Squad heads to Manchester, N.H., for Northeast Regional, Dalpe and Picard talk tourney at Buckeye Vision links above
No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 1 Boston University.- 5:30 p.m.
No. 3 New Hampshire vs. No. 2 North Dakota – 2 p.m.
Saturday, March 28
Game 1 vs. Game 2 winner – 5:30 p.m.
Verizon Wireless Arena
Ohio State vs. Boston University
Series History – Boston University leads 2-0
RPI Tournament, Troy, N.Y.
BU 6, Ohio State 5 (Dec. 28, 1973)
Mariucci Classic, Minneapolis, Minn.
BU 2, Ohio State 1 (Dec. 27, 1998)
In Columbus – No meetings
In Boston – No meetings
Neutral Site – Boston University leads 2-0
Ohio State vs. North Dakota
Series History – North Dakota leads 2-0
at North Dakota 7, Ohio State 2 (Dec. 21, 1979)
at North Dakota 8, Ohio State 2 (Dec. 22, 1979)
In Columbus – No meetings
In Grand Forks, N.D. – North Dakota leads 2-0
Neutral Site – No meetings
Ohio State vs. New Hampshire
Series History – New Hampshire leads 3-2-1
Ohio State 4, at UNH 4 OT (Nov. 24, 1972)
at UNH 4, Ohio State 3 (Nov. 25, 1972)
at Ohio State 1, UNH 0 – forfeit (Nov. 9, 1979)
at Ohio State 1, UNH 0 – forfeit (Nov. 10, 1979)
Dodge Dealers of New Hampshire Conference
at UNH 3, Ohio State 1 (Nov. 24, 2001)
Ice Breaker Tournament
at UNH 5, Ohio State 1 (Oct. 9, 2004)
In Columbus – Ohio State leads 2-0
In Durham, N.H. – UNH leads 3-0-1
Neutral Site – No meetings
The Buckeyes are making their sixth appearance in the NCAA tournament all under head coach John Markell. The squad is making its first trip to the national tournament since 2005.
The 27-player Buckeye roster includes 22 freshmen and sophomores, along with just three seniors and two juniors. Fifth-year senior Zach Pelletier is the only current Buckeye to travel to an NCAA tournament regional.
Senior Corey Elkins, the Buckeyes’ leading scorer with 40 points, earned his bachelor’s degree in history Sunday.
Forward Zac Dalpe and defenseman Matt Bartkowski were named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team.
Ohio State ranks seventh nationally in scoring offense, averaging 3.41 goals a game.
The Buckeyes have 23 wins this season, the seventh 20-win campaign under Markell.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State men’s hockey team earned an at-large berth in the 2009 NCAA Men’s Hockey Championship and will travel to Manchester, N.H., for the Northeast Regional at Verizon Wireless Arena this weekend.
The Buckeyes (23-14-4, 13-11-4-3 CCHA), a No. 4 seed, will take on No. 1 overall seed Boston University (31-6-4, 18-5-4 Hockey East) at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. No. 2 seed North Dakota (24-14-4, 17-7-4 WCHA) and No. 3 and host New Hampshire (19-12-5, 15-8-4 Hockey East) will meet in the early game at 2 p.m. Saturday. The first-round winners will meet in the second round at 5:30 p.m. Sunday with a trip to the 2009 NCAA Frozen Four in Washington, D.C., on the line.
Follow the Buckeyes
ESPN2 will televise the Northeast Regional first-round games and ESPNU will broadcast the regional final, with Barry Melrose and John Buccigross calling all three games. All 16 NCAA tournament regional games will be televised live by the ESPN family of networks (ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Classic). The games also will be available online at ESPN360.com.
WOSU Radio (820 AM Columbus/wosu.org) will continue to carry all of the Buckeyes’ postseason action, with Herb Howenstine and former Buckeye John Mowat on the call.
Live stats can be accessed from the men’s hockey schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Buckeyes in the NCAA Tourney
Ohio State is making its sixth appearance in the NCAA tournament and the first since 2005. All six appearances have been under 14th-year head coach John Markell.
The Buckeyes have wins over three of the No. 1 seeds in the tournament this year. The squad won at Denver Oct. 25 (4-3) and posted wins over Notre Dame Feb. 8 (4-1) and Michigan Feb. 21 (3-2) in Columbus. The squad also downed tournament team Miami in Oxford, Ohio, Feb. 27 (6-2).
Ohio State closed out the regular season with series splits against NCAA tournament teams Notre Dame, Michigan and Miami in three of the final four weeks of conference play.
