at Western Michigan
Friday, Nov. 23 – 7:35 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 24 – 7:35 p.m.
Lawson Arena, Kalamazoo, Mich.
The Buckeyes will play a typical Friday-Saturday two-game series against the same opponent for the first time this season when they take on Western Michigan. The squad has had three Friday/Sunday series, as well as two Thursday/Friday matchups. The team opened the year with back-to-back games on Friday/Saturday in the Lefty McFadden tournament.
Eleven of the team’s 12 remaining series are Friday/Saturday affairs.
With three assists in the series with Robert Morris, senior Tom Fritsche now has 97 points as a Buckeye, with 29 goals and 68 assists. He is looking to become the first Buckeye to hit the 100-point mark since 2004.
He now leads the Buckeyes in assists (seven) and points (nine). He has six points in his last five games combined (1g, 5a).
The Buckeyes scored eight goals vs. Robert Morris in the two-game series, with five in the opener and three in game two, marking a season high for two games. The squad’s five goals last Friday tied its season best and broke a streak of eight-consecutive games the team was held to two goals or less.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State men’s hockey team (2-9-1, 0-6 CCHA) travels to Kalamazoo, Mich., for a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association series with Western Michigan (3-7-0, 1-5-0 CCHA) this weekend. The teams will meet at 7:35 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Lawson Arena.
The Buckeyes’ games at Western Michigan will be broadcast by WOSU Radio (820 AM/wosu.org) with Neil Sika (play-by-play) and former Buckeye John Mowat (analysis) on the call.
A Buckeye Brief
Ohio State is 2-9-1 on the year and looking to stop a 10-game winless streak. The squad is averaging 2.1 goals a game while allowing 3.8.
The Buckeyes have converted 16.2 percent of their power-play chances (11/68) and have stopped their opponents on 79.4 percent of their opportunities (50/63).
Senior Tom Fritsche has a team-best seven assists and nine points, while senior Tommy Goebel is first with four goals and is second with eight points. Freshmen Peter Boyd and Sergio Somma are second with three goals each. Senior Matt McIlvane ranks third with six points. He is tied for second in assists with Goebel, junior Nick Biondo and freshman John Albert with four each.
In net, sophomore Joseph Palmer started the first nine games and has 11 starts on the year, with a 3.80 goals-against average and .871 save percentage. Freshman Dustin Carlson has played in two games, including one start, with a 3.83 gaa and .857 svpct. Sophomore Nick Filion saw action in one game with a 3.83 gaa and .857 svpct.
Last Time Out
The Buckeyes went 0-1-1 vs. Robert Morris last weekend, tying the Colonials, 5-5, last Friday night in Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh before falling, 4-3, Sunday in Value City Arena in Columbus.
Ohio State led 2-1 after the first period on goals by Tommy Goebel and Nick Biondo sandwiched around a RMU power-play tally from Nathan Longpre.
The squads combined for seven goals in the second period. Ohio State scored the first two to go ahead, 4-1, on tallies from Kyle Reed and Jason DeSantis (power play). Jason Towsley and Buckeye Kyle Hood traded goals within three minutes to make the score 5-2 Ohio State. The Colonials then scored three unanswered to close out the period, including two goals in the final 3:23.
The teams were unable to score through the third period and overtime.
Each squad had 24 shots in the contest. The Buckeyes converted 1-of-7 power-play chances, while RMU was 2-for-6.
Last Sunday, there was no scoring in the first period. Sergio Somma opened the scoring at 6:36 of the second before the Colonials responded with three goals (at 8:13, 8:59 and 15:19) to take a 3-1 lead into the second intermission. In the third, Somma tallied at 6:52 to cut the RMU lead to one (3-2). RMU’s Chris Margott and Tommy Goebel traded goals in 41 seconds (at 12:07 and 12:48) for the 4-3 final.
The Buckeyes put 37 shots on goal in the game and the Colonials had 26. OSU was 2-for-6 on the power play and did not allow a power-play tally on four RMU chances.
Buckeyes vs. Broncos
The Buckeyes trail the all-time series with Western Michigan, 55-61-9, and trail in the last 10 meetings, 4-5-1, including a four-game winless (0-3-1) streak.
Last season, the Broncos won the series in Columbus, with an 8-5 victory Nov. 9, 2006 in Value City Arena and a 2-all tie Nov. 10, 2006 at the Ohio Expo Center.
Six of the last 10 meetings between the schools have been in Kalamazoo, where Western Michgian leads 32-23-4. The teams last met in Kalamazoo Oct. 28-29, 2005, with the Broncos posting a two-game sweep (5-1, 5-4).
