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Feb. 8, 2005

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Faceoff
The No. 7 Ohio State men’s hockey team plays host to instate rival and Central Collegiate Hockey Association foe Bowling Green for two games this weekend. The Buckeyes (20-7-3, 17-4-1/2nd CCHA) and Falcons (13-9-4, 10-7-3/5th CCHA) will meet at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Value City Arena.

The Broadcast
The games vs. Bowling Green this weekend will be broadcast on WOSU Radio (820 AM/wosu.org) with Neil Sika calling the action and former Buckeyes Gord Rivington (Friday) and John Mowat (Saturday) providing analysis.

The Friday game will be broadcast by WOSU and shown on a tape-delayed basis at 10 p.m. that day on the WOSU.Plus service. WOSU.Plus is available on the following cable systems – Insight channel 768, Time Warner channel 199 and WOW channel 153.

The Underground, OSU’s student-run radio station, will broadcast both games online at www.underground.fm/sports.

Live stats from the games can be accessed by clicking on the Gametracker link on the men’s hockey schedule page at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

Fans also will be able to watch the games by webcast online at ohiostatebuckeyes.com. The webcast is available within the College Sports Pass subscription service which features exclusive live and on-demand audio and video content. For more information, go online to ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

Last Time Out
Ohio State swept a two-game series against Lake Superior State in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., winning 3-1 Feb. 4 and coming back to win in overtime, 3-2, Feb. 5.

Bowling Green went 1-0-1 on the road at Ferris State in Big Rapids, Mich., coming back to tie the opener, 5-5, Feb. 4 before a 4-2 victory Feb. 5.

In the Rankings
Ohio State moved up to No. 7 in both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls following its sweep of Lake Superior State. The squad moved two spots in the INCH (insidecollegehockey.com) power poll to No. 9.

Got It
The Buckeyes’ sweep of Lake Superior State last weekend clinched home ice for the Buckeyes for the first round of the CCHA playoffs. It is the third year in a row OSU will play host to a first-round series. OSU has won its last three first-round series to advance to the CCHA Super Six at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

In the League
Second-place Ohio State moved to one point behind first-place Michigan in the CCHA standings following the Buckeyes’ sweep of Lake Superior State and Michigan’s two ties vs. Michigan State last weekend. The Buckeyes have an eight-point cushion on third-place Northern Michigan and are 10 points ahead of fourth-place Nebraska-Omaha.

Bowling Green is in fifth place in the league, two points behind UNO and four behind NMU with two games in hand on each. Miami, Michigan State and Alaska Fairbanks are tied for sixth place, four points behind the Falcons.

Loving the 20s
Ohio State’s record improved to 20-7-3 with the sweep of Lake State, marking the first time in program history Ohio State has had four consecutive 20 or more win seasons. OSU had 20 wins in 2001-02, 25 in 2002-03 and 26 in 2003-04. Under head coach John Markell, OSU has six seasons with 20 or more victories.

The Series
Ohio State trails the all-time series with Bowling Green, 57-90-5, but holds an 8-2-0 lead in the last 10 meetings and has a seven-game winning streak vs. the Falcons. Ohio State includes eight games in the series (Dec. 9, 1966-Feb. 19, 1969 when OSU went 3-4-1) Bowling Green does not.

Last season, OSU went 4-0 against Bowling Green, sweeping the regular season series in Bowling Green, Ohio, with a 7-0 win Nov. 29 and a 4-3 victory Jan. 31 and winning two games in the first round of the CCHA playoffs (3-2 March 12, 5-2 March 13).

In Columbus
The Buckeyes lead the all-time series with the Falcons in Columbus, 35-33-2, and have won the last five matchups on OSU’s home ice. Ohio State has a 7-2 ledger vs. BGSU in Value City Arena.

Markell the Falcon
Ohio State head coach John Markell was a standout for Bowling Green from 1975-79. A three-time first team All-CCHA honoree, Markell ranks sixth in the BGSU record books with 235 points. He is tied for seventh with 102 career goals and ninth with 133 career helpers. Markell, who won the Gay Blade Award for best attitude four times and the Rink Rats Award as the most popular player twice, was inducted into the BGSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.

In his coaching career, Markell is 18-11-1 vs. Bowling Green.

A Look at the Falcons
Bowling Green is 13-9-4 on the season and stands in fifth place in the CCHA with a 10-7-3 ledger. The team is 7-4-3 on the road this season, including a comeback tie (5-5) and a 4-2 win at Ferris State last weekend.

The Falcons are averaging 3.4 goals a game, while allowing 3.0. BGSU has converted 36-of-181 (19.9 percent) of its power-play chances this year and has stopped 138-of-169 (81.7 percent) of its opponents’ opportunities. BG averages 8.4 penalties and 18.7 penalty minutes a game.

Junior Brett Pilkington leads the Falcons with 20 assists and 23 points on the year. Freshman Jonathan Matsumoto is tied with classmate Derek Whitmore in goal scoring with 11 each and is tied with Alex Foster (4-18) for second overall with 22 points each. James Unger and Rich Meloche are tied for third on the team with eight goals each this season.