Fifth-year senior Zach Pelletier is the only Buckeye who has traveled to the NCAA tournament, but he was not in the lineup when the Buckeyes took on Cornell in Minneapolis in 2005. Ohio State lost to the Big Red in that game, 3-2.
Ohio State is 2-5 all-time in the NCAA tournament. The team advanced to the 1998 Frozen Four in Boston with wins over Yale (4-0) and Michigan State (4-3 OT).
The Buckeyes are making their first appearance in the NCAA Northeast Regional and their first appearance as a No. 4 seed in the tourney. It is the fifth time the squad is an at-large selection, earning the CCHA’s automatic berth in 2004.
According to the “Pairwise” numbers available online, Ohio State was the last team to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament field this year. Boston University, the Buckeyes’ first-round opponent, sealed Ohio State’s probable spot with a win over UMass-Lowell in the Hockey East tournament championship game.
Ohio State is one of four CCHA teams to earn a spot in the 2009 NCAA tournament. Notre Dame, the regular-season and tournament champion, and Michigan are No. 1 seeds, while Ohio State and Miami are No. 4 seeds. Michigan and Miami tied for second place in the regular-season standings, with Ohio State finishing fifth. Each of the four regional sites includes a CCHA team.
The Buckeyes are 23-14-4 on the year and finished conference play in fifth place with a 13-11-4-3 record, one point out of fourth place. The squad is averaging 3.41 goals a game to rank seventh nationally, while allowing 2.71. On the power play, the Buckeyes have converted 26-of-187 chances (.139) and have stopped 175-of-214 opponent opportunities (.818).
Ohio State is ranked 14th by USCHO.com/CBS College Sports, 15th by InsideCollegeHockey.com and is the first team receiving votes outside the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Top 15 this week.
Senior Corey Elkins is first with 18 goals and 40 points. Sophomore John Albert is first on the team with 28 assists and ranks second with 39 points. Freshman Zac Dalpe and sophomores Peter Boyd and Hunter Bishop are second with 13 goals each. Boyd (13g, 18a, 31p), freshman Ian Boots (9g, 15a, 24p), Bishop (13g, 15a, 28p), Dalpe (13g, 12a, 25p), sophomore Sergio Somma (11 g, 12a, 23p), and sophomore defenseman Shane Sims (6g, 17a, 23p) all have reached the 20-point mark. Bishop has a team-best +28 mark, followed by Elkins at +27. Sims is first with five power-play goals. Albert, Dalpe and sophomore C.J. Severyn each have a team-best three game-winning goals.
In net, sophomore Dustin Carlson has played in 38 games, starting 35 (including 32 of the last 33), with a 2.40 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and 21-11-3 record.
Last Time Out
The Buckeyes had a week off after losing their CCHA quarterfinal series at Alaska March 13-15. After dropping the first game, 4-0, the Buckeyes staved off elimination with a 4-2 victory in game two. In game three, the teams were scoreless until Alaska’s Ron Meyers tallied with 50 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the Nanooks to a 1-0 win and a spot in the CCHA semifinals. The first game at Alaska (March 13) was the first time Ohio State was shut out since Feb. 15, 2008 vs. Northern Michigan and it was the first road shutout since Oct. 27, 2006 at Northern Michigan. It was the first 1-0 loss since falling to Notre Dame Jan. 28, 2006.
Buckeyes vs. Terriers
Ohio State is 0-2 all-time vs. Boston University, with the last meeting coming Dec. 27, 1998, a 2-1 Terrier win in the Mariucci Classic in Minneapolis, Minn. The teams first met in the RPI tournament in Troy, N.Y., Dec. 28, 1973, a 6-5 Terrier victory.
Buckeyes vs. Hockey East
All-time Ohio State is 18-23-3 vs. Hockey East opponents, with an 0-3 mark in NCAA tournament play to Hockey East Schools (0-2 vs. Boston College, 0-1 vs. Maine). Ohio State last played a Hockey East school Oct. 9, 2005, a 5-1 loss to New Hampshire in the Ice Breaker Tournament in Durham, N.H.
Boston University enters the NCAA tournament as the No. 1 overall seed, with a 31-6-4 record overall, and posted an 18-5-4 record in Hockey East play. The squad won the conference tournament with a 1-0 victory over UMass Lowell last Saturday. The squad downed Boston College in the league semifinals, 3-2, after defeating Maine in three games in the first round (W 2-1, L 3-6, W 6-2). The loss to Maine is the only defeat in the last 21 games (17-1-3).
The Terriers are third nationally in scoring offense (3.85) and scoring defense (1.95) and lead the nation in scoring margin (1.90). The power play is second (21.8 percent), with the penalty kill at 87.3 percent.
