OHIO STATE at ALASKA Friday, Jan. 28 – 7:05 p.m. AT/11:05 p.m. ET Saturday, Jan. 29 – 7:05 p.m. AT/11:05 p.m. ET Carlson Center – Fairbanks, Alaska
FOLLOW ALONG Webcast – AlaskaNanooks.com Audio Broadcast – ksua.uaf.edu Live Stats – AlaskaNanooks.com In-game Updates – Twitter.com/OhioState_MHKY
DROP THE PUCK The Ohio State men’s hockey team is in Alaska this weekend for two games with the Nanooks. The Buckeyes (13-10-2, 8-8-2-2 CCHA) and Nanooks (10-10-4, 7-9-4-2 CCHA) will meet at 7:05 p.m. AT/11:05 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday in Value City Arena.
The radio call for both games this weekend can be found http://ksua.uaf.edu/, with America One providing a paid webcast through Alaskananooks.com. Live stats will also be available through Alaska’s website. Links also can be found on the men’s hockey schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
TEDDY BEAR TOSS The Buckeyes will be hosting a Teddy Bear Toss at the game vs. Michigan State Saturday, Feb. 5. Fans are encouraged to bring new Teddy Bears wrapped in plastic to the game. Small teddy bears will also be sold on the concourse before the game.
After the Buckeyes score their first goal of the game, fans will celebrate by tossing their teddy bears onto the ice. Members of the team will deliver the bears to kids at Ronald McDonald House.
A Teddy Bear Toss to emulate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRmXEvviRMM.
BUCKEYE SNAPSHOT Ohio State is 13-10-2 this season, with a 7-2-1 mark in its last 10 games. The Buckeyes are 8-8-2-2 in CCHA action, standing in seventh place with games in hand on four of the six teams ahead of them. The team is averaging 3.00 goals a game while allowing 2.44. On the power play, the Buckeyes are 22-for-118 (18.6 percent) and on the penalty kill the team is 87-for-107 (81.3 percent).
Senior forward John Albert is first on the team with 26 points and shares the team assist lead with Shane Sims with 15 helpers each. Senior forward Sergio Somma and junior Danny Dries are tied for first with 13 goals each, followed by Albert with 11. Somma is second with 24 points and Dries is third with 23. Senior forward Peter Boyd is third with 14 assists and ranks fourth with 21 assists.
In net, junior Cal Heeter has started all 25 games, with a 2.32 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.
FLASHBACK The Buckeyes split a home series with No. 8 Notre Dame last weekend in Value City Arena.
With points from 11 players, including six different goal scorers, Ohio State defeated No. 8 Notre Dame, 6-1, Friday in Value City Arena.
The Buckeyes opened the scoring on a Paul Kirtland goal 4:50 into the game and the Irish tied the score at 1-all with a 5×3 goal at 18:11 of the first. In the second Danny Dries and Peter Boyd scored twice in 13 seconds to put Ohio State ahead. The Buckeyes added three goals in the third – from Travis Statchuk (on the power play), C.J. Severyn and John Albert – for the 6-1 win. Goalie Cal Heeter had 35 saves in the game.
Boyd and Cory Schneider led the Buckeyes with three points each, with Boyd posting a goal and two assists and Schneider recording three helpers. Curtis Gedig and Sergio Somma each had two assists.
Saturday, the Irish opened the scoring with just 22 seconds remaining in the first period and extended the lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal 1:28 into the second stanza. Shane Sims responded 1:04 later with a power-play goal of his own, but Notre Dame regained the two-goal edge at 4:35, just 2:03 after Sims’ tally. The final goal came at 15:56 of the third.
HAVE A GAME Junior forward Cory Schneider’s three assists and points Friday vs. Notre Dame both were career highs. He had five points in a two-game stretch after a goal and an assist at Western Michigan Jan. 15. Schneider now has a career-high six assists and eight points on the year.
BETWEEN THE PIPES Buckeye junior goalie Cal Heeter leads the country in minutes played (1497:11) and is second with 666 saves. He has played every minute for the squad this season and has a 2.32 goals-against average and .920 save percentage. Heeter played in his 50th game as a Buckeye last Saturday vs. Notre Dame. He has two shutouts this season and has held opponents to two or less goals 14 times.
