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Ohio State vs. Western Michigan
Friday, Jan. 23 – 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 24 – 7:05 p.m.
Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio

The Series
2007-08 Series – Tied 1-1-0
at Western Michigan 4, Ohio State 2 (Nov. 23, 2007)
Ohio State 3, at Western Michigan 0 (Nov. 24, 2007)
Series History – WMU leads 62-56-9
In Columbus – Ohio State leads 31-29-5
In Kalamazoo, Mich. – WMU leads 33-24-4
Neutral Site – Ohio State leads 1-0-0
CCHA Regular Season – WMU leads 28-24-5
Postseason – Ohio State leads 4-1-0
Overtime – Ohio State leads 5-3-9
Last 10 – WMU leads 5-4-1

Buckeye This and That
Ohio State is 9-1-1 in Value City Arena this year and is on a nine-game winning streak at home.
The Buckeyes carry a 12-game unbeaten streak into the series vs. Western Michigan. The team is 11-0-1 in its last 12 outings, including 11-consecutive wins. The squad is 14-1-1 in its last 16 games and is tied for second nationally with 16 wins.
The Buckeyes competed in and won their second shootout last Saturday, downing Ferris State to earn all four league points on the weekend.
Freshman Ian Boots leads all CCHA rookies in scoring with 20 points and is tied for seventh in the NCAA in rookie points per game (.91).
The Buckeyes are second in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 3.75 goals a game.
The games this weekend are the Buckeyes only CCHA games in Columbus in January. The squad traveled to Bowling Green and Ferris State earlier this month and will trek to Alaska next weekend.
Ohio State has picked up nine CCHA Player of the Week awards this year. Corey Elkins was named CCHA Offensive Player of the Week and Matt Bartkowski was named league rookie of the week Monday. It marked the second honor for Bartkowski.
Ohio State players have the Top 4 plus/minus ratings in the CCHA this year, led by Hunter Bishop at +20, Corey Elkins at +18 and Ian Boots and John Albert at +15.

Gamenight
COLUMBUS, Ohio —
The No. 11/12 Ohio State men’s hockey team returns home after a 3-0-1 road trip to host Western Michigan this weekend. The Buckeyes (16-6-2, 9-5-1-2 CCHA) and Broncos (6-13-5, 3-9-4-1 CCHA) will meet at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Value City Arena.

The Fun Stuff
The Friday game is Quarter Dog Night, with 25-cent hot dogs (while supplies last). Saturday is a FUNday Saturday. For $11 each person receives one game ticket, one pizza, one soda and one OSU Ice Rink skating pass. There also will be a Meet the Buckeyes postgame autograph session with freshmen Cory Schneider, Taylor Stefishen and Steve West.

Follow the Buckeyes
WOSU Radio (820 AM Columbus/wosu.org) will carry both of the Buckeyes’ games vs. Western Michigan this weekend, with Herb Howenstine (play-by-play) and former Buckeye John Mowat (analysis) on the call.

Live stats from the games this weekend can be accessed from the men’s hockey schedule page online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

A live webstream will be available at OhioStateBuckeyes.com through the Buckeye Vision subscription service. Visit the web site for more information or to sign up.

Polling
The Buckeyes moved to No. 11 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll released Monday and hold down the No. 12 spot in the USCHO.com/CBS College Sports Division I Men’s Poll. In the InsideCollegeHockey.com power rankings, Ohio State is No. 10.

Adding Up
Ohio State had its winning streak ended at 11 with the tie (shootout win) Saturday at Ferris State, but extended its unbeaten streak to 12 (11-0-1). It is the longest unbeaten streak since the 2002-03 squad was 9-0-1 over a 10-game stretch Dec. 6, 2002-Jan. 17, 2003 and is the second-longest active streak in the nation. The squad has won 14 of its last 16 games (14-1-1), with the lone loss on the road at Northern Michigan Nov. 21. The 11-game streak was the longest winning streak for an Ohio State team since winning 13 in a row Oct. 7-Nov. 19, 1983.

The Buckeyes’ 16 wins this season are tied for second nationally, behind Notre Dame’s 19 victories. Michigan and Boston University also have 16 victories on the year.

