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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State (7-12-1, 5-8-1-1 CCHA) returns to action with a series against Bowling Green (3-15-2, 2-10-2-2 CCHA). The teams will meet in Value City Arena at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The series ends a 26-day break for the Buckeyes, dating back to Dec. 12.

Eyes and Ears on the Buckeyes
WOSU radio, with Herb Howenstine and former Buckeye John Mowat on the call, will carry both games this weekend. The action can be heard online only at wosu.org or linked from the men’s hockey schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Scarlet and Gray Sports Radio, Ohio State’s student-run online station (OhioStateSports.net), will call the action online as well.

A live video and audio stream will be available for both games through video.bigtennetwork.com. The cost is $2.99 per game.

Links to live stats can be found on the men’s hockey schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com and at CCHA.com for a league-wide scoreboard. In-game updates also are on Twitter.com/OhioStateHockey.

The Fun Stuff
The game Friday is Boy Scout Night, with Saturday Local Heroes Night. Postgame Saturday there is an autograph session scheduled with juniors Kyle Reed and Dustin Carlson.

A Look Ahead
Next week the Buckeyes will face the National Team Development Program’s Under-18 Team in an exhibition game Jan. 15 in Value City Arena. The squad will return to action on the road at Michigan State Jan. 22-23. The team will be back in Columbus Jan. 29-30 when it hosts Ferris State.

Remember Your BuckID
Ohio State students receive free admission to all Ohio State home games in Value City Arena during the regular season simply by presenting their BuckIDs at the Southwest Rotunda of the arena and having their IDs swiped.

Student seating is general admission (first come, first served) and located in Sections 111 and 117, with overflow seating in the upper deck. Block O, the student-led cheering section for the Buckeyes, will have seats in the first two rows of the student section to lead the group.

Get Your Tickets
Single-game tickets for all Ohio State regular-season games in Value City Arena are $11 for adults, $8 for senior citizens (62+) and $6 for students/children (not including Ohio State students). Tickets can be purchased online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com, by calling Ticketmaster (1-800-745-3000) or in person at any Ticketmaster outlet or the Ohio State Ticket Office. Note there is an additional service charge per ticket on any purchases made online or through Ticketmaster.

Groups of 10 or more can buy tickets in advance for $4 each. For more information, contact Mike Johnson in the group sales office at 614-247-1984.

Buckeye Bio
Ohio State is 7-12-1 this season and is 5-8-1-1 in Central Collegiate Hockey Association play. The Buckeyes are scoring 2.30 goals a game while allowing 2.15 goals an outing. The team has converted 10-of-98 (10.2 percent) of its power-play chances and has stopped 75-of-106 (70.8 percent) opponent chances.

The squad last played Dec. 11-12, when it was swept in a home-and-home series vs. Miami. The RedHawks won the opener in Columbus, 6-0, and the finale in Oxford, 4-2. The Buckeyes are looking to stop a three-game losing streak.

Sophomore forward Zac Dalpe is first with 10 goals and 19 points. Junior forward Peter Boyd is first with 11 assists and ranks second with 16 points. Junior forward Sergio Somma is second with six goals, followed by Boyd and junior forward Hunter Bishop with five. Somma and John Albert, who is tied for second with nine assists, are tied for third with 13 points each. Dalpe has a team-high four power-play goals. He ranks first with a +11 mark, followed by freshman defenseman Devon Krogh at +9 and Somma and Boyd at +8.

Goalies junior Dustin Carlson and sophomore Cal Heeter rotated starts throughout the 16 games of the year before Heeter started both games against Michigan, giving him three-consecutive starts. The tandem shared duties against Miami, with Heeter starting game one. Carlson has a 2.94 goals-against average and .910 save percentage. Heeter is 6-4-1 with a 3.03 GAA and .906 svpct.

Congrats to Kes
Ryan Kesler, who played for the Buckeyes in 2002-03, was named to the US Olympic Team for the 2010 Winter Games in  Vancouver, USA Hockey announced New Year’s Day.

A two-time participant in the World Junior Championship and a U.S. National Team Development Team product, he is believed to be the first former Buckeye to play for the US team. Kesler represented the United States in the 2006 Men’s World Championship, the 2003 and ’04 World Junior Championship and the 2002 Men’s World Under-18 Championship.

Kesler, who was selected by Vancouver in the first round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft (No. 23 overall), is in his sixth season in the NHL, all with the Canucks. An alternate captain for the Canucks, he was a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Award, given to the league’s top defensive forward, last season.

RJ Umberger, a Buckeye from 2001-03 and a current member of the Columbus Blue Jackets, is on a short list of players still in the mix to make the US team should injuries happen to the current Team USA members.

Former Buckeye Andre Signoretti competed for Italy in the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino, Italy.

