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January 19, 1999

COLUMBUS, Ohio

GAMES NO. 26 & 27

The Ohio State hockey team (12-10-3, 10-6-2) begins a stretch of 12 consecutive games against CCHA teams with a twinbill this weekend in Value City Arena (17,500). The Buckeyes will host Ferris State (11-8-3, 10-6-2) Thursday at 7 p.m. before Michigan (16-5-2, 13-3-1) visits Saturday at 8 p.m.

THE BROADCAST

WOSU Radio (820 AM) will continue its inaugural season of live Ohio State hockey by broadcasting both games live this weekend. Herb Howenstine and former Buckeye John Mowat will call the game.

KEY STRETCH

Ohio State begins its longest league stretch of the season (12 games) this weekend. After playing two non-conference games last weekend, the Buckeyes sit in a tie for fourth place in the CCHA standings. Of the 12 straight upcoming league games, eight are against teams that are below OSU in the standings, two are against the team that is tied with OSU, and two are against teams that are above Ohio State.

BIG ONE WITH THE WOLVERINES

Over 16,000 tickets have been sold for the Ohio State-Michigan game this Saturday. A sellout is expected. Ohio State blanked Michigan, 1-0, on Jan. 2 in Value City Arena’s first game. The game marked the first time in the 36-year history of the Ohio State program that the Buckeyes had shut out Michigan. OSU also has a two-game winning streak over Michigan for the first time since 1989.

SERIES HISTORY

Ohio State leads the all-time series 40-27-9 with Ferris State. The Buckeyes have won four of the last five and six of the last eight against the Bulldogs. Ferris State did win the last meeting between the two schools, a 4-2 decision on Oct. 17.

Michigan leads the all-time series against Ohio State 44-20-7 in a series that began in 1964. The Buckeyes have won the last two over the Wolverines. The longest-ever Ohio State winning streak over Michigan is four games and came during the 1985-86 season.

HOBEY BAKER HOPEFUL

OSU All-American center Hugo Boisvert notched a career high with five points (three goals, two assists) against Cornell. That came just three days after tallying two goals against Miami. Boisvert is tied for the lead in the CCHA in overall scoring (16-18-34) and ranks fourth in league scoring (9-15-24).

TICKET INFO

Tickets for all Ohio State home hockey games, played in the luxurious Value City Arena, are now on sale. Call 1-800-GO-BUCKS for details.

TICKET EXCHANGE

Fans that were unable to attend the Jan. 2 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

Ferris State visits Columbus one week after knocking off Michigan 4-0 on Jan. 15 and falling to Northern Michigan, 2-1, the following night. Despite the big win over the Wolverines, the Bulldogs have won just two of their last eight games. FSU is one the CCHA’s most mature teams, relying on the experience of 10 seniors that are all returning lettermen. Kevin Swider (10-7-17), Brian McCullough (8-9-17) and Joel Irwin (7-10-17) lead Ferris State offensively. Bulldog Vince Owen is one of the best goaltenders in the CCHA statistically, and will bring a 2.09 goals against average and .926 save percentage into this weekend. Bob Daniels is in his seventh year as head coach at Ferris State and will bring an 97-133-21 career mark into Thursday’s game. He is a 1982 graduate of Michigan State.

Michigan remains two points out of first-place in the CCHA standings and will host Bowling Green Thursday before coming to Columbus. The Wolverines are just 3-3-0 in their last six games, but prior to that rattled off a 10-game unbeaten streak. Michigan has struggled at times to score goals this season, but exploded for a season-high six goals in their last game, a 6-3 win over Western Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Wolverines are led offensively by freshman Mike Comrie, a strong candidate for CCHA Rookie-of-the-Year. Comrie has 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points, and is followed on the scoring chart by Mark Kosick (6-13-19). Josh Blackburn, another first-year star for Michigan, has been in goal for all but one game for Michigan, and sports a 1.91 GAA and .915 save percentage. Michigan is coached by Gordon “Red” Berenson, a 1962 graduate of UM. Berenson, a 17-year veteran of the National Hockey League and a one-time NHL Coach of the Year, brings a 385-191-32 career record into tonight’s game.

LAST WEEKEND

Ohio State wrapped up the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 5-3 win at Cornell and a 2-2 tie at Colgate.

In Ithaca, N.Y., against the Big Red, Ohio State jumped on the shoulders of All-American Hugo Boisvert and held on tight in the 5-3 win. Boisvert was in on all five OSU goals, scoring three and assisting on the other two. Eric Meloche, Boisvert’s linemate, scored the other two goals for OSU. Ray Aho made his third start of the season in goal against Cornell and was impressive, stopping 41-of-44 shots. Chris Richards also had two assists against the Big Red. None of the three goals scored by Cornell came during even-strength situations (two power-play goals, one six-on-five goal)

The Buckeyes jumped out to a 2-0 lead over Colgate but couldn’t crack the scoreboard again. A five-on-three situation in the third period led to the Red Raiders game-tying goal, and neither team found the back of the net in the overtime period. Ohio State’s second power-play unit accounted for both goals. Louie Colsant scored the first from Brandon Lafrance and Andre Signoretti. Lafrance then got a goal of his own, with Colsant and Jean-Francois Dufour picking up the assists.

Ohio State completed its non-league schedule with a 2-4-1 mark. Every one of OSU’s non-conference games was on the road this season.