Heeter is on the ballot for the fan vote for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, the trophy bestowed to the top player in college hockey each year. Visit http://go.osu.edu/hobeyvoteforcal each day to cast a vote for Cal.
GETTING IT DONE LATE … The Buckeyes are outscoring their opponents in the third period, 34-21, this season. The squad has 38 goals in the first and second periods combined (15 in the first, 23 in the second after a five-goal second vs. Army Jan. 2), and have 37 in the third period (34) and overtime (3) combined. The squad scored a season-high five third-period goals against Miami Jan. 8.
DE-FENSE! The Buckeyes are 15th in the NCAA in team defense, allowing 2.44 goals a game. The Buckeyes have allowed more than three goals just twice since Nov. 27.
HIGHS AND LOWS The six goals against the Irish Friday tied the Buckeyes’ season high, first set against Alabama-Huntsville Nov. 5. Saturday the team was held to one goal for the sixth time this year and the first time since a 1-0 win over Miami Jan. 7.
BUCKEYES VS. NANOOKS The series between Ohio State and Alaska is tied, 23-23-5, with the Nanooks leading in Fairbanks, 15-9-2. The teams met in downtown Columbus in Nationwide Arena in November, tying the opener, 3-3, with Ohio State winning the shootout. In game two Alaska posted a 5-1 victory. Ohio State was last in Alaska in January and March of 2009; the teams split the regular-season series (Alaska 4-1, Ohio State 6-2) before the Buckeyes returned for the CCHA quarterfinals, losing the series 1-2 (Alaska 4-0, Ohio State 4-2, Alaska 1-0).
A FAMILIAR PLACE Buckeye sophomores Brandon Martell and Paul Kirtland both played junior hockey for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in the NAHL. Kirtland spent two years with the team, while Martell played for the squad in 2008-09. The duo were part of the team’s West Division regular-season title in 2009.
NANOOK NOTES Alaska is 10-10-4 on the year and has a 7-9-4-2 ledger in CCHA play. The squad just wrapped up a four-game road trip, with a 2-1 loss and 4-1 win at Notre Dame and two losses (2-0, 4-3) at Michigan.
Alaska is among the nation’s leaders in team defense, holding opponents to 2.21 goals a game. The team averages 2.25 goals a contest. On the power play the Nanooks are 16-for-109 (14.7 percent), while the team is 87-for-104 (83.7 percent) on the penalty kill.
Freshman Cody Kunyk is first with 17 points and shares the goal-scoring lead with senior Kevin Petovello and sophomore Andy Taranto with seven each. Junior defenseman Joe Sova has a team-best 13 assists and is tied with Petovello for second with 16 points apiece. Junior Aaron Gens is second with 12 assists.
In net junior Scott Greenham has played every game for the Nanooks. He is 10th in the NCAA with a 2.06 goals-against average and ranks 16th with a .922 save percentage. THE LAST TIME – BUCKEYES VS. NANOOKS The Buckeyes took on No. 14 Alaska Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 25-26) in Nationwide Arena, tying the first game, 3-3, before winning the shootout and falling in game two, 5-2.
Friday, Buckeye junior Danny Dries had two goals and an assist – including an extra attacker score with 10 seconds remaining – as the Buckeyes rallied to tie the Nanooks in overtime, 3-3. The Buckeyes went on to win the shootout, with Cal Heeter making three saves and Dries scoring the lone goal for the Buckeye victory.
The Buckeyes trailed by two twice in the game but controlled play in the third, outshooting the Nanooks, 18-4, and Dries was able to beat the Nanook goalie to force overtime. Alaska led 1-0 after the first period. In the second the Nanooks went ahead 2-0 on a shorthanded goal but Dries responded just 31 seconds later to draw the Buckeyes within one (2-1). Alaska regained a two-goal edge later in the period but Peter Boyd tallied to make the score 3-2 after the second. The Nanooks held the one-goal lead until just 10 seconds remained in regulation. Neither team was able to score in overtime.
