Drop the Puck Ohio State returns to Central Collegiate Hockey Association play with a two-game series at No. 16 Michigan State this weekend. The Buckeyes (4-5-0, 1-3-0-0 CCHA) and Spartans (3-2-3, 1-2-1-0 CCHA) will meet at 6:35 p.m. Friday and at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich.
Both games will be webcast online through MSUSpartans.com for a fee. The Friday game will be broadcast by Comcast Television in Michigan. Michigan State radio will broadcast both games at spartansportsnetwork.com. Ohio State radio, with Herb Howenstine and John Mowat on the call, will broadcast the Saturday game online. The game can be heard in Columbus on 1460 AM or online for free at OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Live stats can be found on MSUSpartans.com. Links to all audio, video and stats can also be found on the men’s hockey schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Flashback The Buckeyes swept Alabama-Huntsville last weekend in Value City Arena, with 6-2 and 5-1 victories.
With four goals and nine points from the line of Danny Dries, Peter Boyd and Alex Szczechura, Ohio State beat Alabama-Huntsville, 6-2, in the series opener Friday night. Dries had four points on a goal and three assists, Boyd chipped in two goals and a helper for three points and Szczechura had two points with his first career goal and an assist.
The Buckeyes led 2-0 after the first before the Chargers cut the lead to one with the only goal of the second period. In the third, the Buckeyes scored twice in the first 3:25 to extend the lead to 4-1 and outscored UAH 2-1 the rest of the way for the non-conference win.
Saturday, the Buckeyes led 1-0 after the first period. The Chargers tied the game two minutes into the second period but the Buckeyes scored four unanswered, with two goals in both the second and third periods, en route to the win and series sweep. Freshmen Alex Lippincott (2a) and Chris Crane (1g, 1a) and senior C.J. Severyn (1g, 1a) had two points in the win.
Happy 100th Senior John Albert marked his 100th career point with a third-period assist on Chris Crane’s power-play tally Saturday vs. Alabama-Huntsville. He is the 52nd Buckeye to join the ‘Century Club’ and the first since Tom Fritsche in 2008. Albert has 24 goals and 76 assists in 131 games as a Buckeye.
Buckeye Snapshot Ohio State is 4-5 this season, sweeping Alabama-Huntsville, splitting series with both Quinnipiac and Ferris State and dropping games to Robert Morris and Northern Michigan. The team is averaging 3.22 goals a game while allowing 2.22. On the power play, the Buckeyes are 10-for-41 (24.4 percent) and on the penalty kill the team is 33-for-44 (82.5 percent). Senior forwards Sergio Somma and John Albert share the team lead with 10 points each. Somma has a team-best six goals, with Albert recording a squad-high seven assists, followed by senior defenseman Shane Sims with six. In net Cal Heeter has started all nine games, with a 2.25 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.
Buckeyes vs. Spartans Michigan State leads the all-time series with Ohio State, 77-23-8, however, in the last 23 matchups Ohio State is 11-9-3.
In East Lansing the Spartans hold a 43-7-3 lead, but the Buckeyes are 5-4-1 on MSU’s home ice since 2003, with the last four games between the teams on MSU’s home ice. The squads split a series last January (MSU 5-2, OSU 4-2) and Ohio State was 0-1-1 with a shootout loss Feb. 13-14, 2009 (1-1 OT, MSU 2-1).
The teams will face off later this season, meeting in Columbus in February. Michigan State has two extra wins listed in its series record with Ohio State, as it includes two games from the 1957-58 season the Buckeyes do not.
Spartan Stuff Michigan State enters the weekend ranked 16th nationally with a 3-2-3 ledger. The squad began the year 3-0-3 before dropping two games on the road at Western Michigan last weekend (4-3, 3-1).
The team is averaging 2.75 goals a game while allowing 2.5. On the power play Michigan State is 7-for-43 (16.3 percent), while on the penalty kill the squad is 29-for-38 (76.3 percent).
Junior Brett Perlini has a team-best six goals and shares the point lead with senior Dustin Gazley with seven each. Sophomore Torey Krug has a team-high five assists and is third with six points. In net Drew Palmisano has played in all eight games and has a 2.31 goals-against average and .914 save percentage.
Top 20 The Buckeyes are in the Top 20 nationally in power play success (24.4 percent/8th), team defense (2.22 goals allowed per game/11th), team offense (3.22 goals per game/19th), scoring margin (+1.00/12th) and combined special teams (53.1 percent/17th).
5 Points = Player of the Week After recording five points in the sweep of Alabama-Huntsville, junior forward Danny Dries was named the CCHA Offensive Player of the Week.
In the Buckeyes’ 6-2 win Friday, Dries had a team season-high three assists and four points, his first multiple point game as a Buckeye. He scored on the power play in the first period to put Ohio State up by two and had a second-period assist. He then added two first assists in the third period, leading to his first multiple-point game as a Buckeye. Saturday Dries had an assist in the second period as the Buckeyes won, 5-1. He was +3 in the series and had a team-high 12 shots.
Dries is the third Buckeye to earn league player of the week honors this season. Cal Heeter was the CCHA Goaltender of the Week Oct. 11, while defenseman Curtis Gedig was the conference rookie of the week Oct. 25.
Next Up for No. 100 Senior Peter Boyd is the next Buckeye to close in on the 100-point mark after classmate John Albert hit the mark Saturday. Boyd has 95 points as a Buckeye, with 32 goals and 63 assists. The last Buckeye team to have more than one player pass the 100-point mark was 2004 (Paul Caponigri, Scott May and Dave Steckel). Albert was the 52nd Buckeye (and first since 2008) to to join the ‘Century Club’.
