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Feb. 2, 2005

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Faceoff
The No. 8/9 Ohio State men’s hockey team (18-7-3, 15-4-1/2nd CCHA) travels to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to take on Lake Superior State (7-13-6, 6-7-5/t-6th CCHA) in a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association series this weekend. The teams will meet at 7:35 p.m. Friday and at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

The Broadcast
The Buckeyes’ games vs. Lake Superior State will be broadcast by WOSU Radio (820 AM/wosu.org) with Neil Sika and former Buckeye John Mowat on the call.

Live stats from the game can be accessed by going to the men’s hockey schedule page at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

Last Time Out
Ohio State is coming off a two-game home sweep of Western Michigan. The Buckeyes won 4-3 Jan. 28 and posted a 7-0 victory Jan. 29.

Lake Superior State tied two games on the road at Alaska Fairbanks last week. The teams tied 2-2 Jan. 28 and 1-1 Jan. 29.

In the League
Second-place Ohio State gained two points on first-place Michigan, closing the gap to three points, and moved its lead over third-place Northern Michigan to six following OSU’s sweep of Western Michigan and a split between the Wolverines and Wildcats last weekend.

The League Slate
All 12 teams in the CCHA will be involved in conference action this weekend. In addition to the Ohio State-Lake Superior State matchup, Bowling Green travels to Ferris State, Miami heads to Western Michigan, Alaska Fairbanks hits the road to face Northern Michigan, Notre Dame plays host to Nebraska-Omaha and Michigan and Michigan State play one game in Ann Arbor, Mich., and another at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Honors
Sophomore forward Matt Beaudoin was named the RBC Financial Group CCHA Player of the Month, the league announced Tuesday. Beaudoin had a team-best 14 points and nine goals in OSU’s eight games in January, leading the squad to a 6-2 record. In the month, he averaged 1.8 points and 1.1 goals a game. Seven of his goals came on the power play and he added a shorthanded goal and two gamewinners.

Honors
Freshman forward Tom Fritsche was named the INCH National Player of the Week after posting five points and a team-best +4 rating in OSU’s sweep of Western Michigan. Fritsche had an assist in the series opener before recording his first multiple-goal game and hat trick and adding an assist for a four-point night in game two. He was on the ice for 10 of the Buckeyes’ 11 goals on the weekend and was not on the ice for a goal against.

And More Honors
Two Buckeyes earned CCHA Player of the Week honors after the sweep of Western Michigan. Matt Beaudoin was named the CCHA Offensive Player of the Week after posting two goals and an assist in each game for a six-point weekend. Dave Caruso picked up CCHA Goaltender of the Week accolades after stopping 57-of-60 shots in the weekend, including 28 saves Saturday for his second shutout of the season and his sixth of the year.

This marks the ninth and 10th player of the week awards for Ohio State this season.

The Series
Ohio State trails the all-time series with Lake Superior State, 45-65-9, but has a 7-1-2 ledger in the last 10 meetings, including six consecutive wins. OSU’s last loss to LSSU was Feb. 11, 2000 in overtime, 1-0.

Last year, OSU swept the Lakers in Columbus, posting 5-0 and 3-2 victories Jan. 16-17.

In the Soo
The Buckeyes trail the series with the Lakers in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., 21-39-4. Ohio State has won the last five meetings on the Lakers’ home ice, including 4-1 and 5-2 victories Nov. 8-9, 2002, in the last meeting in the Soo.

Markell vs. LSSU
Ohio State head coach John Markell is 12-13-2 all-time against Lake Superior State.

A Look at the Lakers
Lake Superior State enters the series with Ohio State 7-13-6 overall, 6-7-5 in the CCHA, and looking to stop a six-game (0-2-4) winless streak. The Lakers have tied their last three games, including 2-2 and 1-1 deadlocks at Alaska Fairbanks last weekend and a 2-2 tie at Michigan State Jan. 22.

LSSU is averaging 2.1 goals a game, while allowing 2.8. The team has converted 14-of-140 power-play chances (10 percent), and has an 82.9 percent success rate on the penalty kill. The Lakers average 16.0 penalty minutes a game.

Jon Booras leads the Lakers with eight goals and 15 points this season and is tied with Trent Campbell and Steve McJannet with seven assists each. Matt Restoule is second in points with 12 (6-6). In net. Jeff Jakaitis has started 21 games, posting a 2.67 goals-against average and .923 save percentage. Matt Violin has played in seven games, with a 2.33 gaa and .931 svpct.

Frank Anzalone, a 1978 graduate of SUNY-Buffalo, is in his 12th season at the helm of the Lakers. He has a career ledger of 221-196-41.