The BU roster features two Hobey Baker Top 10 finalists in senior defenseman Matt Gilroy and sophomore forward Colin Wilson. Wilson has a team-high 35 goals and 50 points. Jason Lawrence is first on the squad with 21 goals, followed by Brandon Yip with 19 and Nick Bonino with 16. Bonino is second with 44 points, followed by Chris Higgins with 40. In all, 16 Terriers have 10 or more points, with 11 at 20 or above.
In net, freshman Kieran Millan has played in 31 games, with a 25-2-3 record, 1.84 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.
Ohio State vs. North Dakota
Ohio State and North Dakota have played just twice, when the Fighting Sioux swept the Buckeyes, 7-2 and 8-2, Dec. 21-22, 1979 in Grand Forks, N.D.
Buckeyes vs. the WCHA
Ohio State is 14-36-3 all-time against current WCHA schools. The Buckeyes split a series at Denver earlier this year, with a 3-1 loss Oct. 24 and 4-3 win Oct. 25 in Denver.
WCHA school Wisconsin eliminated Ohio State from the NCAA tournament in 2004, 1-0 Badger win in overtime.
North Dakota is 24-14-4 this season and was 17-7-4 in WCHA action. After sweeping Michigan Tech in the first round of the WCHA tournament (5-1, 4-3), North Dakota was 0-2 at the WCHA Final Five, with a 3-0 loss to Minnesota Duluth and a 4-1 defeat to Wisconsin in the consolation game.
The Fighting Sioux are ninth in the country, averaging 3.36 goals a game, while allowing 2.67. The squad has converted 17.5 percent of its power-play chances and has stopped 84.4 percent of its opponents’ chances.
Senior Ryan Duncan, the 2007 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner, leads UND with 19 goals and 38 points. Senior defenseman Brad Miller is second with 35 points and shares the team assist lead with Chay Genoway with 29 each. Chris VandeVelde is second with 17 goals and third with 33 points.
Freshman goalie Brad Eidsness has played in 40 games, posting a 24-11-4 ledger, with a 2.47 goals-against average and .908 save percentage.
Ohio State vs. UNH
Ohio State is 2-3-1 all-time vs. New Hampshire, including two forfeit wins in 1979-80. The teams last met on UNH’s home ice Oct. 9, 2004, beginning the season in the Ice Breaker Tournament, with the Wildcats posting a 5-1 win. Buckeye senior Zach Pelletier was on the Buckeye roster for that game, but did not see action. He played on UNH’s ice the next night when the Buckeyes faced St. Cloud State in the tournament’s consolation game. The other meeting under head coach John Markell was Nov. 24, 2001, in a Thanksgiving tournament at UNH, when the Wildcats won, 3-1.
New Hampshire, the host school for the Northeast Regional, is 19-12-5 on the year and was 15-8-4 in Hockey East play. The squad was swept at home by Boston College, 5-3 and 1-0, in the first round of the Hockey East Tournament.
The Wildcats average 3.03 goals a game, while allowing 2.92. The squad has converted 11.5 percent of its power-play chances and has stopped 83.1 percent of its opponents opportunities.
Sophomore James van Riemsdyk leads UNH with 39 points and shares the team assist lead with senior defenseman Kevin Kapstad with 22 each. Sophomore Mike Sislo has a team-best 18 goals and is second with 28 points. Peter LeBlanc (12g, 15a) and Bobby Butler (9g, 19a) are tied for third with 27 points apiece.
In net, Brian Foster has played in 33 games, with a 2.63 goals-against average and .910 save percentage, along with an 18-10-4 ledger.
Ohio State will open NCAA tournament play Saturday. The Buckeyes are 13-5-1 on Saturday this year, with just a 9-8-3 ledger in Friday games. Ohio State has played twice on Sunday, downing then-No. 2 Notre Dame Feb. 8 before losing at Alaska March 15 in game three of the CCHA quarterfinals.
Get On the Board
Ohio State is 16-2-3 when scoring first this year and 7-12-1 when allowing the first tally.
The Buckeyes are 14-0-2 when leading after the first period this season, but 3-9-0 when trailing after the first. When the teams are tied after one, the squad is 6-5-2.
When ahead after the second period, the Buckeyes are 15-1-1 and suffered their first loss in three years against Notre Dame Feb. 6 (4-3 OT). The squad has rallied to win two games (2-8-1) and is 6-2-2 when even after two stanzas.
The Buckeyes have recorded 140 goals this season, including games with 10, 8, 7, 6 and 5 goals, but have had just 13 players record a multiple-goal game through 41 games.
