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Dec. 8, 2004

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Faceoff
The No. 8 Ohio State men’s hockey team (11-4-1, 9-2-1/1st CCHA) closes out the first part of its season when it travels to Potsdam, N.Y., to take on non-conference foe Clarkson (3-11-1, 1-5-1 ECACHL). The Buckeyes and Golden Knights will meet at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Cheel Arena.

After the series against Clarkson, the Buckeyes will take a 17-day break before returning to action in the Ohio Hockey Classic Dec. 29-30 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.

The Broadcast
WOSU will not broadcast the series against Clarkson for Ohio State. The Clarkson broadcast can be heard online by going to http://streamingmedia.clarkson.edu. Bob Ahlfeld will call the action.

Last Time Out
The Buckeyes swept Alaska Fairbanks at home by 2-1 and 5-2 scores last weekend. Clarkson is looking to end a six-game (0-5-1) winless and a five-game losing streak that was extended with losses on the road to New Hampshire (3-1) and UMass-Lowell (3-2) last weekend.

In the Rankings
Ohio State moved to No. 8 in both the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com/CSTV polls following its sweep of Alaska Fairbanks. The Buckeyes remained 10th in the INCH Power Poll (insidecollegehockey.com).

Honored
Buckeye junior Dave Caruso was named the CCHA Goaltender of the Week for his performance in the series sweep of Alaska Fairbanks. He stopped 58-of-61 (.951) shots in the series, including a career-best 37 Dec. 4.

OSU vs. Clarkson – The Series
The series between Ohio State and Clarkson is tied, 6-6-1, with OSU leading in the last four meetings, 3-1. The teams last met Oct. 25 and 27, 2002, with OSU posting 4-2 and 4-3 wins for a two-game sweep in Columbus.

The Golden Knights hold a 2-1-1 edge in games played in Potsdam. The teams last met on Clarkson’s home ice Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 1997, with OSU going 1-0-1. The teams tied the opener, 1-1, before the Buckeyes recorded a 6-2 win in the finale.

A Look at the Golden Knights
Clarkson is 3-11-1 on the year and 1-5-1 in Eastern College Athletic Conference Hockey League play. The team is averaging 2.6 goals a game, while allowing 3.53 goals an outing. The Golden Knights have converted 12.4 percent of their power-play chances and have a 77.4 percent success rate on the penalty kill.

Senior Mac Faulkner and senior Jay Latulippe share the team lead with six goals each. Faulkner is first with 13 points, while Chris Blight has a team-high eight assists. Junior goalie Dustin Traylen has played in 11 games for the Golden Knights, with a 2.86 goals-against average and .901 save percentage. Sophomore Kyle McNulty has seen action in three games, with a 3.41 gaa and .880 svpct.

George Roll, a 1986 graduate of Bowling Green, is in his second year at the helm of Clarkson. He has a school record of 21-29-6 and a career mark of 140-103-22 in his ninth year.

Against the Golden Knights
Five Buckeyes faced Clarkson in the two-game series in October 2002 – seniors Lee Spector and JB Bittner and juniors Dan Knapp, Nate Guenin and Rod Pelley. Knapp had three points, on a goal and two assists, in the series, while Spector chipped in an assist.

OSU vs. the ECACHL
Clarkson is a member of the ECACHL and is the first team from the conference Ohio State has faced this season. The Buckeyes are 30-19-6 all-time vs. the current teams in the league, including a 2-1 ledger last season, and has faced every team in the league except Harvard in program history.

OSU vs. the ECAC ECAC Team OSU W L T Brown 0 2 0 Clarkson 6 6 1 Colgate 4 0 2 Cornell 6 5 0 Dartmouth 0 0 2 Harvard 0 0 0 Princeton 3 0 0 Rensselaer 0 1 1 St. Lawrence 4 1 0 Union 0 1 0 Vermont 5 1 0 Yale 2 2 0

A Clarkson Connection
Buckeye associate head coach Casey Jones spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Clarkson before coming to Ohio State for the 1995-96 campaign. He was with the Golden Knights in the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons, when the team compiled a 52-15-4 mark, won an ECAC title and made two NCAA tournament appearances.

Sharing a Path
Ohio State head coach John Markell and Clarkson head coach George Roll both are graduates of Bowling Green. Markell played for the Falcons from 1975-79 and ranks sixth in program history with 245 career points. Roll, who played at BGSU from 1981-85, is tied for 25th in program history with 152 points .

A Look Back
Ohio State swept Alaska Fairbanks Dec. 3-4 in Value City Arena by scores of 2-1 and 5-3.

