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Oct. 18, 2005

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Faceoff
The No. 2/3 Ohio State men’s hockey team (1-1, 0-0 CCHA) opens Central Collegiate Hockey Association play with a home-and-home series with instate rival Bowling Green (0-2, 0-0 CCHA). The Buckeyes and Falcons will face off at 7:05 p.m. Thursday at the BGSU Ice Arena in Bowling Green, Ohio. Friday, OSU and BGSU will meet in the Buckeyes’ home opener at 7:05 p.m. in Value City Arena in Columbus.

The Broadcast
The Buckeyes’ games vs. Bowling Green will be broadcast online at wosu.org, with former Buckeye John Mowat (analysis) and Neil Sika (play-by-play) on the call.

The game Friday will be broadcast online by The Underground, Ohio State’s student-run radio station, at www.underground.fm/sports.

In addition, live stats from both games can be found online by following the links on the men’s hockey schedule page at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

The Fun Stuff
Before the game Friday, 97.9 WNCI will broadcast live outside the arena and will have chances for fans to win prizes, including Bon Jovi concert tickets.

Schedule magnets will be given to the first 2,500 fans and a postgame autograph session with the team is scheduled.

Single-game tickets to Ohio State men’s hockey home games are $11 for adults and $6 for students. Tickets for groups of 10 or more are available for $4. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-GO BUCKS or online at hangonsloopy.com.

Buckeye Hockey Weekly
This marks the third year Ohio State head coach John Markell will have a weekly radio call-in show, Buckeye Hockey Weekly. The show, which began last week, will be held for 15 weeks this season and can be heard on WBNS Radio (1460 AM/1460thefan.com). The show is typically held Tuesdays from 7-7:30 p.m. However, over the next weeks, the show has been moved to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25 and can be heard at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2.

Last Time Out
The Buckeyes went 1-1 to open their season, downing No. 4 Colorado College in the season opener, 4-2, last Friday before suffering a 1-0 loss in game two Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colo. OSU’s win over Colorado College Friday stopped the Tigers winning streak against non-WCHA teams at 20 (18-0-2), dating back to Michigan’s win over the Tigers in the 2003 NCAA tournament.

Bowling Green is 0-2 on the year, with home losses to Merrimack (3-2) and Boston College (9-6) last weekend.

In the Polls
The Buckeyes moved up to No. 2 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and to the No. 3 spot in the USCHO.com/CSTV rankings released Monday after splitting the series at Colorado College. The Buckeyes remained at No. 4 in the Inside College Hockey rankings.

The rankings are the highest for Ohio State in the history of the polls. Prior to this season, OSU had reached a high of sixth in the USA Today poll and fourth in the USCHO.com rankings.

In the preseason polls, Ohio State was tied for third in the USA Today poll and was fifth in the USCHO rankings.

Buckeyes vs. Tigers
Game 1 – OSU 4, CC 2
Senior Rod Pelley scored in the third period to break a 2-all tie and lift Ohio State to a 4-2 win over Colorado College Friday.

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead just 1:38 into the game before the Buckeyes tied the score with a Tyson Strachan goal later in the period. Matt McIlvane gave the Buckeyes the lead for the first time with a power-play goal early in the second period, but this time the Tigers tied the game on a goal by Derek Patrosso just under a minute later.

Pelley scored unassisted 4:48 into the third and Kyle Hood added an insurance goal on the power play at 10:11.

In the game, the Buckeyes outshot the Tigers, 26-25. Buckeye goalie Dave Caruso made 23 saves in the win.

Game 2 – CC 1, OSU 0
In game two, Colorado College forward and 2005 Hobey Baker Award winner Marty Sertich scored the only goal of the game in the first period, as the Buckeyes were shut out, 1-0.

The Buckeyes outshot the Tigers, 34-23, but OSU was unable to get the puck past CC goalie Matt Zaba. Caruso made 22 saves for the Buckeyes in the loss.

The game was the first time Ohio State was shut out and the first 1-0 game the squad was involved in since losing in overtime to Ferris State in game two of the CCHA tournament first-round series March 12, 2005.

OSU vs. BGSU – The Series
The Buckeyes trail the all-time series with Bowling Green, 59-90-5, but lead the series in Columbus, 37-33-2, and have won the last nine games overall vs. the Falcons.