Leading the Way vs. WMU
Seniors Tom Fritsche (3-2) and Kyle Hood (1-4) each lead the Buckeyes with five career points vs. WMU.
Western Michigan is 3-7 this season and is looking to stop a three-game losing streak. The squad has lost in overtime in three of its last six outings, going 1-5 over the stretch.
In CCHA play, the Broncos are 1-5 and are coming off two losses to Notre Dame in a home-and-home series, falling on the road (4-1) last Friday and at home (5-1) last Saturday. The team’s conference win came in a series split at Northern Michigan Nov. 9-10 (W 4-2, L OT 4-3).
Junior Patrick Galivan leads the Broncos with 11 assists and 12 points. Sophomore Cam Watson has a team-best five goals on the year. Freshman Max Campbell is second in assists (5) and points (8).
In net, sophomore Riley Gill has played in nine games, with a 3-5-0 record, 3.12 goals-against average and .899 save percentage. Freshman Jerry Kuhn has seen action in two games, posting an 0-2-0 ledger, 1.93 GAA and .881 svpct.
Jim Culhane, a 1987 graduate of Western Michigan, is in his ninth season at the helm of his alma mater. He has a school and career ledger of 131-162-30.
After recording just five multiple-point games in the team’s first 10 games of the season, Ohio State players combined for seven multiple-point performances in the two-game series with Robert Morris last weekend.
Junior Nick Biondo led the way with two points in each game (1-1-2 Friday, 0-2-2 Saturday).
Freshman Kyle Reed had a team season-best three points, on a goal and two assists, in the series opener.
In the first game, seniors Jason DeSantis (1-1-2), Tommy Goebel (1-1-2) and Tom Fritsche (0-2-2) each had two points. In game two, freshman Sergio Somma had a team season-high tying two goals and personal-best two points.
Reed and Biondo each marked the first multiple-point games of their careers. DeSantis’ two points marked his first two-point game of the year and his first since Nov. 9, 2006 vs. Western Michigan (0-2-2). Goebel’s first multiple-point game (1g, 1a) of the season was his first since Jan. 26 at Lake Superior State.
On a Streak
Junior Nick Biondo is on a three-game scoring streak, with 1-4-5 totals over the stretch. He began the streak with an assist vs. Nebraska-Omaha Nov. 9 for his first point of the season and his first helper since Feb. 9, 2006 vs. Michigan State.
He tallied his first goal of the season vs. Robert Morris last Friday and added an assist for his first career two-point game. Against Robert Morris Sunday, Biondo had the first two-assist game of his career.
Two for Two
Freshman Sergio Somma scored twice against Robert Morris last Sunday, marking a career best. It was Ohio State’s second two-goal game of the season, joining classmate Todd Rudasill, who scored two power-play goals vs. Ferris State Nov. 4.
After scoring just two power-play goals over a five-game stretch Oct. 25-Nov. 8, the Buckeyes now have at least one power-play goal in three-consecutive outings. The squad was 3-for-13 (.231) vs. Robert Morris, including 2-for-6 Sunday.
The Buckeye penalty kill held the Colonials scoreless Sunday, ending a streak of four-consecutive games Ohio State gave up at least two power-play goals.
Twenty Buckeyes have at least one point this season, with 14 scoring a goal and 16 having an assist. Ten Buckeyes have at least one goal and one assist this year.
Freshman Kyle Reed and junior Nick Biondo scored their first goals of the season and freshman Shane Sims had his first assist and point vs. Robert Morris.
Seven student-athletes have signed NCAA National Letters of Intent to attend Ohio State and play hockey for the Buckeyes beginning in 2008-09, John Markell, Ohio State head coach, announced Monday. The group, with four forwards and three defensemen, includes five players from the British Columbia Hockey League, a U.S. National Team Development Program product and a United States Hockey League player.
Matt Bartkowski, a 6-1, 203-pound left-shot defenseman from Pittsburgh, Pa., currently plays for the Lincoln Stars in the USHL. He has seen action in 15 games this year and has seven points, with six assists. As a rookie last year, Bartkowski recorded nine points while playing in 57 regular-season games. He played high school hockey at Mt. Lebanon High School and was named the Post-Gazette Player of the Year for Southwestern Pennsylvania and led his team to the state title.
