Ohio State vs. Michigan State Friday, Feb. 4 – 7:35 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5 – 7:05 p.m. Value City Arena – Columbus, Ohio
Follow Along Television – Big Ten Network (Friday) Webcast – OhioStateBuckeyes.com (Saturday) Audio Broadcast – 1460 AM/OhioStateBuckeyes.com Live Stats – OhioStateBuckeyes.com In-game Updates – Twitter.com/OhioState_MHKY
Buckeye Slapshots • The Buckeyes’ inaugural Teddy Bear Toss will be held during the game vs. Michigan State Saturday. • Four Buckeyes have hit the 20-point mark on the year – John Albert is first with 27 points, Sergio Somma is second with 23 and Danny Dries is third with 22 and Peter Boyd has 21 to rank fourth. • Junior goalie Cal Heeter is first in the NCAA in minutes played and ranks third with 723 assists. • Sergio Somma is first in the CCHA and fifth in the NCAA with eight power-play goals. • The Buckeyes are outscoring opponents 35-22 in the third period this year. • Ohio State has four wins and two ties this season when trailing after the second period. The squad is 3-1-2 in overtime and has won both shootouts. • Three of the Buckeyes’ last four regular-season series will be at home, hosting Michigan State, Lake Superior State and Ferris State, with a lone road series at Michigan. • The Buckeye senior class ranks sixth in scoring in the nation this season, combining for 113 pionts and 4.19 points a game.
Drop the Puck The Ohio State men’s hockey team will host Michigan State in a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association series this weekend. The Buckeyes (13-12-2, 8-10-2-2 CCHA) and Spartans (11-13-4, 7-11-2-0 CCHA) will meet at 7:35 p.m. Friday and at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in Value City Arena.
Follow Along The game Friday will be televised live on Big Ten Network with Dan Kelly and former Buckeye Paul Caponigri calling the action. The Saturday contest will be streamed for free online through Buckeye Vision at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
The radio broadcast can be heard in Columbus on 1460 AM or online for free at OhioStateBuckeyes.com with Herb Howenstine and former Buckeye John Mowat calling the action.
Live stats can be linked from the men’s hockey schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Ingame updates are also on Twitter/OhioState_MHKY.
Teddy Bear Toss Saturday The Buckeyes will be hosting a Teddy Bear Toss at the game vs. Michigan State Saturday. Fans are encouraged to bring new teddy bears (wrapped in plastic or in a plastic bag) to the game and small teddy bears will also be sold on the concourse pregame.
After the Buckeyes score their first goal, fans will celebrate by tossing their teddy bears onto the ice. Members of the team will deliver the bears to children at Ronald McDonald House. More information: http://go.osu.edu/tbtoss11.
The Fun Stuff Thundersticks will be handed out to the first 1,000 fans Friday night. Saturday, there will be a postgame autograph session with Corey Toy, Alex Lippincott and Brendan Arniel.
Buckeye Snapshot Ohio State is 13-12-2 this season and 8-10-2-2 in CCHA action. The team is averaging 2.85 goals a game while allowing 2.52. On the power play, the Buckeyes are 22-for-127 (17.3 percent) and on the penalty kill the team is 92-for-115 (80.0 percent).
Senior forward John Albert is first on the team with 27 points and 16 assists, ranking third with 11 goals. Senior forward Sergio Somma is second with 24 points, followed by junior forward Danny Dries with 23. Somma and Dries share the team lead with 13 goals each. Senior Peter Boyd is fourth with 22 points, ranking third with 14 assists. Senior defenseman Shane Sims is second with 15 helpers and leads the blueliners with 17 points.
In net, junior Cal Heeter has started all 27 games, with a 2.41 goals-against average, .919 save percentage and NCAA-best 723 saves.