OSU vs. BGSU in VCA
The Buckeyes are 9-2 against Bowling Green in Value City Arena, including a two-game sweep of the CCHA tournament first-round series in 2004. The Buckeyes have won the last seven games against the Falcons in VCA, dating back to Nov. 18, 2000, a 5-2 BGSU win.

The 2004-05 OSU-BGSU Series
Game 1 – OSU 3, BGSU 2
Mathieu Beaudoin had two goals and Kyle Hood had two assists as Ohio State downed Bowling Green, 3-2, Feb. 11 in Value City Arena.

The Buckeyes scored on their first two power-play chances of the game to take a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period. Bryce Anderson got the Buckeyes on the board with a power-play tally at 1:44, followed by Beaudoin’s first goal of the night at 8:40. Beaudoin added an even-strength marker at 10:58 of the second to put the Buckeyes up by three. BG then got on the board at 17:03 of the second, as Jonathan Matsumoto tallied. The Falcons cut OSU’s lead to one with a James Unger goal at 14:25 of the third. BG pulled goalie Jordan Sigalet with 1:50 remaining, but could not get the equalizer.

Game 2 – OSU 3, BGSU 2
Tom Fritsche had two assists and Hood scored the gamewinning goal, as OSU again downed the Falcons, 3-2, Feb. 12, 2005.

The Buckeyes scored 2:46 into the game, as Beaudoin tallied on the power play. Tyson Strachan made the score 2-0 at 14:37 of the first before Hood’s power-play goal 5:02 into the second period extended the Buckeyes’ lead to 3-0. BG climbed back into the game, scoring at 12:57 of the second and 8:27 of the third (on the power play), but could not get the equalizer.

The Last Time in BGSU Ice Arena
Ohio State and Bowling Green last met on the Falcons’ home ice in the 2003-04 season. The teams first met Nov. 29, 2003, when OSU won 7-0. The squads wrapped up the series when Ohio State posted a 4-3 victory Jan. 31, 2004.

A Former Falcon
Buckeye head coach John Markell played for the Falcons from 1976-79, earning First Team All-CCHA honors three times. He was inducted into the BGSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.

Competing for the Cup
The games this weekend mark the first games of the 2005-06 Ohio Cup competition. Because Ohio State, Miami and Bowling Green are in the same CCHA scheduling cluster this season, all games between the teams will count. Ohio State won the trophy, sponsored by the Buckeye Sports Bulletin, last season. Bowling Green leads the way with 13 titles.

A Look at the Falcons
Bowling Green enters the series with Ohio State 0-2 on the year, with losses to Merrimack (3-2) and then-No. 4 Boston College (9-6) last weekend at home.

The squad is led in scoring by sophomore Jonathan Matsumoto, who has a team-best four goals and five points, including a hat trick vs. the BC Eagles. Sophomore forward Alex Foster has a team-best three assists. Freshman defenseman Kevin Schmidt leads the blueliners with three (1-2) points.

Scott Paluch, a 1991 graduate of Bowling Green, is in his fourth season at the helm of the Falcons. He has a career ledger of 35-61-16.

See You Soon
Because Ohio State and Bowling Green are in the same CCHA scheduling cluster this season (joined by Miami and Notre Dame), the teams will meet for another home-and-home series later this season. The clubs will face off at 7:05 p.m. Jan. 6 in Columbus and at 4:05 p.m. Jan. 7 in Bowling Green in a game that will be televised by FSN.

Open it Up
Ohio State opens CCHA play with its series with Bowling Green this week. Ohio State is 3-1-1 in its last five CCHA openers, including a win at Ferris State last season, and 15-15-2 all-time in the first CCHA game of the season.

OSU swept the Bulldogs in the first league series of 2004-05 by 4-2 and 4-3 OT scores.

OSU last opened CCHA play against Bowling Green in 1993-94. The Buckeyes were swept in that home-and-home series, falling on the road, 6-0, and at home, 3-2, Oct. 22-23, 1993.

Open It Up – Part Two
The Buckeyes are 4-1-1 in their home openers in Value City Arena, including a 9-3 win over Miami Oct. 21, 2004.

All-time, the Buckeyes are 31-9-2 in their home openers.

A Veteran Crew
Every Buckeye that played in the game Friday vs. Colorado College already had one year of collegiate hockey under his belt. In contrast, in the season opener last year, eight freshmen played, including two defensemen and the starting goalie.

