At 6-2-1 in its last nine games, Ohio State takes on Huskies at OSU Ice Rink Friday and Saturday
COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State women’s hockey team wraps up its only set of back-to-back home series when the Buckeyes face St. Cloud State for a Western College Hockey Association matchup, Nov. 23-24. Games begin Friday at 7:07 p.m. and Saturday at 4:07 p.m. at the OSU Ice Rink.
Ohio State (7-5-2, 4-4-2 WCHA) is coming off a home sweep of Providence in a nonconference series last weekend while St. Cloud State (7-4-3, 4-4-2 WCHA) took both games at Boston University. The Buckeyes and Huskies are tied for fourth in the league with 10 points, just a point behind the two teams tied for second.
KEEPING AN EYE ON THINGS
Live scoring for both of the Ohio State-St. Cloud State games is available at the official Web site of Ohio State athletics. Links are available on the women’s hockey schedule page on www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com.
COUNTDOWN TO 200
The two wins by Ohio State against Providence increased head coach Jackie Barto’s career total to 199. She is one victory shy from becoming just the seventh active Division I coach to reach the 200-win milestone. Barto, in her 13th season, has a career record of 199-201-40 with a 129-148-30 record in nine years at Ohio State. Barto, the first and only head coach in OSU women’s hockey history, reached her 100th Ohio State win Jan. 28, 2006, vs. Minnesota at the OSU Ice Rink. Prior to Ohio State, she spent five years coaching at Providence College.
A WELCOMED HOMECOMING
The Ohio State series at Minnesota State (Nov. 9-10) was its fourth road series in the opening six weeks of the season, including tough series at nationally-ranked Wisconsin and Connecticut. This weekend, the Buckeyes will continue their homestand with a WCHA series against St. Cloud State, after hosting a nonconference series vs. Providence, Nov. 16-17. The two series are Ohio State’s only back-to-back home series this season.
HOME SWEET HOME
Home ice has been welcoming for Ohio State this season with a 5-1-0 record at the OSU Ice Rink. After dropping the home opener to Minnesota, the Buckeyes have won their last five home games and have outscored their opponents 26-13 in Columbus. Junior goaltender Liana Bonanno must like the home ice as well, with a 5-0-0 record, 1.73 GAA and .942 save percentage in six games played.
The Buckeyes have a slight edge in the St. Cloud State series at 18-15-3, although SCSU was 2-1-1 against them last season. Ohio State has an 8-6-2 record vs. the Huskies at the OSU Ice Rink, including a 6-1 win the last time the two teams met in Columbus.
Senior defenseman Lisa Chesson leads Ohio State with 13 points (4g, 9a) vs. the Huskies.
A LOOK AT THE COMPETITION
St. Cloud State and Ohio State are tied for fourth in the WCHA with 10 points and an identical 4-4-2 record. The Huskies, 7-4-3 overall, are 5-1-2 in their last eight games including a three-game win streak. Leading SCSU in scoring are three sophomores, with Meaghan Pezon taking the top spot in points (13) and goals (8). Caitlin Hogan has a team-high nine assists. Senior Kendall Newell has started the majority of the games for the Huskies with a 5-3-2 record, a 2.16 goals-against average and .928 save percentage.
LAST TIME OUT
Ohio State bounced back from a two-game skid with a sweep of Providence in a nonconference series, Nov. 16-17. The Buckeyes won 2-1 Friday and 4-1 Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink. Sophomore Michele Tonnessen opened the scoring for the Buckeyes Friday and assisted on the game-winning goal by freshman Jenna Kilpatrick for her first multiple-point game of her career. Also recording firsts in game one were sophomore Colleen Olson and freshman Sandy Nelson. Both assisted Tonnessen on her goal for their first career points as a Buckeye.
Senior Erin Keys led the OSU offense in the second game, scoring twice and adding an assist for a three-point performance. Fellow senior Mallory Peckels also had a multi-point game with a goal and assist.
NOTING THE PROVIDENCE SERIES
* The sweep was the second of the season for Ohio State. It also improved the record against Providence to 3-1-0 all-time after not meeting since 2002.
* The series was the second against a Hockey East opponent this season, as the Buckeyes opened the season at Connecticut. OSU is 3-1-0 in nonconference games this year.
* With Nelson’s assist, all six of Ohio State’s true freshmen have recorded a point through 14 games this season, including goaltender Deidre Facklis.
SHUT THEM DOWN
Against the Friars, the Ohio State penalty kill was a perfect 15-of-15. The game Saturday was the third in a row for OSU without allowing a power play goal and the eighth time this season an opponent has been held scoreless with the man-advantage. The Buckeyes have successfully killed on 48 of their last 51 penalties.
