Oct. 30, 2002
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The Ohio State men’s hockey team (3-1-1, 1-0-1 CCHA) faces off against non-conference opponents Cornell (0-0-0, 0-0-0 ECAC) and Colgate (2-2-1, 0-0-0 ECAC) in Value City Arena this weekend. OSU and the No. 7/8 ranked Big Red will meet at 7:05 p.m. Friday in Cornell’s regular-season opener. The Buckeyes will end the weekend at 2:05 p.m. Sunday against Colgate. The Raiders will play Findlay before traveling to Columbus to meet the Buckeyes. OSU, on a four-game unbeaten streak, is coming off a two-game home sweep of Clarkson.
The games this weekend will be broadcast live on WOSU (820 AM) and online at wosu.org with Herb Howenstine (p-b-p) and former Buckeye John Mowat (color) on the call. The games also will be broadcast online by Ohio State student radio at theunderground.fm. Live stats from the game will be available at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.
The Buckeyes are unbeaten in their last four games, going 3-0-1 over the stretch. The squad posted a win over Alaska Fairbanks, 6-3, to start the streak before tying the Nanooks, 1-1, in that series finale. Last weekend, Ohio State swept Clarkson by scores of 4-2 and 4-3.
VS. THE LEAGUE
At the end of their current four-game home stand, the Buckeyes will have played four games against Eastern College Athletic Conference opponents. The team is 25-17-6 all-time vs. the league.
The Buckeyes will face one more ECAC team during the regular season when they travel to Pittsburgh to play Princeton Jan. 3, 2003 in Mellon Arena, home of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins.
A LOOK AT THE BIG RED
Cornell is opening its regular season against the Buckeyes this weekend. The squad was 25-8-2 last season and finished first in the ECAC with a record of 17-3-2. The Big Red received the ECAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament and posted a first-round win over Quinnipiac, 6-1, before falling to New Hampshire, 4-3, in the regional final.
Three players that posted 32 points last season return for the Big Red: senior forward Stephen Bby (9-23), senior defenseman Doug Murray (11-21) and senior forward Sam Paolini (15-17). In addition, sophomore goalie Dave LeNeveu, who posted a goals-against average of 1.50 and a save percentage of .936, also returns.
OSU VS. THE BIG RED
The Buckeyes hold a one-game lead in the all-time series against Cornell, 4-3-0. The teams have met just once in Columbus, Jan. 8, 2000, a game the Big Red won, 5-2. OSU leads the series in Ithaca, N.Y., 1-0-0 and the series at neutral sites, 3-2-0.
THE LAST MEETING
Ohio State and Cornell met in the consolation game of the Everblades College Classic Dec. 30, 2001. OSU, backstopped by goalie Mike Betz, posted a 2-0 win in that game.
WILL WE MEET AGAIN?
OSU and Cornell could meet in the Everblades College Classic holiday tournament for the third consecutive year this December. The Buckeyes play Massachusetts and Cornell faces Maine in the opening round, but OSU and Cornell could advance to play each other in the championship or consolation game.
AGAINST THE BEST
No. 7-ranked Cornell is the second Top 15 ranked team the Buckeyes will face this season. The squad lost to then-No.1 Minnesota in the season opener. Last year, the team was 7-9-2 when playing teams ranked in the Top 15 at the time of the game.
A LOOK AT THE RAIDERS
Colgate enters the weekend with a mark of 2-2-1. The squad will face Findlay in Findlay, Ohio, Friday before traveling to Columbus to go up against the Buckeyes. The Raiders are coming off a two-game sweep of Sacred Heart at home last weekend, posting two one-goal wins (3-2 and 4-3). The squad already has faced two CCHA teams this year, tying Nebraska-Omaha, 5-5, in its season opener in the Maverick Stampede before falling to Michigan State, 2-1, in the third place game of that tournament.
Senior Scooter Smith is leading the Raiders with seven points, on three power-play goals and four assists, this season. Junior Kyle Doyle is first on the team with four goals and is tied for second with team assist-leader (5) Brad D’Arco in scoring with six points. In net, junior David Cann (3 games played, 3.24 goals-against average, .873 save percentage, 2-0-1 record) and sophomore Steve Silverthorn (5, 3.42, .863, 0-2-0) have split time.
BUCKEYES VS. RAIDERS
Ohio State is 2-0-2 all-time against Colgate, including 1-0-0 in Columbus. The squads last met Jan. 7, 2000 in Columbus, a 3-1 OSU victory. The teams tied the one game played in Hamilton, N.Y., and OSU leads, 1-0-1, in neutral site contests.
NEW TO YOU
Just five Buckeyes – seniors Luke Pavlas, Pete Broccoli, Miguel Lafleche, Ryan Smith and Scott Titus – have played against Colgate. Pavlas was the only Buckeye with a point in the game, as he posted an assist on a Jean-Francois Dufour power-play goal.
Three of the four games between Ohio State and Colgate have gone to overtime. OSU is 1-0-2 in those meetings.
The Buckeyes’ penalty killing unit has been solid in the last four games, stopping 20 of its opponents last 22 chances, a percentage of 90.1.
