Ohio State at No. 18 Western Michigan Friday, Jan. 14 – 7:35 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15 – 7:35 p.m. Lawson Ice Arena – Kalamazoo, Mich.
Follow Along Television – Comcast (Friday)/NHL Network (tape delayed noon-2 p.m. Saturday) Webcast – WMUBroncos.com/OhioStateBuckeyes.com Audio Broadcast – 1460 AM/OhioStateBuckeyes.com Live Stats – OhioStateBuckeyes In-game Updates – Twitter.com/OhioState_MHKY
Ohio State vs. Western Michigan – The Series 2009-10: Ohio State won 3-0-1 Overall: Western Michigan leads 67-55-11 In Columbus: Ohio State leads 33-30-6 In Kalamazoo: Western Michigan leads 33-25-5 Neutral Site: Ohio State leads 1-0-0
Buckeye Slapshots • Ohio State enters the weekend on a six-game winning streak, with a sweep of Bowling Green, two wins in Burlington, Vt., to claim the Catamount Cup and a sweep of Miami last weekend. • Paul Szczechura, the older brother of Buckeye freshman Alex Szczechura, played for Western Michigan from 2004-07. He has played 83 NHL games and currently skates for the Norfolk Admirals in the AHL. • Three Buckeyes have hit the 20-point mark on the year – John Albert is first with 23 points, Sergio Somma is second with 22 and Danny Dries is third with 21. • Sergio Somma is first in the CCHA and second in the NCAA with eight power-play goals. • Cal Heeter was named the INCH National Player of the Week and the USCHO.com First Star of the Week, as well as the CCHA Goaltender of the Week, after the Buckeyes’ sweep of Miami. John Albert was awarded league offensive player of the week honors. • The Buckeyes scored five third-period goals against Miami and are outscoring opponents 29-20 in the third period this year.
Drop the Puck The Ohio State men’s hockey team is back on the road this weekend, heading to Kalamazoo, Mich., for two games with No. 18 Western Michigan. The Buckeyes (12-8-1, 7-6-1-1 CCHA) and Broncos (11-6-5, 5-5-4-3 CCHA) will meet at 7:35 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Lawson Ice Arena.
The game Friday will be televised on Comcast in Michigan, with a replay from noon-2 p.m. Saturday on NHL Network. Both games will be streamed for a fee online, with the feed on WMUBroncos.com and shared on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
The Ohio State radio broadcast, with Herb Howenstine and former Buckeye Paul Caponigri on the call, can be heard in Columbus on 1460 AM and online for free at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Live stats can be found on OhioStateBuckeyes.com and WMUBroncos.com, as well as CCHA.com. In-game updates also are on Twitter.com/OhioState_MHKY.
Last Time Out The Buckeyes are coming off a two-game sweep of then-No. 7/8 Miami at home in Value City Arena last weekend, extending their winning streak to six. Ohio State won 1-0 Friday and then rallied for a 5-2 win Saturday.
Buckeye Snapshot Ohio State is 12-8-1 this season and stands 7-6-1 in CCHA action, tying for sixth place. The team is averaging 3.05 goals a game while allowing 2.38. On the power play, the Buckeyes are 19-for-100 (19.0 percent) and on the penalty kill the team is 75-for-92 (81.5 percent).
Senior forward John Albert leads the team with 23 points, ranking third with nine goals and second with 14 assists. Senior forward Sergio Somma has a team-best 13 goals and eight power-play tallies and is second with 22 points. Junior forward Danny Dries is second in goals (12) and third in points (21). Senior defenseman Shane Sims has a team-best 15 assists and leads the blueliners with 16 points.
In net, junior Cal Heeter has started all 21 games, with a 2.30 goals-against average and .919 save percentage.
Honors Abound After the sweep of the RedHawks, Buckeye junior goalie Cal Heeter was named the InsideCollegeHockey.com Player of the Week, the USCHO.com First Star of the Week and the CCHA Goaltender of the Week, as well as the player of the week for HockeyonCampus.com. Senior forward John Albert was honored as the CCHA Offensive Player of the Week. The team was lauded as the Team of the Week on CollegeHockeyNews.com.
Heeter had a 1.00 goals-against average and .969 save percentage in the Buckeyes’ two wins over Miami combined. Friday he had 40 saves in a 1-0 Buckeye victory, marking his third career shutout. He had 13 saves in the first period, 11 in the second and then 16 in the third to preserve the Buckeye victory. Heeter and the Buckeye penalty kill were 6-for-6, including stopping a 5×3 for 57 seconds in the third. Saturday Heeter allowed just two power-play goals as the Buckeyes came from behind to win, 5-2. He had 13 saves in the second period and stopped all six shots he faced in the third.