This season, the Buckeyes have a CCHA-low two freshmen on the squad.

Breaking a Streak
The win over Colorado College last Friday was Ohio State’s first in a season opener since downing Northern Michigan on the road to open the 2000-01 campaign. The Buckeyes were 0-3-1 in their last four season openers, with losses to New Hampshire last season, Denver in 2003 and Minnesota in 2002 and a tie vs. Notre Dame in 2001.

Off to a Good Start
Junior defenseman Tyson Strachan scored his fourth career goal vs. Colorado College last Friday, marking his first since Feb. 12 vs. Bowling Green (that goal was his only goal of last season). Strachan was named second star of the game for his efforts.

Sophomore forward Matt McIlvane also scored for the Buckeyes Friday, marking his first goal since Oct. 21, 2004 vs. Miami.

Junior Andrew Schembri and sophomore Tom Fritsche each had two assists in the game vs. the Tigers Friday, while senior Rod Pelley had two points on a goal and an assist.

On the Road Again
After the Buckeyes open their home schedule Friday vs. Bowling Green, the team has three more road games – a series at Western Michigan and a single game at Miami – before opening up a four-game homestand, with single games vs. Miami and Michigan State and a two-game series against Lake Superior State

Special Teams
The Buckeyes held Colorado College scoreless on 11-of-12 power-play chances last weekend and were 2-for-14 with the man advantage. Last season, the Buckeyes were first in the CCHA on the penalty kill and second in the league on the power play.

Keeping their Cool
The Buckeyes averaged 8.5 penalties and 17 penalty minutes a game in the two-game series at Colorado College last weekend. That was a big change from last season, when OSU was the most penalized team in the nation for most of the season and ended the year ranked second, averaging 10.4 penalties and 24.2 penalty minutes a game.

Buckeyes in VCA
The Buckeyes were 15-3-1 in Value City Arena last season, with two of the three losses coming to Ferris State in overtime. All-time, OSU is 76-36-10 (.664) in VCA. In CCHA play, the Buckeyes are 55-29-10 (.638) in VCA.

On the Big Sheet
The Buckeyes’ win over Colorado Springs Friday was the team’s first on Olympic size ice since downing Northern Michigan Nov. 8, 2003 in Marquette.

Ohio State was 0-3 on the bigger sheet last season, with losses to UNH and St. Cloud State at New Hampshire in the Ice Breaker tournament and a loss in the NCAA tournament to Cornell at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis.

Record Watch
Senior defenseman Nate Guenin has 35 career penalty minutes, seven behind 10th-place Hugh Prentice (1971-74).

Senior goalie Dave Caruso had 40 career wins, two behind Jeff Maund in seventh place. Caruso is fourth in the Buckeye record book in career shutouts (6) and first in career goals-against average (2.01).

Up Next
The Buckeyes go back on the road, traveling to Kalamazoo, Mich., to take on Western Michigan. The teams will meet at 7:35 p.m. Oct. 28-29 in Lawson Arena.

The History
The Buckeyes are in their 43rd season as a varsity program. The squad is 678-684-95 all-time. The squad has posted four consecutive seasons with 20 or more wins, marking a first in program history. Under 11th-year head coach John Markell, the Buckeyes have six seasons with 20 or more wins.

Preseason Predictions
Ohio State was picked to finish first in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association by both the coaches and the media.

It was the highest preseason ranking for OSU in the history of the polls. Ohio State’s previous high was the second-place rating entering the 1998-99 season after the Buckeyes reached the 1998 NCAA Frozen Four.

This season, OSU was the unanimous choice among the coaches, receiving all 11 first-place votes (coaches can not vote for their own teams).

In the media poll, the Buckeyes picked up 47-of-54 first-place votes.

Michigan and Northern Michigan followed the Buckeyes in second and third place, respectively, in both polls.

Buckeyes to Watch For
A league-best six Buckeyes were named to the Preseason All-CCHA teams. Senior forward Rod Pelley and senior goalie Dave Caruso were first-team choices, senior defenseman Nate Guenin and sophomore forward Tom Fritsche were named to the second team and junior defenseman Sean Collins and junior forward Mathieu Beaudoin were honorable mention choices.

No other team had more than two players named to the first, second and honorable mention teams combined.