Of the 78 goals in the 23 games combined since returning from the December break, all but 12 have come at even strength shorthanded goals by Shane Sims vs. Bowling Green Jan. 9, Corey Toy vs. Michigan Feb. 20 and Peter Boyd vs. Miami Feb. 28 and nine power-play tallies. Three have been scored into an empty net, with 41 5-on-5 tallies, a 4-on-4 marker at Ferris State, a 6-on-4 extra-attacker goal at Michigan State Feb. 13 and two 6-on-5 extra-attacker goals vs. Miami Feb. 28.
The Buckeyes have outscored opponents, 111-66, at even strength this year.
Senior Corey Elkins, the Buckeyes’ leading scorer, enters the NCAA tournament as a college graduate after receiving his history degree Sunday. He joins Zach Pelletier (B.S. Criminology Spring 2008) as current Buckeyes with bachelor’s degrees. Former Buckeye Tom Askey (1993-96) returned to school in the fall to complete his degree after retiring as a professional hockey player. He received his bachelor’s in sociology.
On the Plus Side
As a team, the Buckeyes are +208 this season. The Buckeyes hold three of the top 12 plus/minus ratings in the league this year. Hunter Bishop is first (+28), followed by Corey Elkins tied for second (+27) and Ian Boots (+17) tied for 10th. In all, nine Buckeyes are +10 or better on the year.
Ohio State has 23 wins this season, the most since the 2004-05 squad had 27. The 23 wins are tied for eighth in the NCAA this season and are third in the CCHA, behind Notre Dame (31) and Michigan (29).
It is the seventh 20-win season under head coach John Markell.
First in a While
Senior Corey Elkins leads the team with 40 points (including a team-high 18 goals), the first 40-point year for a Buckeye since Tom Fritsche had 45 and Rod Pelley had 41 in 2004-05. Sophomore John Albert needs one more point to hit the 40-point mark this season.
Lighting the Lamp
The Buckeyes rank seventh in the country, averaging 3.41 goals a game on the year. The squad had double-digit goals in back-to-back series vs. Miami Feb. 27-28 (11) and Bowling Green March 6-7 (12). The squad scored 10 goals or more in a series four times this season (13 vs. Bentley, 12 vs. Bowling Green in January and March, 11 vs. Miami).
The Buckeyes have four games with seven or more goals (W 7-4 vs. Robert Morris Dec. 6, W 10-1 vs. Bentley Dec. 12, W 8-5 at Bowling Green Jan. 9, W 7-1 vs. Bowling Green March 7) and have three six-goal outings. It is the first time the team has scored at least seven goals in four games in a season since 1994-95, when the squad had four seven-goal games.
On the Way to 100
Three Buckeyes have hit the 50-point mark for their careers this season. Sophomore forward John Albert was the first current Buckeye to pass 50 and now has 60 career points (15g, 45a) in 82 games. Senior Corey Elkins has 59 points (27g, 32a) in 101 games. Sophomore Peter Boyd’s has a 23-32-55 line in 82 games.
Elkins played in his 100th career game March 14 at Alaska, the only current Buckeye with triple-digits in games played for the Scarlet and Gray.
Then and Now
Through 41 games this season, 15 Buckeyes have reached 10 or more points, with three posting more than 30 and another five recording more than 20. After all 41 games a year ago, just four players had 20 or more points. The squad is averaging 3.41 goals a game this season and was held to just 2.4 an outing last year. On the defensive side, the squad is allowing 2.71 goals an outing and gave up 3.3 a season ago.
The team has 23 wins this season, surpassing the 12 victories the squad had a year ago. The team was 13-19-4 in CCHA play, bypassing the seven conference wins from 2007-08.
Between the Pipes
Sophomore goalie Dustin Carlson, the NCAA National Player of the Month in November and a two-time CCHA goalie of the week, has 21 wins this season, the first Buckeye goalie to hit the 20-win mark for a single season since Dave Caruso set the program record with 25 in 2005. Carlson’s 21 wins are tied for fourth in program history in a single year (John Dougan/1983).
Carlson’s 1,005 saves this season rank second in the CCHA and are fifth in Buckeye history. Mike Bales is the all-time leader with 1,227 in 1991. Carlson has played 2179:14 between the pipes to rank fifth for a Buckeye goalie.
Carlson, who has four shutouts this year, is the sixth Buckeye goalie with four or more whitewashes in a single season. The program record is five, set by Mike Betz in 2002 and Dave Caruso in 2005.
Carlson has 35 starts this season, including in 32 of the last 33 games, sitting out just the second contest vs. Bentley Dec. 13 over the stretch. Carlson has a 2.40 goals-against average and .920 save percentage on the year, with a 21-11-3 ledger. He ranks fourth in the CCHA in save percentage and eighth in goals-against. In the national stats, he ranks 14th in winning percentage (.643), 17th in save percentage and 24th in goals-against average.