In net, senior Jordan Sigalet has started 23 games, with a 2.70 goals-against average and .922 save percentage to go along with a 13-6-3 record.

Scott Paluch, a 1991 graduate of Bowling Green, is in his third year at the helm of his alma mater. He has a career ledger of 32-52-16.

Competing for the Cup
Each season, the three Ohio-based CCHA schools (Ohio State, Miami, Bowling Green) compete for the Ohio Cup, a traveling trophy sponsored by the Buckeye Sports Bulletin given to the team with the best record against its instate foes.

Miami won the cup last season, while Ohio State was the winner in 2003 and BGSU won the title in 2002. No school has won back-to-back titles since Miami in 1996 and ’97.

Because Ohio State and Miami are in the same CCHA scheduling cluster, the teams meet four times a season and face Bowling Green just twice. For that reason, just the first game of each home-and-home series between the Buckeyes and RedHawks counts in the Ohio Cup competition.

2004-05 Ohio Cup Standings W L T Pts. 1. Bowling Green 1 0 1 3 2. Ohio State 1 0 0 2 3. Miami 0 1 1 1

The Last OSU – BGSU Series
The Buckeyes’ Dave Steckel was the first star of both games as Ohio State swept Bowling Green in Value City Arena in the first round of the CCHA playoffs to earn a berth in the 2004 CCHA Super Six.

In Game 1 March 12, 2004, Matt Beaduoin and Paul Caponigri scored in the first period and Bryce Anderson scored in the second to stake the Buckeyes to a 3-0 lead through two. The Falcons scored twice early in the third to cut the Buckeyes’ lead to one, but Ohio State held on for the win. Steckel had a team-best two assists in the game.

March 13, 2004, Sean Collins and Steckel scored in the first before BGSU’s Mark Wires scored the only goal of the middle period to cut the Buckeyes’ lead to one. Steckel regained OSU’s two-goal lead early in the third with his fourth point of the weekend. In the third period, Collins was assessed a five-minute major, giving the Falcons an extended power play. BGSU pulled goalie Jordan Sigalet for a 6-on-4 advantage, but Buckeye Scott May scored an empty net, shorthanded goal to put OSU up, 4-1. The Falcons’ converted once on the major to make the score 4-2, however, with Sigalet again pulled, Doug Andress scored an empty-netter for the 5-2 final.

Comeback Kids
In the Buckeyes’ game against Lake Superior State Feb. 5, Ohio State trailed entering the third period, 2-1, before Dan Knapp tied the game in the third and Bryce Anderson scored in overtime to lift the Buckeyes to the win. The game marked the first time this season Ohio State came back to win when trailing after the second period; the team now is 1-5-2 when behind after the second period this year.

At the CCHA Super Six last season, the Buckeyes trailed entering the third period in both the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds before coming back to win both games in overtime (Notre Dame, 6-5, March 18, 2004; Miami, 4-3, March 19, 2004). Prior to those games, the team’s last come-from-behind win was Oct. 18, 2002 against Alaska Fairbanks.

Extra Time
The Buckeyes’ win at Lake Superior State was OSU’s second overtime win this season and the first since at Ferris State Oct. 16, a game in which OSU trailed by two early in the third before scoring twice to tie the game and force the extra period. Ohio State is 2-1-3 in overtime on the year and scored the last goal in all three ties.

Honored
Buckeye junior defenseman Nate Guenin was named the CCHA Defenseman of the Week after the series at Lake Superior State. Against the Lakers, Guenin was +2 and posted an assist, as OSU held the Lakers to three goals and 37 shots on the weekend. Guenin was first honored as the league’s defensive player of the week Oct. 6, 2003.

A Sweet Sweep
The sweep of Lake Superior State was OSU’s second consecutive in league play and its eighth two-game series sweep this season, including seven in CCHA action.

Hitting the Mark
Junior Nate Guenin marked his 100th career game in the contest vs. the Lakers Feb. 5. He is one of four Buckeyes who have played in at least 100 games for the Buckeyes, joining JB Bittner (148), Rod Pelley (114) and Lee Spector (108).

He’s a Winner
Sophomore Bryce Anderson had the overtime gamewinner Feb. 5 against Lake Superior State. Of his seven goals this season, three have been gamewinners to tie Matt Beaudoin for the team lead. Anderson has a career-best seven goals and 13 points this season.

On the Power Play
After a 2-for-5 performance on the power play Feb. 4, the Buckeyes were held scoreless on two power-play chances Jan. 5 (one which lasted just 19 seconds), marking the first time the squad did not score a power-play goal in seven games (since Jan. 8 vs. Ferris State).

Magic Eight Ball
The Buckeyes rank in the Top 8 in the nation in six team categories – scoring offense (3.53/8th), scoring defense (2.23/t-8th), scoring margin (+1.30/7th), power play (.230/7th), penalty kill (.874/4th) and winning percentage (.717/t-6th).

