vs. Robert Morris
Friday, Nov. 16 – 8:05 p.m.
Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Sunday, Nov. 18 – 2:05 p.m.
Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Tom Fritsche scored his second goal, and second shorthanded goal, of the season against Nebraska-Omaha last Thursday. He is tied with Denver’s Tyler Bozak for the national lead in SHG. Fritsche now has three shorthanded goals in his career.
Freshman goalie Dustin Carlson saw his first playing time Nov. 8 vs. Nebraska-Omaha and made his first career start the next day. He was the 13th Buckeye freshman to play this season.
Freshmen Erick Belanger (Nov. 8) and C.J. Severyn (Nov. 9) both had their first points as Buckeyes with assists vs. UNO, while Patrick Schafer (Nov. 8) and Todd Rudasill (Nov. 9) each had their first career assists vs. the Mavericks. Eight Buckeye rookies have at least one point this year. Peter Boyd leads the way with three points.
Rookies John Albert, Peter Boyd and Sergio Somma have all seen action in each of the first 10 games this year.
Former Buckeye and current New Jersey Devil Rod Pelley (2003-06) scored his first career NHL goal against the Philadelphia Flyers Nov. 8. Pelley has played in 15 games for the Devils, posting a goal and two assists for three points. He is the fourth Buckeye with a goal in the NHL this season, joining R.J. Umberger, Ryan Kesler and Dave Steckel.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State men’s hockey team (2-8, 0-6 CCHA) will face non-conference foe Robert Morris (5-3-0, 3-1-0 CHA) twice this weekend. The teams will meet at 8:05 p.m. Friday in the Pittsburgh College Hockey Showcase at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. The squads will close out the series at 2:05 p.m. Sunday in Value City Arena in Columbus.
WOSU Radio (820 AM Columbus/wosu.org) will carry both Ohio State games live. Herb Howenstine (Friday) and Neil Sika (Sunday) will call the action, with former Buckeye John Mowat providing analysis.
Live statistics from the game Sunday can be accessed from the men’s hockey schedule page online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com. In addition, a video feed of the game will be available; check OhioStateBuckeyes.com for subscription information.
After the Buckeyes’ game vs. Robert Morris Sunday, the three Buckeye sophomores – Nick Filion, Joseph Palmer and Mathieu Picard – will take part in a Meet the Buckeyes autograph session.
Last Time Out
The Buckeyes lost two 5-2 games at home to Nebraska-Omaha last weekend.
In the opener Nov. 8, the teams were scoreless after the first period before combining for six goals in the first 12:25 of the second period. UNO opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 1:12 before Mathieu Picard tied the score 1:46 later. UNO then scored three-consecutive goals, with a shorthanded score at 6:11, an even-strength tally at 8:39 and a power-play goal at 8:39. Buckeye Tom Fritsche added a shorthanded goal at 12:25 to cut the UNO lead to 4-2. The Mavericks scored the only goal of the third period at 16:26 on the power play.
Nov. 9, UNO scored the only goal of the first period at 10:50 on the power play. The Mavericks then scored twice in the first 3:13 of the second to take a 3-0 lead. Buckeye freshman Peter Boyd tallied at 3:50 on the power play to cut the UNO margin to two (3-1). In the third, Mick Lawrence put the Mavericks back ahead by three with a power-play tally at 2:13. Buckeye Matt McIlvane scored at 8:00, but UNO’s Ed Del Gross ended the scoring at 14:26 for the 5-2 final.
A Buckeye Brief
Ohio State is 2-8 on the year and looking to stop an eight-game losing streak. The squad is averaging 1.7 goals a game, with two goals in each of its last three outings, while allowing 3.7. The squad has given up four or more goals in each of its last four games.
The Buckeyes have converted 14.5 percent of their power-play chances (8/55) and have stopped their opponents on 79.2 percent of their opportunities (42/53).
Seniors Tom Fritsche and Matt McIlvane share the team lead in assists (4) and points (6). Senior Tommy Goebel is third with five points, including three assists. Freshman Peter Boyd has a team-high three goals and is fourth with four points.
In net, sophomore Joseph Palmer started the first nine games, with a 3.66 goals-against average and .881 save percentage. Freshman Dustin Carlson has played in two games, including one start, with a 3.83 gaa and .857 svpct. Sophomore Nick Filion saw action in one game with a 3.83 gaa and .857 svpct.
Ohio State and Robert Morris will meet on the ice for the first time Friday.