A Quick Look Back
Ohio State swept Western Michigan at home last weekend, winning the opener, 4-3, Jan. 28 before a 7-0 victory Jan. 29.

OSU 4, WMU 3
Buckeye sophomore Matt Beaudoin scored two timely goals and the Buckeyes went 3-for-5 on the power play to lead Ohio State to a 4-3 victory over Western Michigan Jan. 28 in Value City Arena.

The Broncos got on the board with a 4-on-4 goal by Vince Bellissimo 3:36 into the game. Andrew Schembri tied the game with a power-play tally at 6:36. WMU then regained the lead at 15:10 before Buckeye Dave Barton tied the game at 2 at 18:08. Beaudoin scored on the power play with 45 seconds remaining in the period to give OSU a 3-2 lead.

There was no scoring in the second period. In the third, WMU’s Kevin Labatte scored at 3:20 to knot the score at 3, but Beaudoin added his second goal of the game 1:42 later to regain the Buckeye lead for good.

OSU 7, WMU 0
The Buckeyes scored three goals in the first and second periods and cruised to a 7-0 victory over the Broncos in Value City Arena Dec. 29.

Kyle Hood got OSU on the board 2:56 into the game with a power-play goal before Tom Fritsche scored back-to-back goals at 17:00 (on the power play) and 18:19 to put the Buckeyes up, 3-0, at the end of the first. Beaudoin scored shorthanded 3:01 into the second before Fritsche completed his hat trick with a goal at the 5:42 mark. Beaudoin added his second goal of the game (and fourth of the weekend) at 17:24, making OSU 3-for-3 on the power play in the game. OSU’s Sean Collins ended the scoring with a goal early in the third.

OSU outshot the Broncos in the game, 32-28. OSU ended the game 3-for-6 with the man advantage and stopped WMU on six chances.

Sweeps
The Buckeyes’ sweep of Western Michigan was OSU’s seventh two-game series sweep this season and its fifth at home. OSU had five weekend series sweeps in the regular season in 2003-04.

On a Hot Streak
Matt Beaudoin led the way against Western Michigan with a six-point weekend, with two goals and an assist in each game. Three of his goals came on the power play, while the other was shorthanded. He is on a four-game goal-scoring streak, with six goals (five ppg, one shg, two gwg) in the stretch.

Break it Down
Of Matt Beaudoin’s career-best 15 goals on the year, he has a team-high (tied) 10 power-play scores, a team-best two shorthanded goals and a Buckeye-high three gamewinners. He also has a team-high two unassisted goals.

Between the Pipes
Buckeye junior goalie Dave Caruso made 28 saves vs. Western Michigan Jan. 29 for his second shutout of the season, the first since Nov. 13 vs. Northern Michigan, and the sixth of his career. He is one shutout shy of tying Jeff Maund for third place in the Buckeye record books with seven.

He ranks fourth in the nation with a career-best 16 wins this season, one shy of tying for 10th place in the OSU record books for goalie wins in a season.

And on the Offense
Dave Caruso had a career-best two assists in the win over Western Michigan Jan. 29 and now has a career-high three on the year. The Buckeye record for goalie assists in a season is four, set by Mike Bales in 1990. Ray Aho (1999), Todd Fanning (1989) and Jeff Maund (1997) all had three in a season.

The record for goalie assists in a career is five, held by Roger Beedon (1986-89) and Fanning (1987-90). Caruso had a helper last year and has four as a Buckeye.

The Rookie Leads the Way
After entering the game with four goals on the year, freshman Tom Fritsche had his first career hat trick vs. Western Michigan Jan. 29 and marked his first career multiple-point game. He added an assist in the game for a four-point night, his second this season and his first since posting four assists against Sacred Heart Nov. 6.

Fritsche now leads OSU with 31 points and a team-best 24 assists, a mark that is tied for ninth all-time in OSU history for assists as a rookie and a mark that is tied for third in the nation this season. He is sixth in the CCHA in points overall.

Special Special Teams
Ohio State was outstanding on the power play last weekend, converting 6-of-11 power-play chances and stopping all 10 Western Michigan power-play opportunities.

In their last four games, the Buckeyes have converted 11 of 24 power play chances, a success rate of 45.8 percent. The team has improved to 22.7 percent on the year, ranking sixth in the nation and first in the CCHA overall and in league play (.243).