Caruso was a Preseason Second Team All-American by both Inside College Hockey and USCHO.com. Fritsche was a INCH Preseason All-America Third Team choice. Pelley was an honorable mention All-USCHO selection. Guenin was named a Preseason First Team All-American by collegehockeynews.com.

A Quick Recap
The Buckeyes were 27-11-4 last season and earned an at-large berth into the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive season. The team finished second in the CCHA regular-season standing with a 21-5-2 ledger (its highest finish in over 20 years) and was the runner-up in the CCHA Super Six tournament.

Who’s back
The Buckeyes return 21-of-24 letterwinners and 23-of-26 players from the 2004-05 team.

The team returns its Top 6 scorers and 92.1 percent of its points from last season, as well as 90.8 percent of its goals.

Sophomore Tom Fritsche led the team in assists (34) and points (45) last season, while junior Mathieu Beaudoin (23) and senior Rod Pelley (22) were first and second in goals. Pelley also ranked second in points with 41. Junior Sean Collins led the OSU defensemen in scoring with 26 points.

In all, the Buckeyes return eight of nine players that scored 20 or more points last season and five of six players with double-digit goals last season.

The Breakdown
The Buckeye roster contains four seniors, nine juniors, a CCHA-high 11 sophomores and a league-low two freshmen.

Who’s New
There are three new faces on the Buckeye roster this season – freshman forwards Nick Biondo and Corey Elkins and junior transfer Tommy Goebel. Goebel is unable to play for Ohio State this season because of NCAA transfer rules.

Who’s Gone
The three seniors from the 2004-05 squad – captain JB Bittner, Lee Spector and Thomas Welsh – all finished their eligibility last season. All three have earned their degrees from OSU, with Spector graduating in the spring and Bittner and Welsh earning their degrees in the summer. The class was the first in OSU history to have at least 20 wins in all four years and to reach the NCAA tournament three times.

With the Best
The Buckeyes ended 2004-05 as the only team in the nation ranked in the Top 9 in all six categories ranked by the NCAA – penalty killing (5th/.870), winning percentage (6th/.690), scoring margin (8th/1.1), power-play percentage (8th/.219), scoring offense (8th/3.38) and scoring defense (9th/2.29). In the CCHA, OSU was in the Top 3 in four team categories – goals for and against per game, power play and penalty killing, both overall and in CCHA games only. The Buckeyes were the only team to rank among the Top 3 in all eight categories.

Over the Summer
Ohio State sophomore Tom Fritsche was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the second round of the NHL Entry Draft with the 47th overall pick. He is the first second-round choice in OSU history and the fourth-highest Buckeye draft pick, behind only first-round choices R.J. Umberger, Ryan Kesler and Dave Steckel.

Buckeye sophomores Fritsche, Ian Keserich and Domenic Maiani participated in the 2005 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y. The trio helped Team USA combine for a 7-1 record vs. Finland and Sweden.

The camp included 42 under-20 athletes eligible for a spot on the 2006 U.S. National Junior Team, with the athletes split into two teams (Blue and White).

Leading the Way
Senior Nate Guenin, an alternate captain for the Buckeyes the last two seasons, was voted team captain by his teammates for the 2005-06 campaign. Guenin takes over the captaincy from two-time leader JB Bittner, who completed his eligibility in 2004-05. The duo grew up playing hockey together in Pittsburgh for the Pittsburgh Hornets junior hockey organization.

Senior Rod Pelley is in his second year as an alternate captain, while junior Sean Collins is in his first year wearing the `A’.

Shooting For 20
The Buckeyes are looking to extend their streak of seasons with 20 or more wins to five, after setting the program record with its fourth in a row last season. The school’s 27 wins last season tied for the second-most in program history.

Tracking Former Buckeyes
A number of former Buckeyes have continued their hockey careers in the professional ranks. Ryan Kesler made the roster of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. R.J. Umberger was the last player sent down from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Philadelphia Phantoms (AHL), the team Umberger won the Calder Cup with last season. Eric Meloche also is on the Phantoms roster this season. Dave Steckel also was one of the last players sent down from the Washington Capitals to the Hershey Bears of the AHL.

Three former Buckeyes are playing for the Johnstown Chiefs of the ECHL – Doug Andress, Paul Caponigri and JB Bittner.

All-American Jeff Maund is playing in Austria, while two-time All-American Hugo Boisvert is playing in Germany.