Saturday, the Buckeyes led, 1-0 after the first on a John Albert score. Freshman Alex Lippincott put Ohio State up 2-0 early in the second period but a major penalty to the Buckeyes gave Alaska a power play and the Nanooks converted once to draw within one. Cody Kunyk tied the game at 5:36 of the third and the Nanooks then scored twice in a 34 second span (14:30 and 15:04) at to pull away, sealing the win with an empty-net goal. It was the Buckeyes’ first loss in Nationwide Arena, dropping the team’s record on the Columbus Blue Jackets’ home ice to 7-1-3.
THE SENIORS Ohio State has nine seniors (eight skaters) on the squad, including four of the Top 5 scorers. The group of Sergio Somma, John Albert, Peter Boyd and Shane Sims has combined for 33 goals, 55 assists and 88 points, with each playing in all 23 games. The other skaters in the class (C.J. Severyn, Chris Reed, Kyle Reed and Corey Toy) have a 7-15-22 line together, each playing in at least 20 games.
THE ROOKIES Four Buckeye freshmen have skated in at least 24 games this season, with each posting at least six points as they have combined for a 13-26-39 line. Forward Alex Szczechura (7g, 6a) leads the rookies with 13 points, followed by defenseman Curtis Gedig with 12 points on 12 assists. Forward Chris Crane (3g, 5a) has eight points and Alex Lippincott (3g, 3a) has six. Travis Statchuk has been limited to 15 games because of injury and has a goal and three assists for four points. Rookie Brendan Arniel played his first game as a Buckeye vs. Alaska Nov. 27.
The freshmen have combined for a power-play goal each of the last two series. At Western Michigan Jan. 14 Szczechura scored on the power play, set up by Gedig and Statchuk. Against Notre Dame Jan. 21, Statchuk notched a power-play tally for his first career goal, with the assists going to Crane and Gedig.
THE CENTURY CLUB Seniors John Albert and Peter Boyd both hit the 100-point mark in the first half of the season. They are the first Buckeyes to join the Century Club since 2008. Sergio Somma is six points away from reaching triple digits as a Buckeye.
Boyd had three assists and points in the series with Michigan Dec. 3-4 to hit the 100-point mark in his career. Albert hit triple digits vs. Alabama-Huntsville Nov. 6. The last Buckeye team to have more than one player pass the 100-point mark was in 2004 (Paul Caponigri, Scott May and Dave Steckel). With Albert and Boyd, there now are 53 members of the Ohio State ‘Century Club.’
Albert is first for the current Buckeyes with 116 points, the most for a Buckeye since the 2004 squad when Caponigri had 132 and May had 117. Boyd has 109 points as a Buckeye. Somma leads the current Buckeyes with 47 career goals, while Albert is first with 84 assists for the Scarlet and Gray.
THE 20-POINT CLUB • Four Buckeyes have more than 20 points this season – senior John Albert is first on the squad with 26 points, followed by classmate Sergio Somma with 24, junior Danny Dries with 23 and senior Peter Boyd with 21. • Albert is eighth in the CCHA in points overall, with Somma tied for 10th, Dries 13th (tied) and Boyd tied for 17th. • Somma and Dries lead the Buckeyes with 13 goals each, tying for seventh in the CCHA. Albert is 12th (tied) in the CCHA with 11 goals. • With 15 assists, Albert stands ninth (tied) in the CCHA this season. Boyd has 14 helpers to tie for 12th. • In conference games only Albert (9g, 9a) is tied for ninth with 18 points, with Somma tied for 12th with 17 points. Albert and Dries are tied for sixth with eight goals each, with Somma tied for 13th with eight. • Albert has a point in all but seven games this year, with Somma on the scoresheet in all but eight contests. • Dries and Somma each have a team-best six multiple-point games, including a team-best four-point game for Dries against Alabama-Huntsville Nov. 5. Albert and Boyd has five games with multiple points, with Boyd posting two or more in four contests. • Albert and Boyd both now have at least 20 points in all four of their seasons with the Buckeyes. Somma has at least 20 points in each of his last three years. Dries has posted at least 20 points in each of his first three collegiate seasons.