Senior Corey Elkins is first on the team and fourth in the CCHA with a career-best 40 points, including a team-best and career-high 18 goals, along with 22 assists. He is fourth in the league in goals and ranks 12th (tied) in assists. Elkins has 10 multiple-point games this season and has at least one point in 26 games on the year. Elkins is +1 or better in 21 of the last 28 games (including a career-best +4 vs. Bowling Green March 7), with a +27 mark on the year to rank second in the CCHA. Entering the 2008-09 campaign, Elkins had posted nine goals, 10 assists and 19 points in 60 career games, including a 2-3-5 line a year ago in 25 games.
Elkins had a hat trick and four points vs. Bowling Green in the playoffs March 7, the fourth postseason hat trick for a Buckeye and the first since Jeff Madill March 7, 1987. It was the fifth four-point game for a Buckeye in the playoffs, last set by Mathieu Beaudoin March 18, 2004.
It was his second career hat trick and first since Nov. 17, 2006, also against Bowling Green (with each goal scored on a different goalie). The four points were a career best.
Bartkowski, Dalpe and Boots Honored
Defenseman Matt Bartkowski and forward Zac Dalpe were voted to the CCHA All-Rookie Team, with forward Ian Boots an honorable mention choice. Ohio State, Michigan and Miami each placed two players on the team, with three defensemen selected because of ties.
Dalpe was a finalist for CCHA Rookie of the Year honors. InsideCollegeHockey.com selected him as their CCHA Rookie of the Year. Three Buckeyes have been named the CCHA Rookie of the Year (Paul Pooley/1981, Brian Loney/1992, R.J. Umberger/2001).
Bartkowski and Dalpe were the first Buckeyes named to the all-rookie first team since Tom Fritsche in 2005. Bartkowski is the first Ohio State blueliner to be so honored since Jason Crain in 1999 and just the third in program history, joining Crain and Glenn Painter (1990).
Dalpe is the seventh forward to earn a spot on the league’s all-rookie team.
Head coach John Markell was a Top 3 finalist for league coach of the year accolades. In his 14th season at the helm of Ohio State, he has led the Buckeyes to 23 wins this season and a fifth-place finish in the CCHA standings, one point back of fourth place and a first-round bye. It is the team’s first 20-win season since 2005 and the seventh under Markell.
In the CCHA preseason polls, the league coaches picked Ohio State to finish seventh, with the media voting the Buckeyes ninth. Markell was honored as the league coach of the year in 1998.
One More Honor
Sophomore forward John Albert was an honorable mention selection to the All-CCHA team, the conference announced. The 12 league coaches voted for first, second and honorable mention selections, with coaches not allowed to vote for their own teams and votes based on league-games only.
Albert is the first Buckeye to earn league all-conference honorable mention honors since Sean Collins and Dave Caruso in 2006.
Elkins a Smart One
Senior forward Corey Elkins was named the team’s CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Each of the 12 conference schools selected one student-athlete for the honor. Elkins was a Top 20 nominee for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.
From the Blueline
This year, the Buckeye defense has 16 goals, led by seven from Shane Sims. Matt Bartkowski has four, Chris Reed and Corey Toy have two and Erick Belanger has one.
Sims leads the blueliners with a career-best 24 points, including 17 assists.
Special Teams Synopsis
Ohio State has just three power-play goals in its last 48 chances, dating to Feb. 8 vs. Notre Dame. The squad was 1-for-10 in the three-game CCHA quarterfinal series at Alaska.
The penalty kill was 9-for-11 in the series with the Nanooks and has allowed two goals in the last five games combined.
Better Late than Never
The Buckeyes have outscored their opponents, 57-37, in the third period this year. The squad has scored and allowed 42 goals in the second period this season. In the first, Ohio State has outscored its opponents, 39-31. The team helped its third-period totals with a seven-goal outburst vs. Bentley Dec. 12, including five power-play tallies, and had five first-period scores at Alaska Jan. 31.
Sophomore Peter Boyd has a career-best 31 points this year, including a personal-best 13 goals and 18 assists. Boyd is one of just two Buckeyes (joining John Albert) with back-to-back 20-point seasons after posting 24 a year ago.
Boyd has had back-to-back three point games twice this season. After he had a 1-2-3 line against both Robert Morris Dec. 6 and Bentley Dec. 12, he had 2-1-3 totals vs. Miami Feb. 28 and Bowling Green March 6.
Sophomore forward John Albert has a team-best 28 assists, the most for a Buckeye since Tom Fritsche had 34 in 2005. Albert has a team-high 12 multiple-point games this season, including three three-point nights.