Buckeye Brief
The Buckeyes are 16-6-1 on the year and 9-5-2-2 in the CCHA, including shootout wins over Miami and Ferris State. The squad is averaging 3.8 goals a game, while allowing 2.7. On the power play, the Buckeyes have converted 20-of-124 chances (.161) and have stopped 109-of-134 opponent opportunities (.813).

Senior Corey Elkins is first on the team with 26 points, followed by John Albert with 25. Albert leads the squad with 17 assists with Elkins one behind. Freshman Zac Dalpe has a team-best 12 goals, followed by Elkins and sophomore Hunter Bishop with 10 each. Three other Buckeyes have 20 points on the year – Bishop, freshman Ian Boots and sophomore Peter Boyd. Shane Sims is third with 14 assists and leads the defensemen with 17 points. Bishop has a team-best +20 mark, followed by Elkins at +18. Elkins, Boyd and sophomore Sergio Somma lead the team with three power-play goals each and Albert and Dalpe each have a team-best three game-winning goals.

In net, sophomore Dustin Carlson has played in 21 games, starting 18 (including 15 of the last 16), with a 2.23 goals-against average, .929 save percentage and 14-3-1 record.

League Ledger
With 12 conference games remaining, the Buckeyes stand in fourth place in the CCHA standings. Ohio State, with 22 points in 16 games, is three points behind Miami and Alaska in second place and has two games in hand on the RedHawks and four games in hand on the Nanooks. Notre Dame is in first place with 32 points in 18 games. The Buckeyes are one point ahead of Nebraska-Omaha (18 games played) and two ahead of sixth-place Michigan (26 gp). The Top 4 teams in the final league standings earn first-round byes in the CCHA playoffs, with teams 5-8 hosting teams 9-12 in the first round. The Top 4 teams host quarterfinal rounds against the first-round winners.

Flashback
The Buckeyes earned four points at Ferris State last weekend, with a 6-2 win and shootout victory after skating to a 2-2 overtime tie.

Behind three assists from Shane Sims and a goal and an assist from both Corey Elkins and John Albert, Ohio State downed Ferris State, 6-2, last Friday. Ohio State trailed in the first period 1-0 and 2-1 but scored five unanswered for the win. In all, 12 Buckeyes had at least a point.

After giving up an early unassisted goal, the Buckeyes tied the game on a Peter Boyd tally. Ferris again went ahead, this time on a power-play goal. The Buckeyes tied the game at 2 when Elkins’ power-play shot deflected off a Bulldog and into the net and went ahead for the first time on C.J. Severyn’s tally with just 1:34 left in the first. Ohio State extended its lead to 4-2 on a Hunter Bishop second-period goal and goalie Dustin Carlson stopped all 16 shots he faced in the middle stanza. Ian Boots and Albert scored in the third for the 6-2 final.

In the second game the Buckeyes led 1-0 after the first on an Elkins goal. The Bulldogs tied the game in the second. Carlson stopped a penalty shot to keep the game tied and then Matt Bartkowski put Ohio State ahead with less than four minutes remaining in the period. The Buckeyes held their one-goal lead until Zach Redmond scored an extra-attacker goal with 57 seconds remaining to force overtime. The teams remained tied after the 5-minute overtime. In the shootout, Boyd put the Buckeyes ahead in the first round. Carlson had two saves as the Buckeyes won their second shootout of the year.

Buckeyes vs. Broncos
The Buckeyes trail the all-time series with Western Michigan, 56-62-9. In the last 10 meetings, the series is close at 5-4-1 in WMU’s favor.

The teams tied the series in Kalamazoo last season. Ohio State dropped the opener 4-2 Nov. 23, 2007, before rebounding for a 3-0 victory Nov. 24. The win ended a five-game (0-4-1) winless streak for the Buckeyes vs. the Broncos.

On Buckeye Ice
Ohio State leads the series with the Broncos in Columbus, 31-29-5. The teams last met in Columbus Nov. 9-10, 2006. Western Michigan won the first game, 8-5, in Value City Arena before the teams tied game two, 2-2, in the Ohio Expo Center.

On the Scoresheet
Senior Corey Elkins has a team-best two assists and three points vs. the Broncos. He is the only Buckeye with more than one career point vs. WMU. Junior goalie Joseph Palmer posted his second career shutout with 16 saves vs. the Broncos last year.