We’ve Been Here Before
Ohio State will face Robert Morris in Mellon Arena, home of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, Friday. The Buckeyes also played in the arena Jan. 3, 2003, posting a 4-1 win over Princeton.
Value City Arena, the Buckeyes’ home rink, has a seating capacity of 17,500, while Mellon Arena seats 16,940.
The Keystone State
Two Buckeye freshmen hail from the state of Pennsylvania.
Sergio Somma is a native of Pittsburgh and graduated from Plum Senior High in 2005. He won the 2001 Quebec International Pee Wee Tournament with the Pittsburgh Amateur Penguins.
C.J. Severyn is a native of Beaver, Pa., located northwest of Pittsburgh. He played for the Pittsburgh Hornets in 2004-05.
Senior John Dingle played for the now-defunct Pittsburgh Forge in the North American Hockey League in 2002-03, winning a national title with the squad.
Buckeye assistant coach Jason Lammers also is a Pittsburgh native and recently was inducted into the North Allegheny Athletic Hall of Fame.
Nice to Meet You
Robert Morris is one of 10 current Division I teams Ohio State has never faced entering the season. The Buckeyes have never played Harvard, but will go up against the Crimson in the opening round of the Ohio Hockey Classic Dec. 29.
The other programs Ohio State has never faced are American International, Army, Bentley, Canisius, Connecticut, Rochester Institute of Technology, Bemidji State and Northeastern.
Robert Morris is a member of College Hockey America, where it is joined by Alabama-Huntsville, Bemidji State, Niagara and Wayne State. Ohio State is 6-3-1 all-time vs. current CHA schools (0-2-1 vs. UAH, 1-1 vs. Niagara, 3-0 vs. Wayne State).
A Look at RMU
Robert Morris, in its fourth year as a member of NCAA Division I, is 5-3-0 this season. The team opened the year by winning the Nye Frontier Classic in Anchorage, Alaska, with wins over Boston University (3-2) and Wayne State (4-1). RMU was swept on the road at Wisconsin Oct. 19-20.
RMU is 3-1-0 in conference play, with a sweep over Wayne State at home Oct. 26-27 and a series split with Niagara in Pittsburgh last week (L 4-0, W 4-2).
The Colonials are averaging 2.75 goals a game, while allowing 3.25. The squad has converted 20.8 percent of its power-play chances (11/53), while stopping 78.4 percent of its opponents’ opportunities (40/51).
Senior Ryan Cruthers has a team-best five goals and 10 points this season. Junior Chris Margott is second with eight points and has a team-best seven assists. Junior Jason Towsley is third with seven points and second with four goals.
In net, senior Christian Boucher has played in seven games, with a 5-2-0 ledger, 2.03 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. Junior Wes Russell has an 0-1-0 record, 8.08 GAA and .806 svpct. in three games.
Derek Schooley, a 1994 graduate of Western Michigan, is in his fourth year as a collegiate head coach and at Robert Morris. He has a career record of 39-63-9.
Senior Tom Fritsche scored his second goal of the season Nov. 8 against Nebraska-Omaha, with both coming shorthanded. He is one of just four players nationally, and the only CCHA player, to enter the weekend with two SHG this season. It is a career-best total for Fritsche, who has three shorties in his career.
No. 28 Gets It
Junior Nick Biondo’s helper on the power play against Nebraska-Omaha last Friday was his first point of the season. It was his first helper since Feb. 9, 2006 vs. Michigan State.
Senior captain Matt McIlvane had his second two-point game of the season with a goal and an assist vs. Nebraska-Omaha Nov. 9. McIlvane, who is tied with classmate Tom Fritsche for the team assist (four) and point (six) leads, had a team-high three points in the series vs. the Mavericks.
They’re Getting Younger
Dustin Carlson was the 13th Buckeye freshman to see game action for the Buckeyes this season when he faced Nebraska-Omaha last Thursday.
Rookies John Albert, Peter Boyd and Sergio Somma have seen action in all 10 games this year. Chris Reed has played in nine games, while Shane Sims has seen action in eight contests. Three Buckeye rookies – Kyle Reed, Patrick Schafer and C.J. Severyn have played in seven games, followed by Erick Belanger and Corey Toy with six games played each. Brad Gorham and Todd Rudasill have played in three games and Carlson has played in two games.
Tom Fritsche, a senior from Parma, Ohio, has 94 career points (28g, 64a) to lead all current Buckeyes, including a goal and an assist in the opener vs. Nebraska-Omaha last week. He can become the first Buckeye to reach the 100-point mark since 2003-04, when Paul Caponigri, Scott May and Dave Steckel all reached the century mark.