Junior goaltender Liana Bonanno allowed just one goal in each game against Providence to backstop the Buckeyes to a sweep of the Friars. The Mount Sinai, N.Y., native had 26 saves in the first game and 31 in the second game for a total of 57 on the weekend and a .966 save percentage. The 31-save game Saturday was her fourth contest with 30-plus saves this season and the 14th overall of her career. She is averaging 23.6 saves per game this season.
Bonanno helped offensively as well against Providence with an assist, her second of the season, Saturday. She passed the puck up to Erin Keys who sailed it into an empty net to seal the 4-1 win.
Senior forward Erin Keys had three points Saturday to cap off a sweep of Providence. The senior forward from St. Paul, Minn., assisted on the opening goal before scoring twice to lead the Buckeyes to a 4-1 victory. She scored the second goal, which ended up being the game-winner, and sealed the win and sweep with an empty-net goal as time was expiring.
The game was Keys’ fifth multi-point one of the season. Over the last seven games, she has amassed 11 points to vault up to a tie for second in overall scoring in the WCHA with 17 points. She also has increased her career point total to 88 to move into sixth all-time in the OSU record books.
Two Buckeyes rank among the Top 3 in the overall scoring in the WCHA. Seniors Tessa Bonhomme continues to lead the league with 19 points while Erin Keys vaulted up to a tie for second with 17. Junior Hayley Klassen also is in the Top 10 with 12 points to tie for ninth. Bonhomme maintained her standing at the top of the assists column as well with 12, while Keys is tied for seventh with eight.
Although the OSU power play has struggled this season, Bonhomme has five points with the man-advantage to tie for fifth and stand only two points back from the leaders. She also has scored twice while shorthanded for a total of seven special-team points.
SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE
Ohio State was without head coach Jackie Barto and senior defenseman Lisa Chesson for the Minnesota State series, Nov. 9-10. The two were competing with Team USA in the Four Nations Cup, Nov. 7-11 in Leksand, Sweden. Barto led the U.S. Women’s Select Team to the championship game and a second-place finish in the event.
In June, Barto was named head coach of both the U.S. Select Team and the U.S. National Team, which she will lead in the 2008 World Women’s Championships in April. Chesson was named to the 2007 U.S. Women’s Select Team on Oct. 16. She and Team USA will face off against the national teams from Canada, Sweden and Finland. In August, Chesson became just the second Buckeye to be named to the U.S. Under-22 Team. She is the first student-athlete in Ohio State women’s hockey history to be named to the U.S. Women’s Select Team.
BONHOMME NABS SECOND WCHA DEFENSIVE P.O.W. AWARD
Senior defenseman Tessa Bonhomme nabbed consecutive WCHA Defensive Player of the Week awards Nov. 6 and 13, the fifth and sixth weekly conference awards of her career.
Bonhomme, a native of Sudbury, Ontario, led the Buckeyes with five points in the sweep of Bemidji State, Nov. 2-3. The team captain set up three goals in game one and followed with two assists in game two for the fifth and sixth multiple-point games of the season just 10 games into the schedule.
Bonhomme then made history with her three points (1g, 2a) in the Minnesota State series, Nov. 9-10. She increased her career point total to 101 to become just the fourth Buckeye in program history to reach the 100-point milestone. Bonhomme also is just the fourth defenseman in the WCHA to achieve the mark, joining former defensive partner Amber Bowman (102 points).
MOVING ON UP
With an assist vs. Providence, senior defenseman Tessa Bonhomme tied the OSU career record for defenseman scoring with 102 points. She is tied with former defensive partner Amber Bowman (2004-07) and the two rank third in overall career scoring for the Buckeyes. Bonhomme also is tied for sixth in goals (33), fourth in assists (69), fifth in power play goals (15) and sixth in power play points (49).
LEADING THE WAY
Senior defenseman Tessa Bonhomme was voted team captain for the 2007-08 season, announced at the team banquet in the spring. Along with three seniors, Bonhomme was one of four captains in 2006-07. Wearing the A’ for the Buckeyes this season is a trio of seniors in forwards Jody Heywood and Mallory Peckels and defenseman Lisa Chesson. It is the first OSU captain honor for all three.
Ohio State breaks for a weekend before traveling to Minnesota Duluth, Dec. 8-9 to wrap up the 2007 schedule. The teams will face off at 3:37 p.m. (CT) Saturday and 3:07 p.m. Sunday at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.
The Buckeyes will then begin the 2008 slate Jan. 4-5 with a WCHA home series against North Dakota.