In the sweep of the RedHawks, Albert led the Buckeyes with four points on two goals and two assists. He had the primary assist on the lone goal Friday in a 1-0 Buckeye win. Saturday he had the first helper on Brandon Martell’s game-tying goal in the third and then scored the go-ahead goal less than five minutes later. With time winding down he blocked a Miami shot at the Buckeye blueline and skated in alone for an empty-netter to seal the win. Saturday was his second two-goal game of the year and the third of his career.
A Look Back at Last Weekend A tough penalty kill, clutch power-play goal from Sergio Somma and 40 saves from Cal Heeter led Ohio State to a 1-0 win over No. 7/8 Miami Friday in Value City Arena.
Somma put the Buckeyes ahead 1-0 with a power-play tally with just 8.9 seconds remaining in the second period, scoring on the rebound of a John Albert shot, with Alex Szczechura also picking up an assist. In the third, Heeter had 16 saves and the Buckeye penalty kill stopped a 5-on-3 against for nearly a minute as the Buckeyes held on for the second shutout of the season.
It was the first time the RedHawks, who came into the game in the Top 5 in the country in scoring, were shut out this season. Ohio State was the last team to whitewash Miami, after skating to a 0-0 tie with the RedHawks last February in Value City Arena.
The Buckeyes won 5-2 Saturday, coming from behind for five goals in the third period. The Buckeyes trailed 1-0 after the first period (despite outshooting Miami, 11-5) and 2-0 after the second on power-play goals from Alden Hirschfeld and Andy Miele. Ohio State then rallied for five goals in the third period to complete the sweep. Somma put the Buckeyes on the board at 2:21 of the third and Brandon Martell tied the game at 5:24 with his first career goal. At 9:55 Albert, who set up the Martell tally, put Ohio State ahead, 3-2. With time winding down Albert blocked a shot at the Buckeye blueline and scored an empty-net goal at 18:49, with Danny Dries ending the scoring with an empty-net tally of his own at 19:27.
Ohio Cup Champions The series sweep of Miami 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.
Over the Last Six Ohio State is on a six-game winning streak, outscoring opponents 3.7 to 1.8 in the stretch. Danny Dries (6-3-9) and John Albert (4-5-9) lead the Buckeyes with nine points each in the streak, with Dries and Sergio Somma chipping in six goals apiece. Defenseman Shane Sims has seven assists in the last six games combined.
Buckeyes vs. Broncos Ohio State trails the all-time series with the Broncos, 55-67-11, and is behind 25-33-5 in Kalamazoo, but leads in Columbus, 33-30-7.
The Buckeyes won the series last year, 3-0-1, with a sweep at home (4-2, 4-2) and a 3-1 win and 3-3 overtime tie and shootout victory in Kalamazoo Feb. 19-20, 2010.
Seniors John Albert and Peter Boyd have matching 2-4-6 lines in eight career games vs. WMU to lead the Buckeyes.
Bronco Business Western Michigan, on a five-game unbeaten streak (4-0-1) is coming off a shootout win and 2-0 shutout victory on the road at Alaska last weekend. The team is 11-6-5 on the year and has a 5-5-4 ledger in the CCHA. The Broncos are averaging 2.55 goals a game, allowing 2.32 a contest. The power play is at 19.6 percent (21-for-107) and the penalty kill is at 83.3 percent (80-for-96).
Senior Max Campbell is first on the team with 11 goals and 21 points. Freshman Shane Berschbach is first on the squad with 11 assists, tying with classmate Chase Balisy for third on the team with 15 points. Junior Greg Squires is second with 16 points and tied with Campbell and Balisy for second with 10 helpers each.
Sophomore Nick Pisellini has played in 16 games, with a 7-5-4 record, 2.38 goals-against and .899 save percentage. Senior Jerry Kuhn, who played both games at Alaska, is 4-1-1 with a 2.10 gaa and .921 save percentage.
Jeff Blashill, a 1987 Ferris State graduate, is in his first year as the head coach of the Broncos and as a collegiate head coach.
The 20-Point Club • Three Buckeyes have more than 20 points this season – Senior John Albert is first on the squad with 23 points, followed by Sergio Somma with 22 and Danny Dries with 21. • Albert is eighth in the CCHA in points overall, with Somma ninth and Dries 10th. • Somma leads the Buckeyes with 13 goals, tying for second in the CCHA and ranking 17th (tied) in the NCAA in goals per game (.62). Dries is tied for sixth in the league with 12 tallies and is tied for 25th nationally in goals per game (.57). Albert is 13th in the CCHA with nine goals. • With 14 assists, Albert stands ninth (tied) in the CCHA this season. • In conference games only Somma (8g, 7a) and Albert (7g, 8a) are tied for eighth with 15 points each. Somma and Dries are tied for fourth with eight goals each, with Albert tied for ninth with seven. Seven of Somma’s power-play goals this year have come in conference play to rank him first in the league. • Somma has a point in all but five games this year, with Albert posting at least one point in all but six games. • Dries has a team-best six multiple-point games, including a team-best four-point game against Alabama-Huntsville Nov. 5, while Albert and Somma both have five games with multiple points. • Albert now has at least 20 points in all four of his seasons with the Buckeyes, while 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.