Albert ranks fifth (tied) in the CCHA in points and tied for third in assists.
After a five-game scoreless streak Nov. 1-21, Albert has a point in 19 of the last 29 games. He had just 2-5-7 totals in the first 12 games of the year, with a 9-23-32 line in the last 29 games (1.10 points per game).
Albert ended CCHA play first on the team and tied for fourth in the league in scoring with 29 points, earning honorable mention All-CCHA accolades. He was the first Buckeye to finish in the Top 10 in CCHA conference scoring since Rod Pelley was 10th in 2004-05 with an 18-12-30 line. Albert was the Buckeyes’ highest finisher since R.J. Umberger was second in 2002-03 with 15 goals, 23 assists and 38 points.
Albert had eight more points than Peter Boyd, who was second on the team with 21 points in league action. Senior Corey Elkins and sophomore Hunter Bishop tied for third with 20 points each.
K. Reed Comes Through
Sophomore Kyle Reed scored twice at Alaska March 14 for his second multiple-goal game of the year. He had a career-best three goals and four points at Miami Feb. 27. It was the first hat trick for a Buckeye since Nov. 16, 2006 at Bowling Green and first four-point night since Feb. 24, 2007 vs. Michigan. Reed, who scored 10 goals a season ago, had just one goal in the first 19 games of the year but now has an 8-9-17 line.
Ohio State received 10 league player of the week accolades this year. Zac Dalpe was a three-time rookie of the week and Matt Bartkowski (rookie) and Dustin Carlson (goalie) each were honored twice. Corey Elkins was named the league offensive player of the week, while sophomores Shane Sims and Corey Toy were named defensemen of the week.
Give Him an A
Sophomore Sergio Somma has a point in 10 of his last 14 games, with a 5-7-12 line. He was scoreless in five-consecutive games before the current stretch. Somma has a career-high 11 goals, 14 assists and 25 points this season, along with a +5 mark. He had a career-high tying two assists at Alaska March 14.
Somma was named an alternate captain for the squad Feb. 21, debuting the “A” on his jersey that night in the Buckeyes’ win over Michigan.
No. 3 on D
Freshman defenseman and CCHA All-Rookie Team selection Matt Bartkowski has 19 points on the year, including 15 assists, with a point in 12 of his last 22 games (2g, 10a). Bartkowski ranks second among CCHA freshmen defensemen, ninth among CCHA rookies and 13th among league blueliners overall in scoring. He is +16 on the year, ranking second (tied) among CCHA rookies and rookie defensemen and fifth among blueliners overall. Bartkowski is +1 or better in 17 of his last 28 games and has just seven minus ratings this season.
Ohio State had 43 shots at Alaska in its last time out, ending a stretch of four-consecutive games the team was held to fewer than 30 shots on goal. The Buckeyes are averaging 32.1 shots a game this year, but have less than 30 in seven of their last nine outings.
Bishop leads the CCHA with a +28 rating and is +1 or better in 24 games this season, with just six minus ratings. Bishop is tied for second on the team with 13 goals, including a seven-game goal-scoring streak Nov. 28-Jan. 3.
Add it to the Trophy Case
The Buckeyes captured the Ohio Cup this season, winning the annual traveling trophy presented by Buckeye Sports Bulletin for the first time since 2004-05. Ohio State was declared the winner based on the third tiebreaker, which was goals for. Ohio State and Miami tied at 3-1 in Cup play (Bowling Green was 0-4) and each was plus-6 in goal differential (OSU 23-17, Miami 18-12). Bowling Green is first with 13 Ohio Cup titles all-time. Miami had won the last three crowns.
In January, Ohio State won the Ohio Hockey Classic tournament in Value City Arena, defeating Army in the first round (6-1) and Clarkson in the championship game (2-0). It was the Buckeyes’ second OHC title and first since 2005.
From the Blueline
Sophomore defenseman Shane Sims leads the Buckeye blueliners with seven goals, 17 assists and 24 points this year, all career highs. He has a 7-14-21 line in the last 27 games, after just three points in the first 14 games of the year. Sims, who is tied for sixth among CCHA defensemen in scoring, is +15 on the year and is +1 or better in eight of the last 13 games. He has a team-high five power-play goals this season, with two in the last four games.
Freshman forward Zac Dalpe is tied for second among the Buckeyes with 13 goals this season, ranking third among CCHA rookies in goals, tying for eighth nationally in goals among rookies and ranking 16th among all CCHA players. Three of his goals are gamewinners. Dalpe has 25 points on the year to sit fourth among CCHA rookies in scoring.