Flashback The Buckeyes had a tough weekend on the road in Fairbanks, Alaska, last weekend, dropping two games to the host Nanooks. Friday the teams were scoreless through regulation. In overtime, Alaska scored on the power-play 20 seconds into extra time for a 1-0 victory. Cal Heeter made 29 saves in the contest. It was the Buckeyes’ first overtime loss since Nov. 21, 2009 at Ferris State. The team is 3-1-2 in overtime this year. Ohio State was shut out for the second time this season and first time since Nov. 13 at Michigan State. The loss was the Buckeyes’ second-consecutive 1-0 defeat on the Nanooks’ home ice, losing in March 2009 in game three of a CCHA tournament quarterfinal series.
Saturday the teams were tied at 1 in the first period, with Alex Lippincott scoring for the Buckeyes. The Nanooks then went on a five-goal run, ended with Peter Boyd’s goal in the third period for a 6-2 final. Between the Pipes Buckeye junior goalie Cal Heeter leads the country in minutes played (1595:26) and is third with 723 saves. He has a 2.41 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. Heeter played in his 50th game as a Buckeye last Saturday vs. Notre Dame. He has two shutouts this season and has held opponents to two or less goals 14 times.
Heeter is on the ballot for the fan vote for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, the trophy bestowed to the top player in college hockey each year. Visit http://go.osu.edu/hobeyvoteforcal each day to cast a vote for Cal.
Buckeye sophomore Jeff Michael saw his first collegiate action Saturday at Alaska, coming into the game in the second period. He allowed one goal, making six saves. When Michael relieved Heeter, it was the first time Heeter was not between the pipes for the Buckeyes this season.
No. 15 John Albert leads the Buckeyes with 16 assists and 27 points and is third with a career-high tying 11 goals. Albert has at least 20 points in each of his four years skating for the Scarlet and Gray. He has a point in 19-of-27 games on the year, with five multiple-point outings. He is first on the squad with 117 shots, including a career-high tying nine last Friday at Alaska.
The Seniors Ohio State has nine seniors (eight skaters) on the squad, including four of the Top 5 scorers. The group of Sergio Somma, John Albert, Peter Boyd and Shane Sims has combined for 34 goals, 56 assists and 90 points, with each playing in all 25 games. The other skaters in the class (C.J. Severyn, Chris Reed, Kyle Reed and Corey Toy) have a 7-15-22 line together, each playing in at least 20 games.
The Rookies Four Buckeye freshmen have skated in at least 26 games this season, with each posting at least six points as they have combined for a 14-26-40 line. Forward Alex Szczechura (7g, 6a) leads the rookies with 13 points, followed by defenseman Curtis Gedig with 12 points on 12 assists. Forward Chris Crane (3g, 5a) has eight points and Alex Lippincott (4g, 3a) has six, including a tally at Alaska. Travis Statchuk has been limited to 17 games because of injury and has a goal and three assists for four points. Rookie Brendan Arniel played his first game as a Buckeye vs. Alaska Nov. 27.
De-Fense The six goals scored by Alaska Saturday were the most goals allowed by the Buckeyes this season and was just the seventh time this season the squad allowed more than three goals. The team is 17th nationally allowing 2.52 goals a game. It is the lowest goals-against total for the team since the 2005-06 squad allowed 2.36 goals an outing.
On Offense The Buckeyes scored just two goals at Alaska, the lowest total for a two-game series this season. The week before, the squad had a season high tying six goals against Notre Dame to open the series. Ohio State is averaging 2.85 goals a game on the year.
On the power play the team was 0-for-9 against the Nanooks. In the 10 games prior to the series at Alaska, the Buckeyes had at least one power-play goal in eight contests.
Getting It Done Late … The Buckeyes are outscoring their opponents in the third period, 35-22, this season. The squad has 39 goals in the first and second periods combined (16 in the first, 23 in the second after a five-goal second vs. Army Jan. 2), and have 38 in the third period (35) and overtime (3) combined. The squad scored a season-high five third-period goals against Miami Jan. 8.