Kesler is one of four CCHA players on Team USA, joining goaltender Ryan Miller (Michigan State) and defensemen Mike Komisarek (Michigan) and Jack Johnson (Michigan). They join Canadian defensemen Duncan Keith (Michigan State) and Dan Boyle (Miami) as CCHA alums competing in Vancouver this February.

Stecks Signs
Former Buckeye David Steckel has signed a three-year extension with the Washington Capitals, the organization announced Wednesday. Steckel has two goals and three assists and leads the NHL with a 61.9 faceoff winning percentage this season. He is in his third full season in the NHL, all with the Capitals.

Welcome to the Family
Two new Buckeyes joined the Ohio State program in December. Team athletic trainer Jeff Deits and his wife, Amanda, welcomed their first child, Claire, Dec. 11. A week later, on Dec. 18, assistant coach Steve Brent, his wife Adi and their daughter, Tess, welcomed a baby boy, Alexander, to their family.

AAA Line
Three of the Buckeyes’ four alternate captains – Sergio Somma, Zac Dalpe and Peter Boyd – were put on a line together against Northern Michigan Nov. 14 and they have combined to produce 37 points in the 11 games since. Boyd has 15 points (4g, 11a) in the 11 games combined, Dalpe has eight goals, five assists and 13 points and Somma has a 4-5-9 line.

Ohio State vs. Bowling Green
Ohio State trails the all-time series with the Falcons, 67-93-6, but is on a five-game winning streak vs. Bowling Green and has won seven of the last eight meetings, with a 17-3-1 ledger in the last 21 matchups.

The Buckeyes were 4-0-0 vs. Bowling Green last year, with a sweep on the road Jan. 9-10 (8-5, 4-3 OT) and a sweep in the first round of the CCHA playoffs in the OSU Ice Rink (5-4, 7-1).

In the Capital City
In Columbus the Buckeyes lead the series with Bowling Green, 40-35-3. The teams last met in Columbus in the regular season Feb. 1-2, 2008, splitting the series (BGSU 5-2, OSU 4-2).

Buckeyes vs. the Falcons
Junior forward Peter Boyd leads the Buckeyes with five goals and nine points vs. Bowling Green. Junior forward John Albert has a team-best six assists and ranks second with seven points. Junior defenseman Shane Sims has three goals and is tied with sophomore forward Ian Boots (1g, 4a) and senior forward Mathieu Picard (1g, 4a) with five points each.

Falcon File
Bowling Green is 3-15-2 on the year and stands 2-10-2-2 in CCHA action. The team is averaging 2.0 goals a game, while allowing 3.5. The Falcons have converted 12-of-101 power play chances (11.9 percent) and have stopped 82-of-106 (.774) opponent opportunities. The team is coming off a 4-3 victory over Clarkson in the consolation game of the Dodge Holiday Classic in Minneapolis last weekend after falling to the host Minnesota Golden Gophers in the first round, 3-1. In the squad’s last CCHA action Dec. 11-12 the Falcons lost both ends of a home-and-home series with Michigan State (3-2 H, 4-1 A).

Freshman Jordan Samuels-Thomas is first on the team with seven goals and 16 points. Tomas Petruska has a team-high 10 assists and ranks second with 14 points. Tommy Dee is second with six tallies and is tied with Kyle Page (3g, 8a) and David Solway (3g, 8a) for third with 11 points each. Dee and Page have three power-play tallies each.

In net Nick Eno has played in 14 games, starting 12, and has a 3.13 goals-against average and .900 save percentage. Andrew Hammond has seen action in nine games, with seven starts, and has a 3.63 goals-against and .900 save percentage.

A Look Back – OSU Sweeps BGSU
The Buckeyes beat Bowling Green, 5-4, and 7-1, March 6-7, 2009, in the OSU Ice Rink to claim the CCHA first-round series and advance to the quarterfinals.

In game one, Ohio State broke open a 2-all game with two goals in 2:14 in the third period and held on for a 5-4 win over Bowling Green.

Early in the third, the Falcons cut the lead to one just 34 seconds after Peter Boyd had put Ohio State up by two goals. Bowling Green then had the would-be game-tying goal disallowed at 12:16 because the net had moved before the puck crossed the line. Boyd regained the Buckeyes’ two-goal lead with a goal at 14:23 and Tommy Dee responded for the Falcons just 27 seconds later, but BG could get no closer.

The Buckeyes opened the game on Corey Elkins’ goal at 13:30 of the first before Nick Bailen tied the score at 18:27 of the opening stanza. Ohio State again went ahead when Corey Toy scored from the point at 11:30 of the second. Bowling Green responded, as Dee scored an unassisted goal 4-o-4 at 15:39.