Dalpe, who missed the series vs. Western Michigan and Alaska with an injury, has a point in 12 of his last 22 games. He had three assists in the playoff series vs. Bowling Green.
Don’t Talk About the Streak
After 11-consecutive wins and back-to-back ties (and ensuing shootout wins), Ohio State had its program-record tying 13-game unbeaten streak ended Jan. 24 with a 4-1 loss to Western Michigan. The program record was first set by the 1983-84 squad, which opened the year with 13-consecutive wins.
It was the longest unbeaten streak since the 2002-03 squad was 9-0-1 over a 10-game stretch Dec. 6, 2002-Jan. 17, 2003.
The loss to the Broncos was the first for the squad since falling on the road at Northern Michigan Nov. 21 (3-1). Included in the 13-game unbeaten streak were two overtime wins and shootout wins in the other two games that went to the extra session.
The Buckeyes have scored in the first minute of a game four times this year. Patrick Schafer has two, with a goal 23 seconds into the game vs. Western Michigan Jan. 23 and 26 seconds into the contest at Bowling Green Jan. 9. Hunter Bishop had the earliest goal, scoring 14 seconds into the game vs. Lake Superior State Oct. 17 and C.J. Severyn tallied 34 seconds into the contest vs. Robert Morris Dec. 6 in Cleveland.
Just Hold On
Ohio State’s overtime loss Feb. 6 to Notre Dame was its first when leading entering the third period in three years, dating to Feb. 4, 2006 at Michigan. The squad led 2-1 after the second period and led 3-2 with less than three minutes remaining, but gave up a goal as time expired and in the first minute of overtime in the team’s first overtime loss of the year (2-1-2). The team is 13-1-1 when leading after two this year. The defeat was the first overtime loss since Jan. 26, 2008 at Lake Superior State.
In the NHL
Four Buckeyes currently are in the National Hockey League R.J. Umberger (Columbus Blue Jackets), Dave Steckel (Washington Capitals), Ryan Kesler (Vancouver Canucks) and Tyson Strachan (St. Louis Blues). Sean Collins played for the Capitals and Nate Guenin played for the Flyers earlier this year but both are currently in the AHL. Umberger is the first former Buckeye to play for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
In addition to the four players in the NHL, former Buckeyes are playing at all levels of professional hockey, both in the United States and abroad.
Nine former Buckeyes currently are playing in the American Hockey League, one step below the NHL. The players currently in the AHL are Rod Pelley (Lowell Devils), Nate Guenin (Philadelphia Phantoms), Dave Caruso (Lowell Devils), Sean Collins (Hershey Bears), Jason DeSantis (Philadelphia Phantoms), Mathieu Beaudoin (Houston Aeros), Johann Kroll (Syracuse Crunch) and Tom Fritsche (Lake Erie Monsters).
Tommy Goebel (Wheeling Nailers) and Ian Keserich (Johnstown Chiefs) are in the ECHL. Former Buckeyes Kenny Bernard (Odessa Jackalopes), Daymen (Bencharski) Rycroft (Rocky Mountain Rage), Kyle Hood (Arizona Sundogs), Domenic Maiani (Rocky Mountain Rage) and Chris Richards (Corpus Christi IceRays) are playing in the Central Hockey League. Jason Selleke is playing for the Port Huron Icehawks in the International Hockey League.
A number of Buckeyes are continuing their hockey careers in Europe. Hugo Boisvert and Eric Meloche are in the DEL in Germany. Doug Andress and Scott May are playing in 2.Bundesliga in Germany, with Paul Caponigri and Andrew Schembri in Germany Obl. Jeff Maund is skating in Italy, Jean-Francois Dufour is in France, Matt Waddell is in Sweden and Andre Signoretti is in Denmark.
Sophomore C.J. Severyn’s goal with 4:20 remaining in the third period against Michigan Feb. 21 was his second third-period gamewinner this season. He scored with two seconds remaining vs. Nebraska-Omaha Nov. 28 to lift Ohio State to a 4-3 win. Against the Wolverines, Severyn missed most of the second period after blocking a shot before returning to score the clutch goal. He also had the gamewinner at Ferris State Jan. 16 in a 6-2 win and shares the team lead in gamewinners with three. Severyn has a career-high seven goals, three assists and 10 points this year while playing in 25 games.
Wearing the C
Senior Zach Pelletier and sophomore Peter Boyd are serving as captains for the Ohio State men’s hockey team in 2008-09. Sophomore Sergio Somma was awarded an “A” Feb. 21 and now serves as an alternate captain for the squad.
