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Jan. 20, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 10 Ohio State women’s ice hockey team plays host to No. 1 Minnesota at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink.

Ranked Nationally
Ohio State entered the national polls ranked 10th for the first time this season following its sweep over ECACHL foe Yale last weekend in the OSU Ice Rink.

The Broadcast
The game Saturday night vs. Minnesota will be broadcast on USCHO.com. Fans can access the live game feed through the broadcast schedule at www.uscho.com/women.

Live stats from the game can be accessed by going to the women’s hockey schedule page at ohiostatebuckeyes.com and clicking the Gametracker link.

Scouting No. 1 Minnesota
Minnesota enters the series undefeated in WCHA action this season with a 14-0-2 record. Overall, the Golden Gophers have posted a 19-1-2 record, with their only loss against Dartmouth.

The Golden Gophers’ power-play is ranked first in the nation scoring on 42-of-134 chances (31.3 percent). Minnesota’s penalty-kill is fifth in the nation (89.4 percent).

Leading the Golden Gophers with 67 points is junior forward Natalie Darwitz, on 24 goals and 43 assists. Not far behind with 64 points is junior forward Krissy Wendel, on 28 goals and 35 assists. The two have combined for almost half of Minnesota’s 119 goals this season. The duo each have 20 more points than the third leading scorer in the nation.

Two netminders have seen the ice for Minnesota this season. Leading the duo is senior Jody Horak with a 13-1-2 record. Horak is averaging 1.54 goals-against and has a .919 save percentage. Senior Brenda Reinen has a perfect 6-0 record in net this season.

Minnesota Head Coach
Now in her eighth season at the helm of the Minnesota women’s hockey program, Laura Halldorson has led her squad to three consecutive appearances in the Frozen Four, an NCAA championship title and an AWCHA title. In the past seven years, she has recorded a 190-42-18 record at Minnesota and has a 249-117-27 career record in 14 years.

Buckeyes vs. Golden Gophers
Minnesota leads the all-time series vs. OSU 21-3-1. OSU is 1-8-1 vs. the Golden Gophers in Columbus. Earlier this season Minnesota swept Ohio State in a two-game series in Minneapolis. Last year, the Buckeyes earned their first tie against the then-No. 1 Golden Gophers Feb. 20, 2004 in Columbus, Ohio.

Last Time vs. Minnesota
Ohio State was swept by then-No. 1 Minnesota in Minneapolis. The Golden Gophers defeated OSU 10-0 Nov. 6 and 5-1 Nov. 7 in Ridder Arena.

Same Team Now Opposite Teams
Last season, Ohio State head coach Jackie Barto coached Minnesota goalie Jody Horak and forward Natalie Darwitz when she served as an assistant coach on the USA Women’s Under-22 Team. The squad competed at the USA Hockey Festival Aug. 12-18, 2003, and in a three-game exhibition series vs. Team Canada Aug. 20-23, 2004.

Buckeyes vs. WCHA
This season Ohio State is 9-9-0 against teams in the WCHA. In their sixth season as a member of the league, the Buckeyes hold a 52-71-14 all-time record vs. the WCHA.

Last Time Out
Ohio State swept the Yale Bulldogs at home last weekend. OSU won 5-4 in overtime Jan. 14 and topped Yale 3-2 Jan. 15 in the OSU Ice Rink. The Buckeyes lead the all-time series 2-1 vs. Yale.

In game one, OSU took a 1-0 lead in the first period. Yale came back scoring two goals in the second but that did not stop the Buckeyes as they followed with three goals. The Bulldogs tied the game with two additional goals in the third. OSU pulled off the victory with a goal by Katie Maroney in overtime.

In game two, all five goals of the game were scored in the second period. Yale got on the scoreboard first with two goals within 20 seconds of each other. Ohio State came back scoring three goals of its own for the victory.