In the third, Chris Reed gave Ohio State a 3-2 lead at 3:14 and Boyd extended it to 4-2 at 5:18. Sexton replied with a goal 34 seconds later to make the score 4-3. After the disallowed goal Boyd put Ohio State up 5-3 at 14:23, followed by Dee’s tally at 14:50.

Bowling Green outshot Ohio State in the game, 36-29. OSU was 0-for-2 on the power play in the game and BG was 0-for-4.

In game two Saturday, Ohio State outscored the Falcons 4-1 in the second period en route to a 7-1 victory and series sweep. Elkins had a hat trick and four points in the game, which marked the final game in Columbus for the Buckeye senior class.

The teams were scoreless in the first period until Sergio Somma scoerd with 57 seconds remaining in the stanza. Elkins scored back-to-back goals in the second (2:20 and 9:31) to put Ohio State up 3-1. Nick Bailen responded just 28 seconds after Elkins’ second tally, but Ohio State got power-play goals from Matt Bartkowski and Shane Sims to close out the second. Elkins completed his hat trick and 12:54 of the third and set up Mathieu Picard for the final goal with 1:34 remaining in the game. 

The Buckeyes held the Falcons scoreless on six power-play chances and converted 2-of-8 opportunities. Each team had 29 shots.

Alma Mater
The series vs. Bowling Green features two Falcon alums behind the benches. Ohio State head coach John Markell played for the Falcons from 1976-79, earning All-CCHA first team honors three times and he was inducted into the BGSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001. Bowling Green head coach Dennis Williams played for the Falcons from 1997-01.

Trophy Collection
Each year Ohio State, Miami and Bowling Green compete for the Ohio Cup, the annual traveling trophy presented by Buckeye Sports Bulletin.

The Buckeyes captured the 2009 Ohio Cup, winning for the first time since 2004-05. Ohio State was declared the winner based on the third tiebreaker of goals for in Cup play. Ohio State and Miami tied at 3-1 in Cup play (Bowling Green was 0-4) and each was plus-6 in goal differential (OSU 23-17, Miami 18-12). Bowling Green is first with 13 Ohio Cup titles all-time. Miami had won the last three crowns.

Because of the unbalanced CCHA schedule that has Ohio State and Miami playing each other four times and Bowling Green twice, just the second home-and-home series between the Buckeyes and RedHawks will count in the Ohio Cup standings, along with each team’s series with Bowling Green.

Gimme a Break
This is the first time in 12 seasons the Buckeyes did not compete in a December holiday tournament, dating to the 1997-98 season. The squad hosted the Ohio Hockey Classic the last five seasons after four years in the Everblades College Classic in Florida. The team participated in the Vermont Holiday Classic in 1999-00 and in the Mariucci Classic in 1998-99. The squad , which did play in a Thanksgiving tournament in North Dakota this season, ends a 26-day break with its series against Bowling Green this weekend.

Top Heavy
Four Buckeyes – Zac Dalpe (19), Peter Boyd (16), John Albert (13) and Sergio Somma (13) have 51 percent of the team’s 120 points. Five players have combined for 65 percent of the team’s 46 goals – Dalpe (10), Somma (6), Hunter Bishop (5), Somma (5) and Albert (4).

It’s a Power Play Goal
Ohio State’s power play goal at Miami Dec. 12 was its first in six games and ended a streak of 25-consecutive chances without a goal. Zac Dalpe had the goal, his team-best fourth PPG of the season.

Flashback – Last Time out
The Buckeyes were swept by No. 1-ranked Miami in their last time out, falling 6-0 and 4-2, in a home-and-home series Dec. 11-12.

In the opener in Columbus Dec. 11, the Buckeyes trailed, 1-0, after the first and 2-0 after the second on power play goals. The RedHawks put the game out of reach with two goals in the first six minutes of the third period and added two more scores for the 6-0 final.

Tommy Wingels scored the first four goals for the RedHawks, including a natural hat trick of power play goals. He opened the scoring at 12:47 of the first and made the score 2-0 at 2:49 of the second period. In the third he completed his hat trick with a power-play tally at 3:14. Wingels added a fourth goal at 5:54 of the final period, pushing the score to 4-0. Pat Cannone tallied at 10:30 and Jarod Palmer had the final goal at 15:49.

For the game, the RedHawks outshot the Buckeyes, 33-17. Buckeye goalie Cal Heeter had 27 saves, including 15 in the second period. Cody Reichard had the shutout for Miami with 17 stops. It was the third time this season the Buckeyes have been shut out and was the RedHawks’ third-consecutive whitewash.