A Look at the Broncos
Western Michigan is 6-13-5 on the year and 3-4-9-1 in CCHA play to tie for ninth. The squad swept a non-conference series at home with Alabama-Huntsville last weekend, coming from behind for a 4-3 win and winning game two, 5-1. It was the team’s first sweep since two wins vs. Wayne State Dec. 7-8, 2007. The victories marked the Broncos’ first back-to-back wins of 2008-09.

Senior Patrick Galivan and junior Tyler Ludwig share the team lead with 17 points each. Ludwig, the reigning CCHA Defenseman of the Week after recording five assists last weekend, has a team-best 13 assists, followed by Galivan with 10 and freshman Greg Squires with nine. Sophomore Max Campbell has a team-best 10 goals, followed by Galivan with seven. Six of Campbell’s 10 goals have been on the power play and Galivan has a team-best two shorthanded scores. In all, the team has five shorthanded goals on the year.

In net, junior Riley Gill has played in 14 games, with a 5-7-1 record, 2.92 goals-against average and .909 save percentage. Sophomore Jerry Kuhn has seen action in 11 games, posting a 1-6-4 record, 3.46 goals-against and .904 save percentage.

Jim Culhane, a 1987 graduate of Western Michigan, is in his 10th year at the helm of his alma mater. He has a school and career ledger of 141-195-38.

Four-Point Play
The Buckeyes were 1-0-1 at Ferris State and won the shootout Saturday for a four-point weekend, the fourth four-point CCHA weekend for the team this year and the third consecutive. The team has earned points in all but one league series so far and stands in fourth place in the league.

Breaking Away
The shootout at Ferris State Saturday was the first for the Buckeyes since Oct. 10 vs. Miami in the opening game of the year, with Ohio State winning both. The team has scored on 4-of-5 shootout chances, with Peter Boyd scoring in both shootouts. He had the lone goal in the 1-0 shootout win Saturday.

Have a Game
Sophomore goalie Dustin Carlson made a career-high 47 saves in the shootout win Saturday at Ferris State. During the game he stopped the first penalty shot of his career, making a save to keep the game tied. In his first shootout, he stopped both shots on net as Ohio State won, 1-0.
 
The Friendly Confines

Ohio State returns home to Value City Arena this weekend after going 3-0-1 (with a shootout win) in four-consecutive road games. The team is 9-1-1 in VCA this year and on a nine-game winning streak in its home rink. The squad won in a shootout in its first game of the year at home and lost to Lake Superior State in game two before beginning the winning streak began vs. the Lakers Oct. 18. The nine wins in VCA are the most for the team since the 2004-05 squad had 15 home victories. The team is outscoring opponents, 44-22, in VCA this season.
 
On the Plus Side

The Buckeyes, who have outscored opponents 68-34 at even strength, have the Top 4 plus/minus ratings in the league. Hunter Bishop is first at +20, followed by Corey Elkins in second at +18 and Ian Boots and John Albert tied for third at +15. Freshman defensemen Sean Duddy and Matt Bartkowski are tied for ninth overall and fourth among defensemen at +11.

Two for Three
The Buckeyes had back-to-back three-assist games, as Shane Sims posted three helpers at Ferris State Friday to match the total John Albert had at Bowling Green last Saturday. It was a team season high and career best for each.

A Streak to Stop
Ohio State has allowed an extra-attacker goal to tie the game each of its last two Saturday games. At Bowling Green Jan. 10 the Buckeyes rallied to win in overtime and earned all four league points at Ferris State with the shootout win.

Goal Good Stuff
The Buckeyes have scored six or more goals in five of their last nine games and rank second nationally in goals per game (3.75).

The team last ended a  season averaging more than 3.5 goals an outing in 1997-98, when it scored an average of 3.83 goals a game.

The Buckeyes have three 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). It is the first time the team has scored at least seven goals in three games in a season since 2004-05, when the squad had two seven-goal outputs (7-1 vs. Sacred Heart Nov. 6, 2004 and 7-0 vs. Western Michigan Jan. 29, 2005) and a 9-3 victory over Miami Oct. 21, 2004.