The series vs. the Broncos marked the fifth time this season OSU did not allow a power-play goal on a weekend (vs./at Miami Oct. 21-22, vs. Northern Michigan Nov. 13-14, vs. Minnesota State/vs. Colorado College Dec. 29-30, vs. Ferris State Jan. 7-8). OSU ranks fourth in the nation with an 88.2 percent success rate on the penalty kill.

An Offensive Explosion
The Buckeyes’ seven goals against Western Michigan Jan. 29 were their most since a 7-1 win over Sacred Heart Nov. 6. The team had a season-best nine goals in a 9-3 win over Miami Oct. 21.

OSU is averaging 3.6 goals a game to rank second in the league and seventh in the nation. OSU reached the 100-goal mark with its last goal vs. the Broncos.

A Quiet Five Points
Buckeye sophomore Andrew Schembri had five points in the weekend series against Western Michigan. He tied his career high with three points, on a goal and two assists, in the opener Jan. 28 and then added two assists Jan. 29. Schembri’s three points tied his career best, set twice before, including two weeks prior at Notre Dame (Jan. 14), when he posted a career-best three assists.

Finally
Sophomore forward Dave Barton’s goal against Western Michigan Jan. 28 marked the first goal of his Buckeye career in his 35th career game.

No. 55
Sophomore defenseman Matt Waddell had an assist in each game against Western Michigan, marking his first points since Oct. 30 at Western Michigan. Waddell is even or better in his last eight games, with two +1 and two +2 marks. He ranks second on the team with a +11 ledger.

Another Streaker
Freshman Kyle Hood is on a four-game scoring streak (2-4-6), with two two-point games in the stretch. He had a goal and an assist vs. Michigan Jan. 21 and then had the gamewinner and a helper vs. Western Michigan Jan. 29. Hood has 14 points this season to rank third among the team’s rookies.

Good in the Close Ones
Ohio State is 4-1 in games decided by one goal this season, with the lone loss coming against Ferris State in overtime Jan. 8. OSU’s 4-3 victory over Western Michigan Jan. 28 is the most recent one-goal game for the Buckeyes. The squad is 1-1-3 in overtime on the year.

On the Defensive
Ohio State is tied for eighth in the nation and ranks second in the CCHA in scoring defense, allowing 2.29 goals a game. The squad has two shutouts on the season and has allowed one goal 10 times.

A Team Effort
Every Buckeye who has played in more at least six games this season has at least a point, including goalie Dave Caruso. Twenty Buckeyes have scored a goal, with 11 scoring on the power play, six tallying a shorthanded goal and 13 recording at least one gamewinner.

On the Offensive – Part Two
Ohio State has scored at least three goals in the last six games and in 19 of 28 games on the year. This season, OSU is undefeated 13-0-1 when scoring four or more goals (5-0-1 when scoring four times), 2-2-1 when scoring three times and 3-1-1 when scoring twice. The squad is winless (0-4) when held to one or less goals.

Scoring from the Blueline
Sean Collins had a goal and an assist vs. Western Michigan Jan. 29 and leads the Buckeye defensemen with 21 points on the year. He has five multiple-point games this season, including a career-high four helpers vs. Alaska Fairbanks Dec. 4. Collins is 14th in the nation in points per game among defensemen (.78) and ranks second in the CCHA among defensemen overall. He is tied for the league lead with 16 points in conference play.

On the Road Again
Ohio State is 6-4-2 on the road this season, including a 6-2-1 ledger in CCHA action, and is on a two-game road winning streak. The team is averaging 2.8 goals a game away from Columbus, while allowing 2.9. Junior Rod Pelley leads the squad with eight goals and 12 points in road games, while Domenic Maiani has a team-best 11 assists and is second in points with 11.

An Honored Alum
Former Buckeye Ryan Kesler (2003), a first-round draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks, was named to the PlanetUSA AHL All-Star team for the 2005 Dodge AHL All-Star Classic to be held Feb. 13-14 in Manchester, N.H. Kesler, who plays for the Manitoba Moose, has a 20-21-41 line and a +19 rating in 48 games this season.

Up Next
The Buckeyes then return home for a two-game series with instate rival Bowling Green. The teams will face off at 7:05 p.m. Feb. 11-12. The Feb. 11 game is Buck A Brat Night, with Johnsonville Brats available for $1 (while supplies last). Feb. 12, Frozen Four packs, which include four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and four popcorns for $40 are available. It will be Boy Scout Night; visit the men’s hockey page at ohiostatebuckeyes.com for the order form. Postgame, an autograph session with Buckeye juniors Dave Caruso and Rod Pelley will be held.

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. 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 Feb. 8, March 1 and March 8. Fans are welcome to call in (614-821-1460) with questions for Markell.