Pelletier, from China Village, Maine, is in his fifth year with the squad after receiving a redshirt in 2007-08 because of a leg injury. He has played in 50 games as a Buckeye, including 24 in 2006-07. Pelletier earned his bachelor’s degree in criminology in Spring 2008.
Boyd, a native of Cambridge-Narrows, New Brunswick, is just the third sophomore to wear a “C” for the Buckeyes, joining current assistant coach Steve Brent (1994-95) and John Israel (1973-74). Boyd was voted the George Burke Most Valuable Freshman by his teammates last year after finishing the campaign second on the team with 24 points and 10 goals. He played in all 41 games and had a team-best four gamewinning goals, along with four power-play tallies.
A Young Group
The 27-player Ohio State roster is dominated by underclassmen in 2008-09. The squad includes just three seniors and two juniors, who are joined by 13 sophomores and nine freshmen. Last year, at least nine freshmen were regularly in the Ohio State lineup each game.
Head coach John Markell marked the 250th win in his collegiate coaching career Nov. 29 after the Buckeyes’ comeback win over Nebraska-Omaha. He now has 265 wins, ranking second in coaching wins at Ohio State, behind Jerry Welsh, who had 328 from 1976-95.
Seven NHL draft picks are on the Buckeye roster this season. Freshman forward Zac Dalpe was the 45th overall pick in the second round of the 2008 draft, the highest Buckeye draft pick since Tom Fritsche went 47th in 2005. Rookie forward Taylor Stefishen (Nashville 2008) and defenseman Matt Bartkowski (Florida 2008) join returning NHL draft picks – junior goalie Joseph Palmer (Chicago 2006), sophomore defenseman Shane Sims (New York Islanders 2006) and sophomore forwards John Albert (Atlanta 2007) and C.J. Severyn (Calgary 2007).
Buckeye sophomore Peter Boyd and freshman Cory Schneider played together at Northwood Prep for two years (2005-06, 2006-07).
Schneider spent last year skating with fellow Buckeye rookie Zac Dalpe for the Penticton Vees, helping lead the squad to the BCHL title. Assistant coach Steve Brent played for Penticton as well.
Sophomores Patrick Schafer and Corey Toy played together with the Omaha Lancers for two years before coming to Ohio State.
Schafer, sophomore Chris Reed and senior Nick Biondo all played with the Cleveland Barons youth and Junior A teams.
Sophomore Todd Rudasill and Schafer both are central Ohio natives but played for just one common team, an all-star team, when they were young.
In the Close Ones
Ohio State is 7-4 in one-goal games this year after posting a 6-8-0 ledger a year ago. The squad is 5-3 in games decided by two goals.
The Buckeyes are 2-1-4 in overtime this year, with wins over Bentley and Bowling Green and the loss coming against Notre Dame. The Buckeyes tied Miami, Ferris State, Western Michigan and Michigan State, winning the shootout for CCHA purposes against all but the Spartans.
Sophomore Hunter Bishop has joined his sister, Teal, a sophomore on the Buckeye women’s hockey team, at Ohio State this season. The siblings from Fairbanks, Alaska, have not lived and played in the same city in more than six years.
Better Late than Never
The game at Michigan State Feb. 13 was the first time Ohio State forced overtime with a late, extra-attacker goal. The Buckeyes have given up three extra-attacker goals – at Bowling Green (18:51), at Ferris State (19:03) and Notre Dame (19:59). The Buckeyes won the game vs. the Falcons in OT, tied the Bulldogs (shootout win) and lost to the Irish in OT. Against Bentley, the Buckeyes tied the game midway through the third before winning in overtime. Against Western Michigan, the teams were tied after the second in the Buckeyes’ eventual shootout victory. In the season opener, Miami tied the game in the third and Ohio State won the shootout.
Hunter Bishop’s extra attacker goal vs. the Spartans was the first for the Buckeyes since Kyle Reed’s goal March 8, 2008 at Northern Michigan in the first round of the CCHA playoffs.
Alaska scored in the final minute March 15 to break a 0-0 tie and held on for the 1-0 win.
One of the Best
Sophomore goalie Dustin Carlson was named the National and CCHA Player of the Month for November. During the month he posted a 6-1 record, with a 1.47 goals-against average, .954 save percentage and three shutouts. In games Carlson started during November, he was 6-1-0 with a 1.29 goals-against average and .961 save percentage. He was named the league goalie of the week after holding Michigan State to just one goal in a two-game series sweep Nov. 7-8 and he had his first-career assist vs. Michigan State Nov. 8.
The winners of each of the four NCAA regionals will advance to the 2009 NCAA Frozen Four at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The national semifinals are at 5 and 8:30 p.m. April 9, with the national championship game at 7 p.m. April 11.