for details. TICKET EXCHANGE

Fans that were unable to attend last Saturday’s game in Value City Arena against Michigan due to weather can exchange their old tickets for tickets to a future game based on availability. Fans are encouraged to bring their original tickets to the OSU Athletic Ticket Office (located in Value City Arena) and note what future game they would like to attend. New tickets cannot be awarded without the original tickets for the Jan. 2 game.

THE OPPOSITION

Lake Superior struggled through the early portion of its schedule, going winless in its first nine games. The Lakers are nestled in last place in the CCHA, but have shown signs of improving recently with a 3-5-1 mark in their last nine games. LSSU has struggled to score goals and has just one player, Jeff Cheeseman (5-5-10), in double figures in the point column. Lake Superior is being outshot by six shots per game, and has scored just 38 goals all season. The Lakers lost seven letterwinners – including five forwards – off last year’s sixth place squad. Jayme Platt has seen the majority of the time in goal for Lake Superior and has been effective. Platt owns a 2.32 goals against average in league games to go along with a .917 save percentage. LSSU is coached by third year man Scott Borek, a 1985 graduate of Dartmouth. Borek brings a 37-44-12 career mark at Lake Superior into this weekend. He is 6-4-0 against Ohio State.

SERIES HISTORY

Lake Superior leads the all-time series with Ohio State, 64-36-7, but the Buckeyes have won four straight over the Lakers. The two teams first met in 1968 when Ohio State endured a 20-0 drubbing from the Lakers in the Lake Superior Tournament. In the last four games between the two schools, OSU has outscored Lake Superior 19-2. The two teams met last year in the opening round of the CCHA Tournament in Columbus when OSU claimed 2-1 and 6-0 wins.

OSU LAST WEEKEND

The Buckeyes celebrated the opening of Value City Arena with a 1-0 win over arch-rival Michigan. Ohio State limited the Wolverines to just 21 shots on goal – the second lowest total allowed by OSU this season. After two and a half period of intense battling that resulted in no scoring, Chris Richards scored the lone goal of the game at the 13:51 mark of the third period. The goal came on the power-play, and was assisted by Andre Signoretti and Hugo Boisvert. Jeff Maund stopped all 21 UM shots, becoming the first goalie this season to shut out the Wolverines. It was Maund’s first shutout of the season and the fifth of his career Ohio State was 1-of-6 on the power-play, while Michigan was 0-of-6. OSU outshot UM, 30-21.

LAKE SUPERIOR LAST WEEKEND

The Lakers fell behind 4-1 to Northern Michigan on the road and couldn’t recover, eventually leaving Marquette, Mich. with a 4-3 loss. Tobin Praznik, Ryan Vince, and Mike Kucsulain scored for Lake Superior. Jayme Platt and Mike Brusseau split time in the net, but Platt surrendered all four NMU goals. Jeff Cheeseman, Lake Superior’s leading scorer, suffered a shoulder injury against the Wildcats. His status against Ohio State is uncertain.

AWARD WINNER

Jeff Maund was named the CCHA Defensive Player of the Week for the third time this year after his 21-for-21 performance against Michigan. Maund, a member of the CCHA all-Rookie team last year and runner-up for Rookie of the Year, also earned the award on Nov. 16 and Dec. 7 of this season. He is the only player in the CCHA so far this season to be named Defensive Player of the Week on three occasions.

GETTING DEFENSIVE

Ohio State has held teams to two goals or less in 10 of its 20 games this season. In their last 13 games, the Buckeyes are surrendering only 2.15 goals per game. Ohio State is 9-3-1 during that stretch.

YET ANOTHER CLOSE ONE

Ohio State has played in nine one-goal games this year and stands 6-3-0. Ohio State has played in three straight one-goal games (2-1-0). The Buckeyes are 4-0-0 at home in games decided one by one goal.

HOME SWEET HOME

Ohio State has now won 16 consecutive home games (games played on the OSU campus). The Buckeyes have not lost on the Ohio State campus since Nov. 21 1997. The team closed the OSU Ice Arena with 15 straight wins and is 1-0-0 in Value City Arena.

THE POWER PLAY DELIVERS

Ohio State’s power-play unit led to the only goal of the game in last weekend’s 1-0 win over Michigan. The Buckeyes have now scored at least one power-play goal in their last six games. Last year’s Final Four team did equal that type of success (that team’s season high was five straight games). Overall in the last six games, Ohio State’s power-play is 8-of-40 (.200).

THE PK TOO

Ohio State shut out Michigan’s power-play in six attempts last weekend. It marked the ninth team this season OSU has not allowed a power-play goal. The Buckeyes are 4-4-1 in those nine games.

HISTORY MAKER

Chris Richards, forever enshrined as the first goal scorer in Value City Arena, has four points (2-2) in his last two games. He also ranks second on the team in power-play points (1-6-7) and leads the team in shots on goal (63).

SNAPPED

Jean-Francois Dufour had his career high six game point-scoring streak against Michigan. No current Buckeyes currently have a point-scoring streak longer than two games right now, even though OSU has won nine of his last 11 games.