Even Up
The Buckeyes have recorded 90 goals this season, including games with 10, 8, 7, 6 and 5 goals, but have had just six players record a multiple-goal game through 24 games.

Of the 28 goals in the four games combined since returning from the December break, all but four have come at even strength a shorthanded goal by Shane Sims vs. Bowling Green Jan. 9 and three power-play tallies. Two have been scored into an empty net, with 22 5-on-5 tallies and a 4-on-4 marker at Ferris State last week.

He’s a Helper
Sophomore defenseman Shane Sims had a career-high three assists and points and tied the team’s season best for assists last Friday at Ferris State. He was held scoreless Saturday vs. the Bulldogs, ending his career-long point streak at nine (3-11-14).

Sims leads the Buckeye blueliners with three goals, 14 assists and 17 points this year, all career highs. He is tied for fourth in the CCHA in defenseman scoring and tied for 20th among NCAA blueliners in points per game (.71). He also was a career-best +3 vs. Ferris State last Friday and is +10 on the year, with a +1 or better mark in eight of the last 10 games.

Corey’s Story
Corey Elkins ranks in the Top 7 in the CCHA in points (26/t-4th), assists (16/t-5th), goals (10/t-7th) and plus/minus (+18/2nd). He had a goal and an assist at Ferris State last Friday, his sixth multiple-point game this season and his fourth in the last eight games. He added a goal vs. the Bulldogs last Saturday.

Elkins, who has posted career highs in goals, assists and points this year, has at least one point in 18 games this season and has not gone more than one game without a point.

Elkins is +1 or better in 12 of the last 15 games, including +2 in each game at Ferris State.

Albert Helps Out
Sophomore John Albert had his team-best eighth multiple-point game of the season last Friday at Ferris State with a goal and an assist. He is second on the team with 25 points, ranking seventh in the CCHA. His 17 assists, matching his career high, are fourth in the league and he has a team-best three game-winning goals to rank third (tied) in the CCHA and seventh (tied) in the NCAA. He is +15 on the year to rank third in the CCHA.

Between the Pipes
Sophomore goalie Dustin Carlson has 18 starts this season, including in 15 of the last 16 games, sitting out just the second contest vs. Bentley Dec. 13. Carlson has a 2.23 goals-against average and .925 save percentage on the year, with a 14-3-1 ledger. He is second in the CCHA in saves (559), ranks fourth in the CCHA in save percentage and seventh in goals-against. In the national stats he ranks sixth in winning percentage (.806) and 10th in save percentage, along with ranking 19th in gaa.

Carlson, who shares the CCHA lead with four shutouts, 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.

Hitting the Mark
Through 24 games this season, five Buckeyes have 20 or more points. Corey Elkins is first with 26, followed by John Albert with 25 and Hunter Bishop, Ian Boots and Peter Boyd tied for third with 20. Last year, just four Buckeyes had at least 20 points.

Every Buckeye skater has at least one point on the year. Eighteen have at least one goal, 25 have at least one assist and 18 have both a goal and an assist. 

Eight for No. 4
Sophomore defenseman Corey Toy has an assist in five of his last six games (including the last three) and in seven of the last 10. He now has a career-high eight assists and points on the year. Toy is +9 this season and +1 or better in the last three-consecutive games and in seven of the last 10. He is first on the squad with 37 recorded blocked shots this season.

Leader of the Pack
With 20 points this season, freshman Ian Boots ranks first in the CCHA in rookie scoring and is seventh nationally in freshman points per game (.91). He scored a goal in the series opener at Ferris State and has been held scoreless just three times in the last 11 games, with four multiple-point outings over the stretch.

Boots leads all CCHA freshmen and is tied for third in the league with a +15 mark. He is +1 or better in all but one of his last nine games, including +2 ratings in each game at Ferris Sate.

No. 3 on D
Freshman Matt Bartkowski, with 11 points this season, including eight assists, is tied for second among CCHA rookie defensemen in scoring and ranks 13th among league blueliners overall. He is +11 on the year to tie for fourth among league defensemen (second among rookies). He is +1 or better in eight of his last 11 games. He has just three minus ratings this season, with a +1 or better mark in 12 games.