POWER PLAY LEADERS Sergio Somma is first in the CCHA and tied for fourth nationally with eight power-play goals, with Dries tied for third in the CCHA with five PPG. Among CCHA power-play leaders, Shane Sims is tied for fourth with 11 power-play points (1g, 10a), with Dries (5-5-10) and Albert (2-8-10) tied for seventh.
The Buckeyes have at least one power-play goal in eighth of the last 10 games and are 22-for-118 (18.6 percent) this season.
LEADER ON THE BLUE LINE Shane Sims is first among Buckeye defensemen with 17 points on the year and shares the team lead with 15 assists. He is tied for ninth in the CCHA in helpers in all games, tying for 15th in CCHA games only. Among conference defensemen Sims is tied for second in points, ranking first in helpers. In CCHA games only Sims is tied for fifth in scoring among defensemen with a 2-10-12 line. He is first for the Buckeyes with a +12 mark, ranking 10th (tied) in the league.
BUCKEYE THIS AND THAT • Senior forward Peter Boyd had three points, with a goal and two assists, in the win over Notre Dame last Friday. It was his third three-point game of the year and his second two-assist game of the season. • Jeff McNeil’s second-period assist vs. the Irish last Friday was the first of his career. He scored his first career goal last Saturday at Western Michigan. • Freshman Travis Statchuk’s power-play goal against Notre Dame was his first career tally. Five Buckeye freshmen now have at least one goal this season. • Freshman defenseman Curtis Gedig had the second two-assist game of his career Friday vs. the Irish, matching his totals at Ferris State Oct. 23. • Junior Danny Dries played on defense for the Buckeyes the majority of the series vs. Notre Dame, his first games on the blueline this season. He scored a goal (the eventual gamewinner) from his defensive position in the second period Friday vs. ND. • The Buckeyes are 5-1-0 when leading after the first period, but 5-5-1 when even after 20 minutes and 3-4-1 when trailing after the first stanza. • Shane Sims leads the Buckeyes with 52 recorded blocked shots; Curtis Gedig is second with 30. • Alex Szczechura leads the Buckeyes in shooting percentage, with seven goals on 33 shots (21.9 percent) • Ohio State has at least 30 shots in the last five and seven of the last eight games. • Every Buckeye skater that has played at least two games this season has at least one point. Seventeen have scored a goal, with 21 recording at least one assist. • Ohio State has just one road series remaining after this weekend. The squad will close out the regular season with series at home three of the last four weeks. • The Buckeyes have just one loss in their last nine games to open a weekend. The squad is 7-1-1 in the last nine, with the loss Jan. 14 at Western Michigan and a tie vs. Alaska. Included in the seven wins are three overtime victories.
COMEBACK KIDS Ohio State has four wins and two ties this season when trailing after the second period and also has a come-from behind win after trailing in the third period.
Jan. 15 at Western Michigan the Buckeyes were down 2-1 after the second period but a Jeff McNeil tally tied the score and Ohio State went on to win the shootout.
At Michigan State Nov. 12 the Buckeyes were down 3-1 after the second period but scored twice in the third to tie the game and then won in overtime. The squad rallied with three unanswered goals from a 3-2 deficit for a 5-3 win at Ferris State Oct. 23. Against Michigan Dec. 3, the Wolverines broke a 1-1 tie at 8:43 of the third. Sergio Somma scored on a 6-on-4 advantage to force overtime and the Buckeyes won 1:43 into the extra stanza. At Bowling Green Dec. 10 the Buckeyes were down 1-0 after the second and 2-0 early in the third before going on a three-goal run to take a lead. The Falcons tied the game, but Ohio State won in overtime. Against Miami Jan. 8 Ohio State trailed 2-0 after 40 minutes but scored five unanswered in the third for the win.
POTW The Buckeyes have picked up eight CCHA player of the week awards this season, including the league’s last three offensive player honors. Cal Heeter is a two-time goalie of the week (Oct. 11 and Jan. 10) and Danny Dries has earned two offensive player nods (Nov. 8, Jan. 3). Curtis Gedig was the rookie of the week Oct. 25, Shane Sims was lauded as the defensive player of the week Dec. 13 and Sergio Somma and John Albert were named the offensive player of the week Dec. 13 and Jan. 10, respectively.