RISING STAR

Ohio State sophomore Vinnie Grant has already matched his point total from last season. Grant ranks third on the team in scoring (5-6-11), and leads the team in shooting percentage (5-of-20; .250).

STRANGE AS IT MAY SEEM

Ohio State’s last 1-0 win came on Nov. 10, 1979, against New Hampshire. It was not a true 1-0 game, however. OSU won that game by forfeit. Ohio State’s last true 1-0 win came in 1971 on the road against Ohio University.

SAME OLD BOISVERT

All-American Hugo Boisvert has seven points (2-5-7) in his last five games. Boisvert assisted on the game-winner against Michigan. He continues to lead Ohio State in power-play points (6-5-11).

THE DIFFERENCE?

Ohio State went 1-5-1 when Eric Meloche was out of the lineup with an injury earlier this season. Meloche returned on Nov. 6, and OSU has gone 9-3-1 since then. Meloche continues to lead Ohio State in plus/minus with a +8 rating.

SPECIAL SPECIAL TEAMS

Ohio State ranks third in the CCHA in overall power-play. The Buckeyes have converted on 18-of-118 power-play opportunities in all games (.158). OSU also ranks third in the conference in penalty-killing. Ohio State has thwarted 95-of-106 opponent power-plays (.896) in conference games.

BALANCED ATTACK

The last 10 goals scored by Ohio State have been scored by nine different people. Prior to Richards scoring against Michigan, Meloche, Boisvert, Grant, Richards, Ganga, and Rech scored against Minnesota, Colsant scored against BU, and Lafrance, and Selleke scored against Notre Dame.

DOWN THE ROAD

Ohio State hits the road for three straight games after the Lake Superior series. OSU visits Miami Jan. 12 before taking on Cornell and Colgate Jan. 15 and Jan. 17, respectively. The trip to Cornell marks a homecoming for Ohio State assistant coach Casey Jones, a 1990 graduate of the Ithaca, N.Y, University. Jones also served as an assistant coach at Cornell for two seasons.

THE SAVIOR

As Ohio State has struggled at times to score goals this season, Maund has led OSU to the top of the CCHA. He has held opponents to two goals or fewer in nine of his last 12 games. In conference games, Maund ranks fourth in the CCHA with a 2.00 goals against average. His .932 save percentage ranks third in the league. Maund leads the league in saves (383 in league games).

DON’T FORGET, HE’S HAD HELP

Ohio State’s defense has made huge strides since the beginning of the season. In their first nine games, the Buckeyes surrendered an average of 36.25 shots on goal per game and went 1-6-1. In its last 12 games, OSU has surrendered an average of 29.25 shots per game, a full seven shots less per game, and has gone 9-2-1.

NOT ONLY THE TEAM WILL BE TESTED

This Saturday marks a real test for the staff of Value City Arena. It will mark the first time both a hockey and basketball game will be played on the same day. After the hockey Buckeyes meet Lake Superior at noon Jan. 9, the basketball Buckeyes host Indiana at 8 p.m. the same day. The conversion is slated to take four hours or less.

VALUE CITY ARENA INFO

Value City Arena, the finest collegiate facility in the nation, was built at a cost of $106.5 million. No student fees or tuition money was used in the construction of the building. The Arena will hold 17,500 spectators for hockey, making it larger than nearly 40 percent of the venues used in the National Hockey league and the largest collegiate hockey facility in the nation. The Buckeyes first practiced in Value City Arena on Christmas night. Lines were painted on the ice during OSU’s recent trip to the Mariucci Classic.

The 700,000 square foot facility features 52 luxury suites and over 200 television monitors. It is 136 feet high from the floor to the roof, and beneath the ice surface lies more than 12 miles of refrigerated pipe.

See your Ohio State hockey media guide (pgs. 2-3) for more information on Value City Arena and the Jerome Schottenstein Center.

HEY – THAT’S ME!

Value City Arena is the only collegiate facility in the country to boast terazzo floorscapes. Designed by internationally recognized artist Alexis Smith, terazzo is a combination of colored stone set in different pathways and channels to form an image. Each of the sports that call Value City Arena home are featured in the floorscapes, which, among other places, can be found in each of the four rotundas of the facility. The northwest rotunda features a hockey player that is highly recognizable. When designing the hockey mural, Smith found that old-time hockey pictures were too grainy and didn’t provide a clean image – especially of the player’s face – to work with. Smith decided to use the body of an old player and the face of a new one. She examined headshots of a handful of current Buckeyes, looking for a face that would proportionally fit with the body and helmet she had already designed. The lucky face that has been enshrined in the floor of Value City Arena forever – sophomore wing Benji Wolke.

NEW FACES

The most recent three-time captain in Ohio State hockey history has joined the Buckeye coaching staff. Steve Brent was named an assistant coach at his alma mater this summer, and will assist with recruiting and on-ice instruction efforts. He served as an undergraduate assistant coach last season while completing his degree. Brent is a native of Penticton, British Columbia.

John LaCoste has also been named goaltending coach at Ohio State. A 1986 graduate of the University of Maine, LaCoste enjoyed a four-year playing career with the Black Bears and spent one season playing professional hockey in Europe. He holds a pair of master’s degrees from Ohio State. LaCoste is originally from Montreal, Que.