Twenty-Twenty
Sophomore Peter Boyd scored at Ferris State last Friday to hit the 20-point mark this season with eight goals and 12 assists. It is his second 20-point season after he posted a 10-14-24 line as a freshman a year ago.

No. 8
Sophomore forward Hunter Bishop is second on the team with 10 goals this year. He tallied at Ferris State last Friday and added an assist in the second game vs. the Bulldogs to move to an even 10 goals, 10 assists and 20 points on the year. He had just one goal in his first 10 games with the squad but now has nine in the last 14 games.

Bishop is first in the CCHA with a +18 rating, including +2 marks in each game at Ferris State, and is tied for seventh in the league in goal scoring.

Zac Attack
Freshman forward Zac Dalpe leads the Buckeyes with 12 goals this season, ranking first among CCHA rookies in goals and ranking second nationally in goals among rookies. He had an assist at Ferris State last Friday, his first helper since Nov. 14 vs. Robert Morris. Dalpe has 17 points this year and is tied for third among CCHA rookies in points. Dalpe is fourth in the CCHA overall in goal scoring and 20th in the NCAA in goals per game. Three of his goals are gamewinners, tying for third in the CCHA and seventh in the NCAA. His 12 goals this season are the most for a Buckeye freshman since Domenic Maiani had 12 in 2004-05.

Get on the Board
The first goal has proved important in many of the Buckeyes’ games this season. Ohio State is 11-1-2 when scoring first, but 5-5-0 when allowing the first goal. The team is 10-0-2 when leading after the first period, 2-4 when trailing after the first and 4-2 when tied after the opening stanza.

When ahead after the second period, the Buckeyes are undefeated (10-0-1). The squad has rallied to win two games (2-5-0) and is 4-1-1 when even after two stanzas.

Catching Up
Former Buckeyes are playing at all levels of professional hockey, both in the United States and abroad. 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.

Eight 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 (Milwaukee Admirals), Tommy Goebel (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins) and Tom Fritsche (Lake Erie Monsters).

Two former Buckeyes are in the ECHL – Ian Keserich (Johnstown Chiefs) and Johann Kroll (South Carolina Stingrays). 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.

In the Close Ones
Ohio State is 5-1 in one-goal games this year, including two overtime victories. The squad was 6-8 in games decided by one goal a year ago.

Better Late than Never
The Buckeyes have outscored their opponents, 38-20, in the third period this season, leading the CCHA in third-period goals. The squad has been outscored in the second period, 27-24. In the first, Ohio State has outscored its opponents, 26-17. The team helped its third-period totals with a seven-goal outburst vs. Bentley Dec. 12, including five power-play tallies.

Then and Now
Through 24 games this season, nine Buckeyes have 13 or more points. After all 41 games a year ago, 12 Ohio State players had double-digit points. The squad is averaging 3.75 goals a game this season and was held to just 2.4 an outing last year. On the defensive side, the squad is allowing 2.67 goals an outing and gave up 3.3 a season ago. The team has 16 wins this season, already passing the 12 victories the squad had a year ago. The team is 9-5-1 in CCHA play, surpassing the seven conference wins from 2007-08.

We’re Honored
Ohio State has received nine league player of the week accolades so far this year. Zac Dalpe (rookie), Matt Bartkowski (rookie) and Dustin Carlson (goalie) each have been honored twice. Corey Elkins was named the league offensive player of the week, with sophomores Shane Sims and Corey Toy named defenseman of the week.

On the Air
Head coach John Markell has his weekly radio call-in show on WBNS 1460 AM again this season, hosted by Buckeye play-by-play voice Herb Howenstine. To call in to the show with questions or comments for Markell, fans should dial 614-821-1460.
Coach Markell Call-In Show Schedule
Wednesday, Jan. 21/8-8:30 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 9/8-8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 17/7-7:30 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 23/8-8:30 p.m.

Up Next
The Buckeyes will make the trek to Fairbanks, Alaska, to take on the Alaska Nanooks next weekend. The teams will meet at 11:05 ET Jan. 30-31 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.

Ohio State will then return home to face Notre Dame. In a Friday/Sunday series, the teams will meet at 7:05 p.m. Feb. 6 and at 2:05 p.m. Feb. 8 in Value City Arena.