Fritsche’s two-point game vs. Nebraska-Omaha was his first of the season and his first multiple-point game since posting two assists vs. Michigan Feb. 23.
A Team Effort
Nineteen Buckeyes have at least one point this season, with 11 scoring a goal and 15 having an assist. Seven Buckeyes have at least one goal and one assist this year.
In the Bigs
Former Buckeye and current Washington Capital Dave Steckel, who played for the Buckeyes from 2001-04, has played in 29 career NHL games, including 17 this season. He leads all NHL rookies and ranks 21st in the NHL in faceoffs (54.5%). In addition, he ranks fifth in the NHL and second among all forwards with 4:57 of shorthanded ice time per game. Steckel scored his first National Hockey League goal Oct. 24 vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Rod Pelley, a Buckeye from 2003-06, and a member of the New Jersey Devils this season, now has three points this season after tallying his first career goal last week. He played nine games for the Devils last season and has seen action in 17 NHL contests this year. He had a season-high 17:12 on ice vs. Pittsburgh Monday in his last time out.
R.J. Umberger, a member of the Philadelphia Flyers this season, has played in 15 games and has two goals and seven assists for nine points. A Buckeye from 2001-03, he has seen action in 169 career NHL games and has 38 goals, 37 assists and 75 points.
Ryan Kesler, the fourth former Buckeye currently in the NHL, has 3-6-9 totals in 16 games for the Vancouver Canucks this season. A Buckeye in 2003, he has played in 174 career games in the NHL, with 21 goals, 32 assists and 53 points.
Nate Guenin, who played at Ohio State from 2003-06, has spent time both with both the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) and Phantoms (AHL) this season. He has played in two NHL games this year after playing in nine a season ago.
Buckeye senior John Dingle played in his 100th career game in the opener at Minnesota Oct. 25 and now has played in 104 collegiate contests. He is the sixth current Buckeye to hit the 100 games played mark at Ohio State, joining Johann Kroll (128), Matt McIlvane (125), Jason DeSantis (113), Kyle Hood (110) and Tom Fritsche (108). Tommy Goebel has played in 117 collegiate games, with 76 at Michigan State and 41 at Ohio State.
Starting Off Right
Ten Buckeye freshmen played in their first career games in the Lefty tournament defensemen Erick Belanger, Chris Reed and Corey Toy and forwards John Albert, Peter Boyd, Kyle Reed, Patrick Schafer, C.J. Severyn, Shane Sims and Sergio Somma. Goalie Dustin Carlson also dressed, but did not play in the tourney.
Three Buckeyes had points in their first collegiate games – Boyd (goal) and Albert (assist) vs. Mercyhurst and Schafer (goal) against Wisconsin. They were the first Buckeye freshmen to score points in their first collegiate games since NHL first-round draft picks R.J. Umberger had a goal and two assists and Dave Steckel had two goals at Northern Michigan Oct. 13, 2000.
Freshman Brad Gorham saw action in his first collegiate game at Miami Oct. 21, Todd Rudasill made his collegiate debut vs. Ferris State Nov. 4 and Dustin Carlson saw his first minutes for the Scarlet and Gray against Nebraska-Omaha Nov. 8.
Boyd and Hood Named CCHA Players of the Week
Peter Boyd and Kyle Hood were named CCHA Rookie and Defenseman of the Week, respectively, the Central Collegiate Hockey Association announced Oct. 15. The duo helped the Buckeyes win the Lefty McFadden College Hockey Invitational title over the weekend at the E.J. Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio.
Boyd, a forward from Cambridge-Narrows, New Brunswick, scored the gamewinning goal against Mercyhurst in his first collegiate game, breaking a 1-all tie midway through the third period. Against Wisconsin, Boyd had the primary assist on senior John Dingle’s late second-period goal that broke a 3-all tie and stood as the gamewinner in OSU’s 5-3 victory. Boyd had eight shots on the weekend and helped the Buckeye power play convert 4-of-11 (.364) chances in the tournament.
Hood, a native of Osoyoos, British Columbia, blocked three shots in the win over Mercyhurst. Against Wisconsin in the championship game, he assisted on the first two Buckeye goals, as Ohio State jumped out to a 2-0 lead less than four minutes into the game. His two assists matched his career high, set three times earlier. This is the first league weekly honor for Hood.