Harrigan’s Hat Tricks
Ohio State’s points leader Jana Harrigan led the Buckeyes with six points in their sweep over Yale last weekend. Harrigan recorded her second hat trick of the season en route to a four-point performance Jan. 14. She tallied two helpers Jan. 15 to extend her point streak to six games. During her stretch, Harrigan has posted 12 points, on four goals and eight assists.

This season, Harrigan leads the squad with 36 points and 23 assists, surpassing the 31 points she scored in her sophomore campaign.

Buckeye Career Leader
Assistant captain and Ohio State’s all-time leading scorer Jeni Creary continues to lead the team with 15 goals this season. Her 24 points places her second on the team and improves her career mark to 125 points in 127 games.

Home Ice Advantage
After two victories over Yale last weekend, the Buckeyes improved to 9-4-1 in the OSU Ice Rink this season.

Points in the Rink
Junior Jana Harrigan leads the Buckeyes with 25 points and 10 goals in the OSU Ice Rink this season. Second is senior Jeni Creary with 16 points.

Goalie Erika Vanderveer is 5-1-1 at home this season and has compiled a 1.84 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage on home ice. Melissa Glaser is 4-3-0 at home with an .885 save percentage.

The Difference Maker
Game two of a series could be the difference maker for the Buckeyes the rest of the season. Through the first half of the season OSU is 8-3-0 in the second game of a series. In the first game of the series OSU is 4-6-1.

Nearing the Top
Four Ohio State players are gaining on the top players in the country in several categories this season. Jana Harrigan is 14th in the nation averaging 1.64 points per game. She also is 12th averaging 1.05 assists per game.

Jeni Creary is 19th in the nation averaging .68 goals per game and is still tied for fifth with nine power-play goals this season.

Two Buckeye sophomore defensemen are ranked this week. Tessa Bonhomme is seventh averaging 1.00 points per game among defensemen and Amber Bowman is 12th averaging .64 points.

Go PP Go
Ohio State’s power play is ranked 10th in the nation with an 17.5 percent success rate (22-of-123).

On The Sixth Day
The Buckeyes are 7-3-1 in games played on Saturday, but are 2-5-0 on Fridays. OSU is 3-1-0 on Sundays.

Early Risers
Ohio State has posted a 6-2-1 record in games starting before 5 p.m. this season. The Buckeyes are 6-7-0 in late games.

Play Makers on the Power Play
Five Buckeyes have tallied 10 or more points on the power play this season. Jana Harrigan leads the pack with 14 points, on four goals and 10 assists. There is a three-way tie for second with 11 points each are Jeni Creary (9-2), Meaghan Mulvaney (5-6) and Tessa Bonhomme (2-9). Sophomore Amber Bowman has tallied 10 points (2-8) on the power play this season.

Double Digit Leaders
Twenty-two games into the season, five Buckeyes have recorded points in the double digits. Jana Harrigan leads the team with 36 points, while Jeni Creary has 24. Meaghan Mulvaney recorded 18 points. Sophomores Tessa Bonhomme and Amber Bowman are not far behind with 17 and 13 points, respectively.

Seniors Leading the Way
The Ohio State senior class is leading the team with 47 points this season. The group has combined for 26 goals and 21 assists. Not far behind are the juniors with 46 points (19-27). The sophomores have tallied 35 points (10-25), while the freshmen have 23 points (8-15).

Points All Around
Sixteen of 18 skaters have tallied points 22 games into the season. Fifteen of the 16 have scored at least one goal.

Six of the 14 are rookies – Mallory Peckels (1-7-8), Lisa Chesson (2-4-6), Jody Heywood (2-1-3), Shelby Aldous (1-1-2), Erin Keys (1-1-2) and Pamela Patterson (1-1-2).

Multiple-Point Leader
Junior Jana Harrigan leads the Buckeyes with 10 multiple-point games this season.

Not far behind with eight is senior Jeni Creary. Sophomore Tessa Bonhomme has tallied six multiple-point games this season.