Fairbanks, Alaska, native Hunter Bishop, a 6-0, 185-pound left-shot forward, plays for the Vernon Vipers in the BCHL. He leads the league with 44 points and 28 goals through 28 games this season. He is in his third year playing with the Vipers. Bishop had 54 points (25g, 29a) in 2005-06. In 2006-07, he began the year at North Dakota in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, playing in four games and posting an assist. He then returned to the Vipers and had 26 points (11g, 15a) in 24 games. Bishop played with the Cedar Rapids Roughriders of the USHL in 2004-05, with 12 points in 50 games. Bishop will have three years of eligibility with the Buckeyes. His sister, Teal, is a freshman on the Ohio State women’s hockey team this year.
Zac Dalpe, a native of Paris, Ontario, is a 6-1, 175-pound right-shot forward who plays with the Penticton Vees in the BCHL. He played for Canada West in the 2007 World Junior A Challenge earlier this month, recording a hat trick in the championship game to lead his squad to the title. In 22 games for the Vees this season, Dalpe has 29 points, with 11 goals and 18 assists. He played with the Stratford Cullitons of the Ontario Hockey Association for two seasons before joining the Vees. In 2005-06, his first year with the squad, he had 12 points in 32 games before posting 66 points, on 26 goals and 40 assists, in 40 games last season.
Devon Krogh, a West Vancouver, British Columbia, native, is a 6-foot, 180-pound right-shot defenseman for the Penticton Vees of the BCHL this season. He has 10 assists and points in 26 games this season. He played for the Summerland Sting in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League a year ago, ranking third on the team with 50 points, including 21 goals (12 power-play tallies) and 29 assists, in 46 games.
Cory Schneider, from Rochester, N.Y., is a 5-10, 175-pound left shot forward for the Penticton Vees in the BCHL. He ranks fourth for the Vees with 25 points through 28 games this season and has 12 goals and 13 assists. Schneider played for Northwood School (Lake Placid, N.Y.) with current Buckeye freshman Peter Boyd last season, serving as a co-captain as the team won the 2007 Northwood Tournament.
Taylor Stefishen, a 5-11, 170-pound right-shot forward, plays for the Langley Chiefs in the BCHL. He leads his squad and ranks 10th in the BCHL with 35 points and is fifth in the league with 23 assists in 23 games. Stefishen is a native of North Vancouver, British Columbia. He also played for the Chiefs last season, posting 56 points, including 25 goals and 31 assists, in 59 games.
Steven West, a 6-foot, 187-pound right-shot defenseman, plays in the U.S. National Team Development Program. A member of the U.S. Under-18 team this season, he has played in 13 games with one assist. The native of Milford, Mich., spent 2006-07 with the U.S. Under-17 Team and played with Honeybaked AAA in 2005-06, posting 63 points (22g, 41a). West will be the 11th Buckeye to play for the NTDP, including current seniors Tom Fritsche and Jason DeSantis, sophomore Joseph Palmer and freshmen John Albert and C.J. Severyn.
Note: All statistics through Nov. 18
They’re Getting Younger
Dustin Carlson was the 13th Buckeye freshman to see game action for the Buckeyes this season when he faced Nebraska-Omaha Nov. 9.
Rookies John Albert, Peter Boyd and Sergio Somma have seen action in all 12 games this year. Chris Reed has played in 11 games, while Shane Sims has seen action in 10 contests. Three Buckeye rookies – Kyle Reed, Patrick Schafer and C.J. Severyn have played in nine games, followed by Erick Belanger and Corey Toy with six games played each. Brad Gorham and Todd Rudasill have played in three games and Carlson has played in two games.
In the Bigs
Rod Pelley, a Buckeye from 2003-06, and a member of the New Jersey Devils this season, now has three points this season after tallying his first career goal Nov. 8 vs. Philadelphia. He played nine games for the Devils last season and has seen action in 20 NHL contests this year.
Former Buckeye and current Washington Capital Dave Steckel, who played for the Buckeyes from 2001-04, has played in 32 career NHL games, including 20 this season. He leads all NHL rookies and ranks 15th in the NHL in faceoffs. Steckel scored his first National Hockey League goal Oct. 24 vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning.
R.J. Umberger, a member of the Philadelphia Flyers this season, has played in 17 games and has two goals and seven assists for nine points. A Buckeye from 2001-03, he has seen action in 171 career NHL games and has 38 goals, 37 assists and 75 points.
Ryan Kesler, the fourth former Buckeye currently in the NHL, has 3-7-10 totals in 19 games for the Vancouver Canucks this season. A Buckeye in 2003, he has played in 177 career games in the NHL, with 21 goals, 33 assists and 54 points.