Heeter was named the national player of the week by InsideCollegeHockey and the USCHO.Com First Star of the Week after the Buckeyes swept Miami Jan. 7-8.
OVERTIME AGAIN? The Buckeyes are 3-0-1 in overtime this season and went to overtime in the opening game four-consecutive weekends. The Buckeyes beat Michigan State in OT Nov. 12, skated to a tie and shootout win with Alaska Nov. 26 and downed Michigan in overtime Dec. 3 before topping Bowling Green 4-3 in OT.
The squad had to rally to tie the game in the first three contests. Against the Falcons, the Buckeyes scored three straight goals in the third to take the lead before allowing a late game-tying goal and then winning in overtime.
Freshman Alex Szczechura scored the winning goal in the first two overtime wins this season, with Danny Dries netting the overtime winner against Bowling Green. Peter Boyd had the lone shootout goal against Alaska.
OHIO CUP CHAMPIONS The series sweep of Miami Jan. 7-8 gave the Buckeyes a 4-0 ledger against their instate foes to clinch the Ohio Cup, a traveling trophy sponsored by Buckeye Sports Bulletin. It was the seventh title for the Buckeyes in the 29-year history of the award. Ohio State swept a series at Bowling Green Dec. 10-11 (4-3 OT, 4-2) to open Ohio Cup play. Miami was second with a 2-2 ledger, with the Falcons 0-4.
U-S-A! Buckeye head coach Mark Osiecki was behind the bench with Team USA at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y., helping the squad to a 3-1 record through the group round and the bronze medal, marking the first time in history the U.S. medaled in back-to-back years. Osiecki was also on the coaching staff last season when the U.S. squad captured the gold medal. The Buckeyes stopped in Buffalo on their way to Vermont to watch Coach Osiecki and Team USA take on Germany.
WEARING THE C Seniors John Albert, Peter Boyd and Sergio Somma and junior Sean Duddy were elected captains for the Ohio State men’s hockey team this season. The players, who were voted on by their teammates, all wear ‘C’s on their jerseys for each game.
Boyd is a captain for the third time, donning a ‘C’ as a sophomore and serving as one of four alternate captains (with no ‘C’) last season. Somma earned an ‘A’ near the end of his sophomore campaign and joined Boyd with an ‘A’ on his jersey last year as well. This is the first time Albert and Duddy have a letter on their jerseys at Ohio State.
BEHIND THE BENCH The win over Quinnipiac Oct. 9 was the first collegiate win for Ohio State head coach Mark Osiecki. He is joined behind the bench by associate head coach Steve Rohlik, assistant coach Steve Brent and volunteer assistant Layne LeBel. JB Bittner is the team’s video coordinator.
Osiecki, a winner on every level, was named head coach April 24, 2010. He was an assistant at Wisconsin the last six years after spending seven seasons as the head coach and general manager of the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL). Osiecki has been a part of NCAA (both as a player and coach), junior hockey, international and professional championship teams. Osiecki and Rohlik were captains on the 1990 Wisconsin team that won the NCAA title.
BUCKEYES TO BE Buckeye head coach Mark Osiecki announced his first recruiting class Nov. 19, with 11 outstanding players – two goalies, five defensemen and four forwards. In all, the class is comprised of six players from the United States Hockey League, three from the Alberta Junior Hockey League and two from the British Columbia Hockey League. The group is a mix of older (1990, ‘91 birthdates) players to younger, draft-eligible student-athletes (1992,’93 birthdates). For complete information on the class visit http://go.osu.edu/hkrcts.
BUCKEYES IN THE BIGS Six Buckeyes were on NHL opening-day rosters, ranking third among CCHA schools. Four NHL regulars from 2009-10 returned to their squads for the new year – R.J. Umberger in Columbus, Dave Steckel in Washington, Ryan Kesler in Vancouver and Rod Pelley in New Jersey. Zac Dalpe, who left Ohio State in the spring after two seasons, earned a spot in Carolina’s lineup after his first training camp. Tyson Strachan was on the opening-day roster for St. Louis after playing eight games for the Blues a season ago.