OSU vs. FERRIS STATE – LAST TIME

Ohio State led 2-0 entering the third period, but Ferris State scored four unanswered goals, one into an empty-net, for a 4-2 win in Big Rapids, Mich., on Oct. 17. The game featured 71 total penalty-minutes, including three 10-minute misconducts. Ohio State went zero-of-five on the power-play, while Ferris State connected on two-of-eight attempts. The Bulldogs outshot the Buckeyes, 31-28. Ray Aho was in goal for Ohio State, making 27 saves and allowing three goals.

OSU vs. MICHIGAN – LAST TIME

In the inaugural game at Value City Arena, Chris Richards scored a power-play goal at 13:51 of the third period to snap a 0-0 tie and give OSU an eventual 1-0 win. Jeff Maund stopped all 21 Michigan shots, collecting his fifth career shutout. Ohio State shut out the Michigan power-play in six attempts and outshot the Wolverines, 30-21.

MORE BOISVERT

Boisvert had a six-game point-scoring streak snapped against Colgate, but still has 14 points (7-7-14) in his last seven games. At the conclusion of the Cornell game, Boisvert had had a hand in seven consecutive goals (scored last two against Miami, was in on all five at Cornell). The hat trick against Cornell was the second of Boisvert’s collegiate career.

QUITE A COMPLIMENT

Cornell head coach Mike Schafer said this about Ohio State’s Hugo Boisvert and Eric Meloche in the Ithaca Journal: “Players like that find different ways to score. We won’t play many teams with guys like Boisvert and Meloche.”

VIVA LAFRANCE

Winger Brandon Lafrance notched his second multiple-point game of the season against Colgate, notching a goal and an assist. He now has three goals in his last six games. Lafrance’s other multiple-point game of the season came against Ferris State, one of this weekend’s opponents

PP DELIVERS

The Buckeyes scored twice on the power-play against Colgate, giving them four power-play goals in their last two games. The Buckeyes have scored a power-play goal in 10 of their last 11 games, and have nine power-play goals in their last five games. Of the last 21 goals scored by Ohio State, 43 percent have come via the power-play.

MELOCHE MATTERS

Eric Meloche had his first two goal game of the season against Cornell and tied a season high for points in a game with three (1-2-3). Meloche, the CCHA’s second-leading goal scorer last season, has three goals in his last four games. The Buckeyes went 1-5-1 while Meloche was out of the lineup with an injury but have gone 11-5-2 since his return.

ALL TIED UP

Ohio State surpassed last season’s tie total against Colgate, playing to a draw for the third time this year. The OSU single-season record for ties is six, set by the 1987-88 team.

THE REASON FOR GOALTENDERS

Ohio State won and tied on the road last weekend despite surrendering an average of 41.5 shots per game. Ohio State is 6-3-1 when surrendering 30 or less shots and 6-7-2 when giving up 31 or more shots.

SPEAKING OF GOALTENDERS

Ray Aho collected his first win of the season with a stellar 41-save effort versus Cornell. That total fell short of his career high of 47 saves, notched last year against Merrimack on Jan. 17, 1996. In limited action, Aho leads Ohio State with a .922 save percentage in all games.

37 SAVES ISN’T BAD EITHER

Jeff Maund stopped 37-of-39 shots against Colgate, upping his save percentage to .916. In league games, Maund’s .922 save percentage ranks third in the conference. He also leads the league in saves (607) in all games.

OFFENSIVE DEFENSEMAN

Andre Signoretti owns Ohio State’s longest active point scoring streak at three games. He has scored at least a point in six of his last seven games, and leads all OSU defensemen in scoring at 3-11-14. Freshman Jason Crain ranks second among the OSU defenseman in scoring (2-10-12).

CLOSE CALLS

The Buckeyes have played in 11 one-goal games this year, more than any other team in the CCHA. OSU is 6-5-0 in one-goal games this season. The Ohio State hockey record for one-goal games in a season is 15, set by the 1986-87 team. The previous high for one-goal games in a season under current head coach John Markell was nine, set by the 1997-98 NCAA Final Four team.

TWO WEEKS AT HOME – FINALLY

In a season where it has seemed like the Buckeyes have constantly been on the road, Thursday’s Ferris State game marks the beginning of the longest homestand this season for Ohio State – four games.

FIRST-TIMERS

Two Ohio State players made their first appearances in the lineup over the weekend. Freshman defenseman Matt Weber, a native of Binghamton, N.Y., played in Friday’s game against Cornell. Senior Brian Morrison, a native of Uxbridge, Ont., played in both games over the weekend, centering OSU’s fourth line. Morrison put a shot on goal and was on the ice for OSU’s first power-play goal versus Colgate.

THESE ARE THE DAYS

Following is a breakdown of Ohio State’s record on certain days of the week:

Day All Games CCHA Friday 6-3-0 6-2-0 Saturday 4-5-2 3-3-2 Sunday 0-1-1 0-0-0 Monday 1-0-0 0-0-0 Tuesday 0-1-0 0-1-0 Thursday 1-0-0 1-0-0

PACKED HOUSE

Ohio State’s first three games at Value City Arena have been a hit in Columbus. The average paid attendance at those three games has been 10,769.

DOWN THE ROAD

Ohio State will host Western Michigan on Jan. 29 and 30. The two games are centered around alumni weekend, which will bring over 100 former Buckeyes back to Columbus for a weekend of festivities. Ohio State will then take to the road to face Bowling Green on Feb. 5 and Michigan on Feb. 6.

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.

NEW FACES

The most recent three-time captain in the history of Ohio State hockey 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.

— OSU —