Leading the Way
Senior Matt McIlvane was selected the team’s captain prior to the season. He wore an “A” for the squad last season.
Seniors Tommy Goebel and Johann Kroll are the alternate captains for the squad this year.
The Early Bird
Tommy Goebel scored the Buckeyes’ lone goal in their 1-0 win over Lake Superior State to open last season. He also scored Ohio State’s first goal of the 2007-08 campaign, tallying on the power play in the third period vs. Mercyhurst.
Ohio State was down, 1-0, against Mercyhurst Oct. 12 through two periods but scored two power-play goals in the third for a 2-1 victory. The last time the Buckeyes won when trailing after the second period was Jan. 7, when they came back from a goal down to beat Alaska, 3-2. The squad was 1-10-3 when trailing after two a season ago.
Helping The Community
Oct. 14, Buckeyes Joseph Palmer, Sergio Somma, Matt McIlvane and Kyle Reed visited children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.
Buckeye head coach John Markell participated in the Spirit Celebration with Channel 10 newsanchor Heather Pick Oct. 18. The event was created to raise awareness and funds for the Columbus Cancer Clinic (spiritcelebration.org).
The Buckeye squad is committed to doing work for the community throughout the year.
The Year that Was
Ohio State was 15-17-5 last year and finished seventh in the CCHA with a 12-12-4 mark.
The squad returned 12 letterwinners. Senior Tommy Goebel is the leading returning scorer, posting 26 points last year and ranking second on the squad with 12 goals. Senior defenseman Jason DeSantis was second among blueliners last season with a career-best 25 points, including a team-high 20 assists.
The Buckeye State
Nine Buckeyes hail from the state of Ohio, including the first three Central Ohio products in head coach John Markell’s tenure in Patrick Schafer of Hilliard, Todd Rudasill of Columbus (Powell) and Ryan Markell of Pickerington. Three Buckeyes are from Parma (Tom Fritsche, Nick Biondo, Tommy Goebel), along with John Albert from Concord, John Dingle from Shaker Heights and Chris Reed from Solon.
Ohio State’s 2007-08 recruiting class was rated seventh by Red Line Report and 14th by Inside College Hockey.
In INCH’s individual rankings, Shane Sims was slotted eighth among incoming defensemen.
Predicting the Future
Ohio State was picked to finish fifth by the coaches and media in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association preseason polls, the league announced Sept. 25 at its annual media day at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
Defending NCAA champion Michigan State was the media’s choice for the top spot in the poll, while the coaches picked Miami as the team to beat.
Buckeye Jason DeSantis, a senior defenseman from Oxford, Mich., was voted to a spot on the Preseason All-CCHA Second Team by the league’s head coaches. He had a career-best and team-high 20 assists last year and ended the campaign with 25 points to rank fourth (tied) on the team.
I Feel a Draft
On the Buckeyes’ 2007-08 roster, six players are NHL draft picks, including seniors Tom Fritsche (Colorado 2005) and Matt McIlvane (Ottawa 2004), sophomore Joseph Palmer (Chicago 2006) and freshmen John Albert (Atlanta 2007), C.J. Severyn (Calgary 2007) and Shane Sims (New York Islanders 2006).
Back to School
The fourth-annual Ohio Hockey Classic, hosted by Ohio State, has been moved to Value City Arena in Columbus because of a scheduling conflict. The tournament still will be held Dec. 29-30.
On the opening day, Miami and St. Cloud State will meet at 6 p.m., followed by the Buckeyes taking on Harvard at 9 p.m. Day two includes championship and consolation games at 5 and 8 p.m. Ohio State will play in the late game regardless of the first-day results.
Dec. 29 will be a triple-header with the Ohio State men’s basketball team, as the squad hosts UMBC at 11 a.m. in Value City Arena.
The OHC was held at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus the first three years. The Buckeyes won the 2006 championship, with Miami claiming the title in 2005 and Colorado College winning the inaugural event in 2004.
Break it Down
The Ohio State roster for 2007-08 includes nine seniors and 14 freshmen, along with just two juniors and three sophomores. The 14 freshmen mark the biggest rookie class for the Buckeyes since the 1992-93 squad opened the year with 13 freshmen.
Head coach John Markell has opened a season with 11 freshmen three times (1996, 2000, 2004).
The Buckeyes will travel to Kalamazoo, Mich., for two games against Western Michigan. The teams will meet at 7:35 p.m. Nov. 23-24 in Lawson Arena.