Stopping the Shooters
Ohio State held the Lakers to an OSU opponent season-low 13 shots Feb. 5, including two in the third period. It was the lowest total for a Buckeye opponent since Northern Michigan had 12 March 1, 2003. The Buckeyes have held opponents to under 20 shots five times this season, going 5-0 in those games.

Still Lighting the Lamp
The game against the Lakers Feb. 4 was junior forward Rod Pelley’s third two-goal outing of the season. He has a team and league-best 11 power-play goals this year and is first for the Buckeyes and tied for first in the league with 18 goals. Pelley has a career-best 30 points on the year, marking his first 30-point campaign. His 18 goals passed the 17 goals Paul Caponigri and Dave Steckel had to lead OSU last season in 42 games.

Two for 12
Dan Knapp’s two assists against Lake Superior State Feb. 4 marked his first multiple-point game since Dec. 4 vs. Alaska Fairbanks. It was his first multiple-assist game of the year and tied his career best for assists, set four times before, with the last coming Oct. 3, 2003 vs. Denver.

A Look Back
The Buckeyes swept Lake Superior State on the road in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Feb. 4-5, winning the opener, 3-1, before coming back for a 3-2 overtime victory in game two.

Game One
Junior Rod Pelley scored twice and classmate Dan Knapp had two assists, as Ohio State beat Lake Superior State, 3-1, Friday.

Pelley got OSU on the board with a goal 3:27 into the game. Freshman Domenic Maiani made the score 2-0 at 11:54 of the second, as he scored on the power play. The Lakers responded with a power-play score of their own at 16:15. With OSU on the power play, Pelley sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 19 seconds remaining.

OSU was outshot in the game, 24-22. The Buckeyes converted 2-of-5 power-play chances and LSSU went 1-for-7.

Game Two
The Buckeyes came back from a one-goal deficit entering the third period to down the Lakers in overtime, 3-2, Feb. 5.

LSSU got on the board with the only goal of the first period, as Colin Nicholson scored on the power play at 6:30. OSU’s Kyle Hood tied the game at 1 with a score at 8:53, but the Lakers added their second power-play goal of the night under two minutes later when Ren Fauci scored at 10:45 to regain the lead (2-1).

In the third, Dan Knapp scored a four-on-four goal just 1:45 in to knot the score at 2. OSU controlled the majority of play in the stanza, outshooting the Lakers, 9-2, but the score remained the same and the teams went into the extra period. Bryce Anderson then scored just 1:04 into overtime to lift OSU to the win and the series sweep.

The Buckeyes outshot the Lakers in the game, 21-13. OSU was scoreless on two power-play chances and LSSU was 2-for-3 with the man advantage.

Between the Pipes
Buckeye junior goalie Dave Caruso is tied for third in the nation in goalie wins with a career-best 18, a mark that is tied for eighth in OSU history for wins in a single season. His goals-against average of 2.12 is third in the CCHA overall, while his 2.16 in league play ranks second. Caruso has a career ledger of 32-10-3, ranking 10th in Buckeye history for career wins.

The Rookie Leads the Way
Tom Fritsche leads the Buckeyes with 32 points this season, ranking sixth in the CCHA overall. He has a league-best 25 assists, ranking seventh in OSU history for season assists by a freshman. Fritsche is fourth among the nation’s rookies in points per game (1.07) and is tied for 14th in assists per outing (.83).

Up Next
The Buckeyes hit the road to take on Michigan State for two games. The teams will meet at 7:05 p.m. Feb. 18-19 at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich.

After a week off (Feb. 25-26), the team will end the regular season with a home-and-home series against Miami. The teams will meet at 7:35 p.m. March 4 in Goggin Ice Arena in Oxford, Ohio, before a game at 8:05 p.m. March 5 in Value City Arena in Columbus. It is fan appreciation night in Value City Arena and fans have the chance to win free prizes all night long. Buckeye seniors JB Bittner, Lee Spector and Thomas Welsh will be honored in a postgame ceremony. A postgame autograph session is scheduled as well.

On the Air
Ohio State will appear on both national and local television this season.

OSU’s 2004-05 Television Schedule Oct. 9 New Hampshire L, 1-5 (NHPT) Dec. 4 Alaska Fairbanks W, 5-2 (Sport!) Dec. 29 Minnesota State W, 3-1 (ONN) Dec. 30 Colorado College TOT, 2-2 (ONN) Jan. 7 Ferris State W, 3-1 (CSTV) Jan. 22 Michigan L, 3-6 (CSTV) Feb. 11 BGSU WOSU.Plus Feb. 18 at Michigan State FSN Detroit Feb. 19 at Michigan State Comcast

It’s Back
Buckeye Hockey Weekly, Ohio State head coach John Markell’s radio show, returns this season. The show, hosted by Neil Sika, can be heard at 7 p.m. most Tuesdays on 1460 (AM) The Fan and online at 1460TheFan.com. The remaining dates of the show are March 1 and March 8. Fans are welcome to call in (614-821-1460) with questions for Markell.