Buckeyes vs. Spartans Michigan State leads the all-time series with Ohio State, 78-24-8, however, in the last 25 matchups Ohio State is 12-10-3 vs. the Spartans. The teams met earlier this year in East Lansing, splitting the series (OSU 4-3 OT, MSU 4-0). The teams have not met in Columbus since Nov. 7-8, 2008, a series sweep by the Buckeyes (3-0, 3-1). Spartan Stuff Michigan State is 11-13-4 this season, with a 7-11-2-0 ledger in CCHA play. The squad was 1-1 last week, losing at Ferris State, 2-1, last Thursday before defeating Michigan 2-1 in Joe Louis Arena last Saturday. The team averages 2.54 goals a game, while allowing 2.82.
Junior Brett Perlini has a team-high 15 goals and 25 points, with sophomore Derek Grant first with 19 assists and second with 23 points. Sophomore Torey Krug is second in assists (13) and third in points (21). Senior Dustin Gazler stands second with nine goals, followed by Krug with eight.
In net junior Drew Palmisano is 7-12-3 with a 2.94 goals-against average and .904 save percentage. Freshman Will Yanakoff is 4-1-1, with a 1.88 gaa and .936 svpct. Best Wishes Last week, Michigan State head coach Rick Comley announced his retirement, effective at the end of the 2010-11 season. Comley has 778 wins in 38 seasons as a collegiate head coach, one of just five coaches to surpass the 700-win plateau. He ranks among the top five coaches all-time in wins and top three among active coaches. Comley led the Spartans to the NCAA title in 2007, guided Northern Michigan to the national title in 1991 and coached Lake Superior State to the 1974 NAIA National Championship. He was the Spencer Penrose Memorial Trophy winner as the national coach of the year twice and earned league coach of the year accolades four times. Overall, Comley has coached 10 Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalists, 15 All-Americans, four league players of the year, 26 first-team all-league selections, and 85 academic all-league selections.
The Last Time – Buckeyes vs. Spartans The Buckeyes split a series at Michigan State Nov. 13-14 in the first matchup between the schools this year.
In the opener, the Buckeyes came from behind to win 4-3 in overtime on Alex Szczechura’s gamewinner. The Buckeyes trailed 2-1 after the first period (with Szczechura scoring for Ohio State) and were down 3-1 after the second. In the third Chris Crane brought the Buckeyes within one with an unassisted goal and Danny Dries tipped in a Shane Sims shot to knot the score. In OT, Peter Boyd won a faceoff back to Curtis Gedig and his shot was blocked by a Spartan defender. Szczechura was able to gather it, spin and score to lift the Buckeyes to their first overtime win of the year. It was the first overtime game for the squad this year and the first OT victory since a win in game two of a CCHA quarterfinal series with Miami last March.
Saturday the Buckeyes hit the ice ready to go but the Spartans capitalized on three Ohio State mistakes to lead 3-0 after the first period. The teams were scoreless in the second. In the third the Buckeyes pulled goalie Cal Heeter for an extra attacker with more than three minutes remaining but could not get on the scoreboard and the Spartans sealed the win with an empty net goal.
The Century Club – and the Century and a Half 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 six 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 117 points, the most for a Buckeye since the 2004 squad when Caponigri had 132 and May had 117. Boyd has 110 points as a Buckeye. Somma leads the current Buckeyes with 47 career goals, while Albert is first with 85 assists for the Scarlet and Gray. Boyd has 73 assists to rank second.
Albert, Boyd and Somma enter the Michigan State series with 149 career games played each. They look to become the 38th, 39th and 40th Buckeyes to play in at least 150 games all-time. Mark Anderson is the program’s leader with 167 games as a Buckeye from 1985-88. The last Buckeyes to play at least 150 games were Matt McIlvane (156) and Johann Kroll (153), who finished their careers in 2008.