Leader on the Blue Line Shane Sims leads Ohio State with 15 assists and is first among Buckeye defensemen with 16 points on the year. He is tied for seventh in the CCHA in helpers in all games, tying for sixth 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 third in scoring among defensemen with a 1-10-11 line. Sims is first with a +12 mark.
Power Play Leaders Sergio Somma is first in the CCHA and tied for second nationally with eight power-play goals, with Dries tying for 24th in the NCAA and second in the CCHA with five PPG. Among CCHA power-play leaders, Shane Sims is tied for third with 10 power-play points (all assists), with Somma (8-1-9), Dries (5-4-9) and Albert (2-7-9) all tied for eighth.
The Buckeyes have at least one power-play goal in five of the last six games and are 19-for-100 (19 percent) this season.
Starting On the Right Foot Ohio State is undefeated (6-0-1) in the first game of its last seven weekend series or tournaments with wins over Alabama-Huntsville, Michigan State, Michigan, Bowling Green, Vermont and Miami and a tie/shootout win with Alaska. The squad opened the year with losses in the first game of the first three series, as well as a loss to Robert Morris in the single game played between the squads.
Between the Pipes Junior goalie Cal Heeter, who has started every Buckeye game this season, had a 1.00 goals-against average and .969 save percentage in the sweep of Miami to drop his goals-against average to 2.30 (from 2.43) and raise his save percentage to .919 (from .913) following the weekend. He had 40 saves in the win Friday, the second time he hit the 40-save mark this season. Heeter has played 1253:51 this season, ranking second nationally behind Pat Nagle of Ferris State and is tied for fourth in the NCAA with 12 wins. Heeter is averaging 27.1 saves this year to rank third in the CCHA.
Defying the Statistics The win Friday over Miami was the first time the Buckeyes were held to less than three goals since the 2-1 loss to Michigan Dec. 4. It was the first time this season Ohio State won when scoring less than three goals.
The Buckeyes are undefeated (10-0) when scoring four or more goals this season but have just two wins, along with one tie, when scoring three or less. The Seniors Ohio State has nine seniors (eight skaters) on the squad, including four of the Top 5 scorers through the first 21 games of the year. The group of Sergio Somma, John Albert, Peter Boyd and Shane Sims has combined for 29 goals, 50 assists and 79 points, with each playing in all 21 games. The other skaters in the class (C.J. Severyn, Chris Reed, Kyle Reed and Corey Toy) have a 6-14-20 line together, each playing in at least 16 games.
The Rookies Four Buckeye freshmen have skated in at least 20 games this season, with each posting at least six points as they have combined for a 12-22-34 line. Forward Alex Szczechura (6g, 6a) leads the rookies with 12 points, followed by defenseman Curtis Gedig with nine points on nine assists. Forward Chris Crane (3g, 4a) has seven points and Alex Lippincott (3g, 3a) has six. Travis Statchuk has been limited to 11 games because of injury and has two assists. Rookie Brendan Arniel played his first game as a Buckeye vs. Alaska Nov. 27.
Getting It Done Late … The Buckeyes are outscoring their opponents in the third period, 29-20, this season. The squad has 32 goals in the first and second periods combined (13 in the first, 19 in the second after a five-goal second vs. Army Jan. 2), and have 32 in the third period (29) and overtime (3) combined. The squad scored a season-high five third-period goals against Miami Saturday.
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 eight 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 113 points, the most for a Buckeye since the 2004 squad when Caponigri had 132 and May had 117. Boyd has 106 points as a Buckeye. Somma leads the current Buckeyes with 47 career goals, while Albert is first with 83 assists for the Scarlet and Gray.
Comeback Kids Ohio State has four wins and a tie this season when trailing after the second period and also has a come-from behind win after trailing in the third period. 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 victory.
The win over the Spartans was the first time Ohio State rallied to win after trailing through the first 20 minutes since Jan. 23, 2010 at Michigan State. In that game they were down 1-0 and pulled out a 4-2 victory.
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. 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.
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.
An All-Star Former Buckeye Ryan 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.
Another Makes his Debut Defenseman Matt Bartkowski, who ended his Buckeye career after last season, skated in his first NHL game Monday, playing on the blueline for the Boston Bruins against his hometown Pittsburgh Penguins. He is the eighth former Buckeye to skate in an NHL game this season.
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.
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.
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. (The only games not currently scheduled to have a video stream are Nov. 26-27 vs. Alaska from Nationwide Arena, but an audio feed will be available.)
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 be back in action Jan. 21-22 when they host Notre Dame for two games in Value City Arena. The teams will meet at 7:05 p.m. both nights.