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Feb. 15, 2007

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 10th-ranked Ohio State women’s hockey team (16-12-4, 11-11-4 WCHA) concludes the regular season with a conference home series against Minnesota State (16-13-2, 12-12-2 WCHA), Feb. 16-17. Games begin at 7:07 p.m. Friday and 4:07 p.m. Saturday at OSU Ice Rink.

Battle for Home Ice
Ohio State and Minnesota State are tied for fourth in the WCHA standings at 26 points. The two will be battling for home ice this weekend with the top four teams in the league hosting the first round of the playoffs. The Buckeyes hold the tiebreaker after winning both games at Minnesota State earlier this season.

Senior Salute
Prior to the second game of the MSU series Saturday, the women’s hockey program will honor the five members of its senior class: Amber Bowman, Katie Maroney, Krysta Skarda, Lacey Schultz and Erika Vanderveer.

Minnesota State Series History
The Buckeyes hold a 26-3-3 advantage in the all-time series with Minnesota State. OSU has won the last four meetings in a row, all of which have been in Mankato, Minn., and is 7-2-1 in the last 10 meetings. The Buckeyes have a 10-2-2 record against the Mavericks at OSU Ice Rink.

When Last We Met…
Ohio State swept a Thanksgiving series at Minnesota State, Nov. 24-25. The Buckeyes recorded two one-goal wins (4-3 and 2-1), with juniors Tessa Bonhomme and Erin Keys each recording two goals and two assists in the series.

Bowman Approaching Century Mark
Senior Amber Bowman increased her career point total to 99 with two points at Wisconsin to tie the Ohio State record for points by a defenseman. She is tied with former All-American and two-time Olympian Emma Laaksonen (2001-04). With one more point, Bowman would become just the third Buckeye in program history to reach the 100-point milestone.

Last Time Out: Wisconsin
The No. 9/10 Buckeyes dropped their last two road games of the regular season, falling to No. 2 Wisconsin by scores of 5-2 and 3-2, Feb. 9 and 11, respectively. Juniors Erin Keys and Tessa Bonhomme both had a goal and an assist Sunday. Senior defenseman Amber Bowman had a goal Friday and an assist Sunday. Bowman, Bonhomme and Keys all extended their point streaks to four games.

Scouting the Mavericks
Minnesota State is 16-13-2 overall with a 12-12-2 record in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The Mavericks are 10-2-1 in their last 13 games, with nine of those wins coming in Mankato.

MSU’s top scorer is sophomore forward Maggie Fisher, who has a team-high 31 points and 17 goals, including five gamewinners. Junior Lindsay Macy is second with 30 points, followed by rookie Christina Lee with 26. In goal for the Mavericks is junior Britni Kehler. She is 16-12-2 with a 2.74 goals-against-average and .919 save percentage.

A Helpful Hand
Amber Bowman also recorded her 71st career assist in the Wisconsin series to rank second all-time in the OSU record books. Former Buckeye forward Jana Harrigan (2003-06) holds the record with 92.

Four Bucks Named WCHA Scholar-Athletes
Four Buckeyes were named WCHA Scholar-Athletes, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association announced Feb. 1. Senior goaltender Erika Vanderveer, junior forwards Erin Keys and Mallory Peckels and sophomore goaltender Liana Bonanno were among the 49 selections from the conference’s men’s and women’s teams. It is the first WCHA Scholar-Athlete nod for Bonanno and Keys and the second honor for Vanderveer and Peckels.

The Big Cheese
In the last 10 games, Lisa Chesson (nicknamed “Cheese”) has 13 points on five goals and eight assists. In the 17 games since Nov. 25, she has been held without a point just four times.

Top 3 D in the Nation
Only six defensemen in the nation have reached the 30-point mark this season, and three of them wear Scarlet and Gray. Amber Bowman (35 points), Tessa Bonhomme (34) and Lisa Chesson (32) are not only the second, third and fourth highest scoring defenseman overall in the WCHA, respectively, but they also have the second, third and fourth highest point totals by defensemen in the nation.