The 20-Point Club • Four Buckeyes have more than 20 points this season – senior John Albert is first on the squad with 27 points, followed by classmate Sergio Somma with 24, junior Danny Dries with 23 and senior Peter Boyd with 22. • Albert is eighth in the CCHA in points overall, with Somma tied for 14th, Dries 17th (tied) and Boyd tied for 21st. • Somma and Dries lead the Buckeyes with 13 goals each, tying for seventh in the CCHA. Albert is 12th (tied) in the CCHA with 11 goals. • With 16 assists, Albert stands ninth (tied) in the CCHA this season. • In conference games only Albert (9g, 10a) is tied for ninth with 19 points, with Somma tied for 16th with 17 points. Albert and Dries are tied for eighth with nine goals each, with Somma tied for 13th with eight. • Dries and Somma each have a team-best six multiple-point games, including a team-best four-point game for Dries against Alabama-Huntsville Nov. 5. Albert and Boyd have five games with multiple points, with Boyd posting two or more in four contests. • Albert and Boyd both now have at least 20 points in all four of their seasons with the Buckeyes. 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.
Power Play Leaders Sergio Somma is first in the CCHA and tied for fifth nationally with eight power-play goals, with Dries tied for fifth in the CCHA with five PPG. Among CCHA power-play leaders, Shane Sims is tied for fifth with 11 power-play points (1g, 10a), with Dries (5-5-10) and Albert (2-8-10) tied for ninth.
Leader on the Blue Line Shane Sims is first among Buckeye defensemen with 17 points on the year. He is second on the team with 16 assists, tying for 12th in the CCHA in helpers in all games. Among conference defensemen Sims is tied for second in points, ranking first (tied) in helpers. In CCHA games only Sims is tied for seventh in scoring among defensemen with a 2-10-12 line. He is first for the Buckeyes with a +12 mark.
Buckeye This and That • Every Buckeye skater that has played at least two games this season has at least one point. Seventeen have scored a goal, with 21 recording at least one assist. • The Buckeyes have six unassisted goals this year, with John Albert netting half. The squad has allowed two unassisted tallies this season. • Ohio State has just one road series remaining after this weekend. The squad closes out the regular season with a series at home three of the last four weeks. • Shane Sims leads the Buckeyes with 55 recorded blocked shots; Curtis Gedig is second with 31. • The Buckeyes are 5-1-0 when leading after the first period, but 5-6-1 when even after 20 minutes and 3-5-1 when trailing after the first stanza. • Curtis Gedig is second among CCHA rookie defensemen in scoring with 12 points and is first among freshmen blueliners with 12 assists. • Ohio State had 40 shots at Alaska last Saturday, the first time it hit the 40-shot mark since posting 41 and 49 against Alabama-Huntsville Nov. 5-6. • The Buckeyes have just two losses in their last 10 games to open a weekend. The squad is 7-2-1 in the last 10, with the losses Jan. 14 at Western Michigan and Jan. 29 at Alaska and a tie vs. Alaska. Included in the seven wins are three overtime victories.
Comeback Kids Ohio State has four wins and two ties this season when trailing after the second period and also has a come-from behind win after trailing in the third period.
Jan. 15 at Western Michigan the Buckeyes were down 2-1 after the second period but a Jeff McNeil tally tied the score and Ohio State went on to win the shootout.
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 win.
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.
Heeter was named the national player of the week by InsideCollegeHockey and the USCHO.Com First Star of the Week after the Buckeyes swept Miami Jan. 7-8. Overtime Again? The Buckeyes are 3-1-2 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 loss in overtime was last Friday at Alaska (1-0).
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.
Ohio Cup Champions The series sweep of Miami Jan. 7-8 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. Miami was second with a 2-2 ledger, with the Falcons 0-4.
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 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.
Kesler – now an alternate captain for the Canucks – was named to the 2011 NHL All-Star Game Tuesday. He was the first former Ohio State player to skate in the league’s all-star event.
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 and played two games against his hometown Pittsburgh Penguins before he was assigned to Providence.
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.
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.
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.
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 travel to Michigan for their final regular-season road series. The teams will meet at 7:35 p.m. Feb. 11-12, with both games live on Big Ten Network.