Kesler – now an alternate captain for the Canucks – was named to the 2011 NHL All-Star Game Tuesday. He will be the first former Ohio State player to skate in the league’s all-star event.
Defensemen Nate Guenin, with the Blue Jackets, and Matt Bartkowski, with Boston, were two of the final players from their respective teams sent to the American Hockey League when NHL rosters had to be cut down. Bartkowski, like Dalpe, ended his Buckeye career after last season and was participating in his first NHL camp. Guenin cleared waivers and was with the Springfield Falcons before he was traded to Anaheim’s organization in early January. He currently is with the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL.
Dalpe played in eight games for the Hurricanes before he was sent down to Charlotte in the AHL. He was called up to the Hurricanes Jan. 2 and scored his first NHL goal in his first game back with the big club. Bartkowski was called up to Boston Jan. 10 and played two games against his hometown Pittsburgh Penguins before he was assigned to Providence.
Guenin was called up to the Blue Jackets on an emergency recall Oct. 16 and skated in three games before he was sent back down to Springfield. He joined Umberger in the CBJ lineup, marking the first time two Buckeyes played on the same team in an NHL game since Jan. 10, 2009 when David Steckel and Sean Collins skated for the Capitals.
Seventeen total former Buckeyes participated in NHL training camps this fall, with many since assigned to AHL, ECHL or CHL squads – Corey Elkins (AHL Manchester/Los Angeles), Sean Collins (AHL Hershey/Washington), Johann Kroll (AHL Hershey/Washington), Matt Beaudoin (AHL San Antonio/Phoenix), Jason DeSantis (AHL Wilkes-Barre Scranton, ECHL Wheeling/Pittsburgh), Tom Fritsche (AHL Lake Erie, CHL Tulsa/Colorado), Joe Palmer (ECHL Toledo, AHL Rockford/Chicago) and Dave Caruso (AHL Albany, ECHL Trenton/New Jersey). Hunter Bishop, the third Buckeye to sign an NHL contract after 2009-10, was in camp with Montreal but was assigned to Wheeling in the ECHL after suffering an injury in training camp and has since been called up to AHL Hamilton.
BECOME A FAN AND A FOLLOWER Keep up with the Buckeyes on the internet. Weekly and special releases, statistics, biographies and more can be found on OhioStateBuckeyes.com, the official site of Ohio State athletics. The team has an official facebook page – facebook.com/OhioStateMensHockey, as well as a twitter feed – twitter.com/OhioState_MHKY. To receive weekly email updates about the team, email BuckeyeHockeyReport@buckeyes.ath.ohio-state.edu.
FOLLOW THE BUCKEYES Ohio State men’s hockey games in 2010-11 will be available to fans both on the radio and the internet this year. The Ohio State Buckeyes Radio Network/IMG College will carry 25 regular season games and all postseason action involving the Buckeyes over the air at 1460 AM in Columbus and online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Video streams of nearly every Buckeye game will be available, typically on a pay-per-view basis. All Ohio State home games in Value City Arena that are not televised will be streamed either through BigTenNetwork.com or OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Road games will be available through the home team’s website, with some also streamed on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Links to audio and video broadcasts, as well as live stats, will be available on the men’s hockey schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com prior to the games each weekend.
The Buckeyes will have seven games on television this season, including four on the Big Ten Network. BTN will show three of the Buckeyes’ four games vs. Michigan, beginning Dec. 3 with a game in Value City Arena in Columbus. The network will televise both games from Ann Arbor, Mich., Feb. 11-12. Ohio State also will appear on BTN Feb. 4 when it hosts Michigan State. Ohio State also will appear on CBS College Sports Jan. 7 when it hosts Miami, as well as two road games on Comcast Television (Michigan State, Western Michigan).
UP NEXT The Buckeyes will return home, hosting Michigan State for two games Feb. 4-5. The Friday game will be live on Big Ten Network, with Dan Kelly and former Buckeye Paul Caponigri calling the action.