The trio has combined for 101 points, far and away the most by any defensive threesome in the nation. Wisconsin is second with a combined 75 points by their top three scoring defensemen, followed by St. Lawrence with 63 and New Hampshire with 61.

Blueliners Running Away with WCHA Lead
Overall as a unit, the Buckeyes lead the WCHA in defenseman scoring with 114 points on 35 goals and 79 assists. Wisconsin is second with 87 defenseman points. Amber Bowman (35 points) and Tessa Bonhomme (34) have outscored the entire defensive units of four of the eight teams in the WCHA.

Below is a breakdown of defensive scoring in the league:
1. Ohio State 114 points (35g-79a)
2. Wisconsin 87 (20-67)
3. Minnesota 58 (11-47)
4. Minn. Duluth 45 (11-34)
5. St. Cloud State 33 (4-29)
6. Bemidji State 29 (8-21)
7. Minn. State 24 (3-21)
8. North Dakota 23 (8-15)

The Big 4-0
Junior forward Erin Keys had two points in each game against the Badgers and finished the weekend with a goal and three assists. She increased her team-leading point total to 41, third-most overall in the WCHA. Keys is just the fourth Buckeye to record 40 or more points in a season and she ranks fifth in the OSU record books for single-season scoring.

Thirty Something
Heading into the 2006-07 season, only 12 Ohio State players had ever reached the 30-point mark in a season. This year, four Buckeyes – Erin Keys (41), Amber Bowman (35), Tessa Bonhomme (34) and Lisa Chesson (32) – have surpassed the 30-point milestone.

The point totals by Bowman, Bonhomme and Chesson are three of the Top 5 season totals for OSU defensemen. The record for points in a season by a blueliner is 40 set by Kelli Helcisak in 2000-01.

Dynamic Defensive Duo
The defensive tandem of Tessa Bonhomme and Amber Bowman have totaled 22 points in the last 11 games, and 45 points in the last 20 games. After both were held without a point for just the third time this season Jan. 27 vs. Minnesota Duluth, Bonhomme and Bowman have recorded a point in both games of the North Dakota and Wisconsin series.

Turn Around
Ohio State started this season 2-5-0 with 22 goals allowed in the first seven games (3.1 goals per game). Since then, the Buckeyes are 14-7-4 with 49 goals allowed in those 25 games (1.9 gpg).

At 16-12-4 overall, OSU has already surpassed its win total from the 2005-06 season when the team finished 13-18-5. The Buckeyes are two wins shy of tying their most wins in a season with 18 set in 2000-01 and 2001-02.

Man Up – Part I
OSU is 35-of-167 (21.0 percent) this season with the man-advantage, with 15 more PP goals through 32 games this year than the team scored in the entire 36-game 2005-06 season. Of the Buckeyes’ 252 points this season, 102 of them have been scored on the power play (40 percent). OSU’s power play ranks third overall in the WCHA and 10th in the nation.

Man Up – Part II
Defensemen Amber Bowman leads the Buckeyes and is tied for second in the WCHA with 21 points on the power play. Lisa Chesson is second with 20 PP points, followed by Erin Keys and Tessa Bonhomme with 17 points. Keys has a team-high nine power play goals, followed by Chesson with eight.

Shorthanded Streak Snapped
Ohio State gave up its first shorthanded goal of the season Friday at Wisconsin. The Buckeyes had not given up a shorthanded goal since Jan. 27, 2006 – a span of 41 games during which OSU had 207 power play opportunities.

She’s a Brick … Wall
Senior goaltender Erika Vanderveer had her eighth game this season with 30 or more saves Sunday when she stopped 34 shots at Wisconsin. Vanderveer is 128 saves away from becoming Ohio State’s all-time leader. Melissa Glaser (2000, `02, 04-05) holds the record with 2,271 saves.

One for the Books
Nine Buckeyes have already recorded career-highs in scoring this season. The top six OSU scorers have all posted career highs in points, with four of them recording career highs in goals: Erin Keys (18), Tessa Bonhomme (14), Morgan Marziali (13) and Lisa Chesson (11).

Up Next
Ohio State will play in the first round of the WCHA Playoff Championships. Game times and sites are to be determined.