In game two Dec. 12 in Oxford, Ohio State carried a 2-0 lead into the third period but No. 1-ranked Miami powered to four goals in the final stanza to defeat the Buckeyes, 4-2. Buckeye junior goalie Dustin Carlson ended the game with 36 saves, while Hunter Bishop and Zac Dalpe scored for Ohio State.

The teams were scoreless after the first period before Ohio State opened the scoring in the second. John Albert picked off a RedHawk clearing attempt along the wall and found Bishop all alone at the far post for his fifth goal of the season. Dalpe put Ohio State ahead 2-0 with a power-play tally.

The top-ranked RedHawks outshot the Buckeyes, 17-9, in the third and outscored them, 4-0, for the comeback win. Miami got on the board at 7:07 of the period when Steven Spinell scored and at 11:43 Andy Miele tied it with a power-play goal. Miele put the RedHawks ahead for the first time at 17:41, redirecting a pass from Alden Hirschfeld through the slot. Jarod Palmer sealed the win with an empty netter with 27 seconds left in regulation.

Carlson ended the game with 36 saves in 59:48 between the pipes as Miami outshot Ohio State, 40-27. Conor Knapp had 25 stops for the RedHawks in 59:36.

A Tough Road
The Buckeyes lost two games against No. 1-ranked Miami to wrap up the first half of the year. The squad played 10 of its first 20 games against teams in the Top 20 to close the first half, including six against teams in the Top 6 at the time of the game.

Using the current USCHO.com rankings, the team hosted No. 2 Denver Oct. 15-16 and traveled to Grand Forks, N.D., for the Subway Holiday Classic over Thanksgiving where it faced the host No. 5-ranked Fighting Sioux and No. 11 Bemidji State. The Buckeyes opened the year vs. No. 12 Quinnipiac, which has been ranked as high as fourth and faced off against No. 11 Ferris State on the road. Five of the Buckeyes’ opponents have been ranked in the Top 4 at some point this season.

All or Nothing
In the last eight games, the Buckeyes have scored five goals in two games. In the other six contests, the squad has been held shut out once, held to one goal three times and scored twice in both a 2-1 victory over Bemidji State and a 4-2 loss to Miami.

100 Club
Juniors Sergio Somma, Peter Boyd and John Albert all played in their 100th career game vs. Michigan Dec. 4 and Chris Reed joined the group Dec. 11 vs. Miami. Albert leads the current Buckeyes with 72 career points and 53 career assists. Boyd has a team-best 28 goals as a Buckeye, followed by Somma with 25 and sophomore Zac Dalpe with 22. Boyd has 43 assists to give him 71 points in the Scarlet and Gray and Somma has 29 helpers for 54 points. Senior Mathieu Picard has played a team-high 113 games as a Buckeey

Halfway to 100
Junior defenseman Shane Sims (43) and sophomore Zac Dalpe (44) are the closest Buckeyes to the 50-point mark entering the weekend.

Zac Attack
Sophomore Zac Dalpe, the Buckeyes’ leading scorer with 10 goals, nine assists and 19 points has points in 12 of his last 16 outings and ranks seventh (tied) in the CCHA in points overall. He is tied for second among league players in CCHA-games only, with 16 points on eight goals and eight assists. His eight goals in league play are tied for fifth. Dalpe leads all CCHA players with a +12 mark in conference games and is tied for third in all games with a +11 rating.

Buckeyes in the Bigs
R.J. Umberger, the first former Buckeye to play for Columbus, has played in 44 games for the Blue Jackets, with 28 points on 14 goals and 14 assists. He has played in 354 NHL games in his career, with an 89-101-190 line.

Ryan Kesler, an alternate captain for the Canucks, has played in 33 games and has 38 points, with 27 assists. Kesler, who is featured in the NHL 2K10 commercial, has skated in 363 NHL contests with a 76-102-178 line.

Rod Pelley, now a member of the New Jersey Devils, has played in 38 NHL games this season and has two goals, four assists and six points. He has skated in 105 NHL games, all with the Devils, and has eight assists and 12 points.

Washington Capital David Steckel has seen action in 42 games this year, has two goals and three assists for five points and leads the NHL in faceoff win percentage. He is in his third full season with the Caps and has played in 197 NHL games, with 36 points, on 15 goals and 21 assists.

Tyson Strachan has played in six NHL games with the St. Louis Blues this year, posting two assists, but is currently in the AHL with the Peoria Rivermen. He has played in 36 NHL games and has five helpers.

Former Buckeye defenseman Nate (Nathan) Guenin (2003-06) was called up to the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this season and skated in his first two games for his hometown team before he was returned to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL. He has played in 14 NHL games, posting two assists.

Corey Elkins, who finished his Ohio State career a season ago, was called up to the Los Angeles Kings in December and scored a goal in his second NHL game. He has been up and down between the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs and the Kings since. He has skated in three NHL contests.