Nate Guenin, who played at Ohio State from 2003-06, has spent time with both the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) and Phantoms (AHL) this season. He has played in two NHL games this year after playing in nine a season ago.
Former Buckeyes Scott May (Manitoba Moose) and Sean Collins (Hershey Bears) also are playing in the AHL.
Buckeye senior John Dingle played in his 100th career game in the opener at Minnesota Oct. 25 and now has played in 106 collegiate contests. He is the sixth current Buckeye to hit the 100 games played mark at Ohio State, joining Johann Kroll (130), Matt McIlvane (127), Jason DeSantis (115), Kyle Hood (112) and Tom Fritsche (110). Tommy Goebel has played in 119 collegiate games, with 76 at Michigan State and 43 at Ohio State.
Starting Off Right
Four Buckeyes had points in their first collegiate games – Peter Boyd (goal) and John Albert (assist) vs. Mercyhurst Oct. 12, Patrick Schafer (goal) against Wisconsin Oct. 13 and Todd Rudasill vs. Ferris State Nov. 2. They were the first Buckeye freshmen to score points in their first collegiate games since NHL first-round draft picks R.J. Umberger had a goal and two assists and Dave Steckel had two goals at Northern Michigan Oct. 13, 2000.
Boyd and Hood Named CCHA Players of the Week
Peter Boyd and Kyle Hood were named CCHA Rookie and Defenseman of the Week, respectively, the Central Collegiate Hockey Association announced Oct. 15. The duo helped the Buckeyes win the Lefty McFadden College Hockey Invitational title over the weekend at the E.J. Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio.
Boyd, a forward from Cambridge-Narrows, New Brunswick, scored the gamewinning goal against Mercyhurst in his first collegiate game, breaking a 1-all tie midway through the third period. Against Wisconsin, Boyd had the primary assist on senior John Dingle’s late second-period goal that broke a 3-all tie and stood as the gamewinner in OSU’s 5-3 victory. Boyd had eight shots on the weekend and helped the Buckeye power play convert 4-of-11 (.364) chances in the tournament.
Hood, a native of Osoyoos, British Columbia, blocked three shots in the win over Mercyhurst. Against Wisconsin in the championship game, he assisted on the first two Buckeye goals, as Ohio State jumped out to a 2-0 lead less than four minutes into the game. His two assists matched his career high, set three times earlier. This is the first league weekly honor for Hood.
Leading the Way
Senior Matt McIlvane was selected the team’s captain prior to the season. He wore an “A” for the squad last season.
Seniors Tommy Goebel and Johann Kroll are the alternate captains for the squad this year.
The Year that Was
Ohio State was 15-17-5 last year and finished seventh in the CCHA with a 12-12-4 mark.
The squad returned 12 letterwinners. Senior Tommy Goebel is the leading returning scorer, posting 26 points last year and ranking second on the squad with 12 goals. Senior defenseman Jason DeSantis was second among blueliners last season with a career-best 25 points, including a team-high 20 assists.
The Buckeye State
Nine Buckeyes hail from the state of Ohio, including the first three Central Ohio products in head coach John Markell’s tenure in Patrick Schafer of Hilliard, Todd Rudasill of Columbus (Powell) and Ryan Markell of Pickerington. Three Buckeyes are from Parma (Tom Fritsche, Nick Biondo, Tommy Goebel), along with John Albert from Concord, John Dingle from Shaker Heights and Chris Reed from Solon.
Ohio State’s 2007-08 recruiting class was rated seventh by Red Line Report and 14th by Inside College Hockey.
In INCH’s individual rankings, Shane Sims was slotted eighth among incoming defensemen.
I Feel a Draft
On the Buckeyes’ 2007-08 roster, six players are NHL draft picks, including seniors Tom Fritsche (Colorado 2005) and Matt McIlvane (Ottawa 2004), sophomore Joseph Palmer (Chicago 2006) and freshmen John Albert (Atlanta 2007), C.J. Severyn (Calgary 2007) and Shane Sims (New York Islanders 2006).
Break it Down
The Ohio State roster for 2007-08 includes nine seniors and 14 freshmen, along with just two juniors and three sophomores. The 14 freshmen mark the biggest rookie class for the Buckeyes since the 1992-93 squad opened the year with 13 freshmen.
Head coach John Markell has opened a season with 11 freshmen three times (1996, 2000, 2004).
The Buckeyes will remain on the road as they travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., for a two-game series with Michigan. The teams will meet at 7:35 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in Yost Ice Arena.