Career Mark Set
Head coach Jackie Barto set a career mark Nov. 21 vs. Bemidji State, as she earned her 150 career win. In 11 seasons as a head coach, Barto has a 154-157-27 career record.

Keep Them Coming
Last season, Jeni Creary made her mark in the OSU record books as she became the first Buckeye to reach 100 career points. Creary concluded her junior year with two goals and an assist in the WCHA Final Five to move her career point total to 101, breaking the OSU record of 98 set by Shana Frost (1999-03).

This season, Creary has recorded eight points to improve her career mark to 125 points (72-53).

Jeni Creary has made her mark in the career record books topping four categories – points (125), goals (72), power-play goals (33) and game-winning goals (14).

Still to Come
The Buckeyes are in the middle of six-game homestand before they hit the road Jan. 28-29. The toughest part of the season is still to come for OSU, during which the team will compete four consecutive weekends on the road beginning with St Cloud State Jan. 28-29. OSU concludes the regular season at home vs. Minnesota State Feb. 25-26.

Bring On the Awards
Ohio State has earned six player of the week honors this season, two from USCHO.com and four WCHA accolade.

Senior Jeni Creary was named USCHO.com Offensive Player of the Week Oct. 17, WCHA Offensive Player of the Week Oct. 25 and Dec. 14.

Sophomore Tessa Bonhomme was named USCHO.com Defensive Player of the Week Oct. 24.

Junior Jana Harrigan has received two WCHA Offensive Player of the Week honors this season Nov. 16 and Nov. 22. Harrigan also received USCHO.com Offensive Player of the Week Honorable Mention.

International Contender
Defenseman Tessa Bonhomme was one of 20 players representing Canada in the 2004 Four Nations Cup Nov. 10-14 in Lake Placid, N.Y., and Burlington, Vt. Bonhomme is the first Buckeye to be selected to compete for the Canadian National Team and the second Ohio State player to participate in the round-robin tournament. Former Buckeye Emma Laaksonen (2001-04) competed for Finland in the Four Nations Cup all four years of her Ohio State career.

The Canadian roster announcement followed the seven-day Team Canada Thanksgiving Festival Oct. 4-10 in Kitchener, Ontario, and represented the first step in an ongoing evaluation process for Canada’s National Women’s Team leading to the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.

OSU’s Bonhomme made her presence felt at the Canada Thanksgiving Festival, scoring one goal and assisting on four. Bonhomme led her team (Canada White) to the gold medal as she recorded a goal and a helper to earn player of the game honors in the title game.

Postseason Action
The WCHA has expanded to an eight-team championship this season, which will be held March 3-7 at Ridder Arena, the site of the 2005 WCHA Final Five, in Minneapolis, Minn. The NCAA expanded its tournament to eight teams, adding regional games which will be held at campus sites March 18-20. The 2005 NCAA Frozen Four will be held March 25 and 27 at the Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H.

On the Radio Ohio State will appear on the internet seven times this season between USCHO.com and The Underground. The following is the broadcast schedule as of Oct. 20:

Ohio State 2004-05 Radio Broadcast Schedule Oct. 8 St. Cloud St. The Underground Oct. 22 Wisconsin The Underground Jan. 8 Minnesota-Duluth USCHO.com Jan. 14 Yale The Underground Jan. 15 Yale The Underground Jan. 22 Minnesota USCHO.com Feb. 25 Minnesota State The Underground

Live Stats and Web Information
New for the 2004-05 season, live stats from every Buckeye home game be found online at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

Also, keep track of the latest women’s ice hockey news, scores and stats by logging on to the Ohio State athletics website at ohiostatebuckeyes.com. The website also will feature an “On the Road with the Buckeyes” each road trip by junior forward Cyrstal Sayther.

Up Next for the Buckeyes
Ohio State hits the road to take on St. Cloud State for the beginning of an eight-game road stretch Jan. 28-29 in St. Cloud, Minn.

The Buckeyes return to the OSU Ice Rink Feb. 25-26 to conclude regular season action vs. Minnesota State.