OSU’s Penalty Killing in the Last Three Games: 10/18 at UAF: 7/8 10/19 at UAF: 4/4 10/25 vs. Clarkson: 4/4 10/27 vs. Clarkson: 5/6
Four Buckeyes are tied for the team lead in assists with four – juniors Daymen Bencharski, Scott May and Paul Caponigri and freshman Ryan Kesler.
LIGHTING THE LAMP
The Buckeyes are averaging 3.4 goals a game, an improvement over last season when the squad averaged just 2.7 goals an outing. In the last four games, OSU has averaged 3.75 goals while allowing an average of just 2.25. Overall, OSU is allowing 3.2 goals per game this season.
Chris Olsgard’s goal to open the second game against Clarkson was his first of the season. He was assisted by Reed Whiting, marking Whiting’s first point this year and his first helper since March 10, 2002 at Nebraska-Omaha. Lee Spector also assisted on the tally, his first assist of 2002-03.
A LOOK BACK
The Buckeyes swept non-conference opponent Clarkson last weekend, posting wins of 4-2 and 4-3. In the first game, R.J. Umberger tallied two goals to pace the Buckeye attack, while freshman Dan Knapp and junior Daymen Bencharski each notched two assists. Clarkson opened the scoring in the first, before Umberger and Dave Steckel scored to put OSU up by one, 2-1. In the second period Clarkson tied the game, but Scott May tallied just 20 seconds later to put the Buckeyes up for good. Umberger added an empty-net goal to seal the victory for OSU.
In the second game, the Buckeyes held a 4-1 lead midway through the third period, on goals by Chris Olsgard, Steckel, Knapp and Miguel Lafleche. The Golden Knights posted two goals in a span of just under six minutes to get within one in the third period, but could not get the equalizer and the Buckeyes held on for the one-goal win.
In the second game against Clarkson, every line contributed a goal for the Buckeyes, with four different players (Chris Olsgard, Dave Steckel, Dan Knapp, Miguel Lafleche) scoring. In addition, the defense contributed two assists (by Doug Andress and Reed Whiting) in the win.
Junior Mike Betz moved into eighth place all-time in goalie wins at Ohio State with two victories over the weekend. Betz has a record of 39-34-7 in 81 career games as a Buckeye.
R.J. Umberger had his four-game scoring streak stopped in the series finale against Clarkson. He had posted a point in each of the Buckeyes first four games of the year with 3-2-5 totals.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Buckeyes are a perfect 2-0-0 at home in Value City Arena this season. Including last year, the team is 7-1-3 in its last 10 games at home in Columbus. The one loss came against Yale Jan. 20. In its last five home games, the Buckeyes are undefeated, going 5-0-0 with two wins each against Ferris State and Clarkson and one against Miami.
Freshman Dan Knapp’s scoring streak hit four with his goal against Clarkson. Knapp has six points in his last four games, with four goals and two assists. He is tied for third among CCHA freshmen in scoring in overall games with six points.
Current Ohio State assistant coach Casey Jones is a 1990 graduate of Cornell. A team captain for the Big Red, Jones is one of a select number of players to score 100 or more points for the squad. In 110 career games, Jones posted 112 points on 30 goals and 82 assists. He earned the squad’s sportsmanship award as a senior.
In addition, Jones began his coaching career at Cornell. He served as an assistant coach at his alma mater in 1991-92 and 1992-93. Cornell’s current head coach, Mike Schafer, served as an assistant coach for the Big Red while Jones was a member of the squad.
Junior forward Dave Steckel scored a goal in both games against Clarkson, the first time he has scored in back-to-back games since the 2000-01 season. That year, he had a four-game goal scoring streak Nov. 10-19 and a three-game spurt Feb. 9-16. That season, Steckel ended the year with a team-best 17 goals.
A GOOD SIGN
This season, the Buckeyes are undefeated (2-0-1) when they have recorded more shots than their opponent. OSU was outshot in its season opener by Minnesota, but has outshot its opponents in three of the last four games. The Buckeyes are averaging 31.6 shots on goal per game and allowing an average of 33, including the season high for an opponent of 51 recorded by Minnesota.
HELP THE CHILDREN
The Ohio State men’s hockey team will be holding a dinner to benefit the children of Tanzania Feb. 9, 2003, at The Top Steak House in Columbus. There will be two dinner seatings, with the first at 5 p.m. and the second at 8. For reservations, please call 614-231-8238. For more information on STEMM or the benefit dinner, call the Ohio State hockey office at 614-292-0820 and leave a message for Mike Betz.
A STAR IS BORN
Freshman Dan Knapp has been one of the Perani Cup Three Stars of the Game in each of his last four outings. He was the first star in the opener against Clarkson, the second star against Alaska Fairbanks in the first game of that series and the third star in the series finale against both UAF and Clarkson.
The Buckeyes will travel to Sault Ste. Marie in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to face the Lake Superior State Lakers Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8-9. The squads will face off both nights at 7:05 p.m. in Taffy Abel Arena.