Consistent Sergio Somma is first on the team with a point in six of eight games on the year. John Albert, C.J. Severyn, Peter Boyd and Devon Krogh all have points in five of eight games this season.
Albert (3a, 3p), Shane Sims (3a, 3p), Somma (2g, 1a, 3p) and Alex Szczechura (2g, 2a, 4p) all enter the Michigan State series on three-game point streaks. Curtis Gedig (2a, 2p), Alex Lippincott (1g, 2a), Danny Dries (1g, 4a, 5p), Severyn (1g, 2a, 3a) and Chris Crane (1g, 2a, 3p) each have points in their last two games.
The Rookies Five Buckeye freshmen have skated in at least eight games this season, with each posting at least two points. Against Alabama-Huntsville the group combined for 12 points and the quartet now has 19 points on six goals and 13 assists. Defenseman Curtis Gedig leads the rookies with five assists and points. Chris Crane, Alex Lippincott and Alex Szczechura each have four points, while Travis Statchuk has two assists. Three had multiple-point games vs. UAH – Lippincott had two assists in game two, while Szczechura had a 1-1-2 line in game one and Crane posted 1-1-2 in game two.
Crane’s assist vs. UAH Friday was his first as a Buckeye, while Szczechura had his first collegiate goal in the opener.
Noting the Series vs. Alabama-Huntsville • In the series with the Chargers 14 of 19 Buckeye skaters had at least one point, with nine scoring a goal. Five Buckeyes had three points in the sweep, with four others posting two. All but four skaters were +1 or better in the two games combined. • It was the Buckeyes’ first regular-season home sweep since taking two from Western Michigan Nov. 13-14, 2009. • Alabama-Huntsville had 35 shots on net in the series. Friday, the Chargers put just 15 shots (5 in each period) on the Buckeye net, the lowest for an Ohio State opponent since Northern Michigan had 14 Oct. 28, 2006 in Marquette. • The six goals Friday vs. UAH were a season high for the Buckeyes and the 11 goals in the series were a team-best this year. • After 41 shots Friday (including 18 in the first period), the Buckeyes outshot the Chargers, 49-21, Saturday, with 20 shots in the middle period. • The win Friday was the Buckeyes’ first over Alabama-Huntsville and the series is now tied 2-2-1. All five games have been in Columbus. • Freshmen had 12 points in the series vs. the Chargers, with Alex Szczechura (2g, 1a), Chris Crane (1g, 2a) and Alex Lippincott (1g, 2a) each posting three points. Defenseman Curtis Gedig had two assists, while Travis Statchuk played just Friday and had a helper. • The series was the first two-game series for the Buckeyes in Columbus this season. The team played six of its first seven games on the road to open the campaign. • Junior Danny Dries had his first multiple-point game as a Buckeye with four points in the win Friday. It was the first four-point game for a Buckeye this season. • Senior Peter Boyd had his first multiple-point game of the year with three points Friday (2g, 1a). • Sophomore Paul Kirtland’s goal Saturday was his first since Nov. 13, 2009 vs. Western Michigan, while junior Cory Schneider lit the lamp for the first time since Feb. 12, 2010 vs. Alaska. Senior Peter Boyd had his first two-goal game since March 7, 2009 vs. Bowling Green.
So Close All five losses for the Buckeyes this season have been by one goal. They fell 2-1 in three games (Oct. 8 at Quinnipiac, Oct. 22 at Ferris State and Oct. 29 at Northern Michigan) and 4-3 against Robert Morris Oct. 15 and at Northern Michigan Oct. 30.
On the PP The Buckeye power play was 3-for-12 in the series against Alabama-Huntsville and now is 10-for-41 on the year (24.4 percent) to rank eighth nationally. Sergio Somma, John Albert, Danny Dries and Peter Boyd each have two power-play tallies to lead the squad.
Six for Nine Senior Sergio Somma has a goal in six of nine games to start the year, going scoreless only in the first games at Ferris State and Northern Michigan and in the second game vs. Alabama-Huntsville. Somma, who has a team-high six goals, tied for second on the squad with 15 goals a season ago and was the team’s top returning goal scorer. He is tied for fourth in the CCHA in goal scoring so far this season.
Buckeye This and That Sophomore defenseman Devon Krogh is +1 or better in all but one game this season and is first on the squad with a +6 mark … the Buckeyes lead the CCHA, averaging 33.2 shots per game … 18 of 21 Buckeye skaters have at least one point this season … the Buckeyes have outscored opponents 10-4 in the first period and 13-6 in the third period this season, but have been outscored in the middle stanza, 10-6 … freshman defenseman Curtis Gedig was a team season-high +3 Friday vs. UAH … senior defensemen Chris Reed and Shane Sims were each +2 in both games vs. Alabama-Huntsville … Sims is first on the squad with 15 blocked shots this season and ranks second with a +5 mark.
Wearing the C Seniors John Albert, Peter Boyd and Sergio Somma and junior Sean Duddy have been elected captains for the Ohio State men’s hockey team this season. The players, who were voted on by their teammates, will 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 will 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.
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. He is currently with the Providence Bruins. Guenin cleared waivers and was with the Springfield Falcons.
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, where he has since been named an alternate captain. He joined former 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/Chicago) and Dave Caruso (ECHL Trenton/New Jersey). Hunter Bishop, the third Buckeye to sign an NHL contract after 2009-10, was in camp with Montreal but was recently assigned to Wheeling in the ECHL after suffering an injury in training camp. Dalpe played in seven games for the Hurricanes, posting an assist, but was sent down to AHL Charlotte last week.
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)
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 on the team, email BuckeyeHockeyReport@buckeyes.ath.ohio-state.edu.