In the first game, one goal was scored in each period as Ohio State posted a 2-1 victory. The Nanooks scored first, as Ryan McLeod scored 6:36 into the game. JB Bittner tied the game 4:33 into the second period as he scored unassisted after a faceoff in the UAF zone. In the third, Rod Pelley scored the gamewinner at 10:35 with Ohio State on the power play. OSU outshot UAF, 32-22, with Nanook goalie Wylie Rogers making 30 saves and Buckeye goalie Dave Caruso stopping 21 shots. Ohio State held UAF scoreless on nine power-play chances and were 1-for-7 on the power play.

In the second game, UAF took a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal 8:55 into the game. Dan Knapp then tied the score at 1 with a power-play tally of his own. The Nanooks’ Kelly Czuy gave UAF a one-goal lead with an unassisted goal just 39 seconds into the second period before the Buckeyes rattled off four unanswered goals for a 5-2 final. Domenic Maiani scored at 11:58, followed by Lee Spector’s gamewinning score. Knapp added his second power-play goal of the game at 19:13 of the second and Sean Collins, who assisted on the previous three goals, scored a goal of his own at 10:09 of the third. The Buckeyes were outshot in the game, 39-34, including 18-9 in the first period. OSU scored three power-play goals on eight chances and UAF went 1-for-7 with the man advantage. Caruso made a career-best 37 saves in the win, while Wylie had 29 stops.

The Friendly Confines
The series sweep of Alaska Fairbanks kept Ohio State unbeaten at home this season (7-0) and extended the team’s overall winning streak in Value City Arena to 12. The Buckeyes’ last loss in Columbus came Jan. 24, 2004, when Michigan State completed a two-game sweep of Ohio State with a 3-0 win.

This season, Ohio State has outscored its opponents 35-9 at home (5.0 to 1.3 goals a game) and has allowed more than one goal just twice. The team allowed its first second-period goal Dec. 4 against Alaska Fairbanks and has outscored opponents 18-1 in the middle stanza in VCA.

Have a Game
Sophomore defenseman Sean Collins had a career-high tying three assists and career-best four points in game two against the Nanooks Dec. 4. After OSU was down 2-1 early in the second period, Collins had a hand in all four unanswered Buckeye goals. He set up the first three before scoring one of his own. His three helpers came in the second period, tying the arena record for assists in a single period. Collins’ previous three-assist game was Nov. 8, 2003 at Northern Michigan.

The Four-Point Club
Sean Collins’ four-point game Dec. 4 against Alaska Fairbanks marked the third four-point night for a Buckeye this season, with all three games coming at home in Value City Arena. Matt McIlvane had four points (1-3) against Miami Oct. 21, while Tom Fritsche had four assists and points vs. Sacred Heart Nov. 6. The four points in a game tie the arena record, set 16 times total. In 42 games last year, the Buckeyes had just two individual four-point nights.

Noting 19
Junior forward Rod Pelley played in his 100th career game Dec. 4 vs. Alaska Fairbanks. He has missed just one game as a Buckeye. He sat out the St. Cloud State game Oct. 10 with an injury, stopping his consecutive games played streak at 86.

Pelley scored his 10th goal of the season Dec. 3 vs. UAF, tying his career best mark set last year.

He is tied for the national lead with eight power-play tallies this season and leads the CCHA with seven power-play goals in league play.

He is one point away from the 50th point of his Buckeye career. Pelley has 28-21-49 totals at Ohio State.

On the PK
The Buckeyes stopped all nine Alaska Fairbanks power-play chances Dec. 3, the sixth time this season the squad has held a team scoreless in CCHA play. OSU was 11-for-11 at Ferris State (Oct. 16) and vs. Miami (Oct. 21), went 9-for-9 vs. Miami (Oct. 22), vs. Northern Michigan (Nov. 14) and vs. UAF (Dec. 3) and stopped NMU on all seven chances Nov. 13. OSU is first in CCHA games in penalty killing, stopping 89.8 of its opponents’ chances.

Charting the Shots
Dec. 4, Alaska Fairbanks outshot Ohio State, 39-34, marking just the fifth time this season and the first time since Oct. 30 at Western Michigan the Buckeyes were outshot. OSU is outshooting opponents this season, 31.4 to 27.1 shots a game. The team has not allowed an opponent 40 or more shots since Michigan had 46 Nov. 15, 2003.

At the Top
Four Buckeyes now share the team scoring lead with 16 points each – junior forward Rod Pelley (10-6), junior forward Dan Knapp (7-9), freshman forward Domenic Maiani (7-9) and freshman forward Tom Fritsche (1-15). Senior forward JB Bittner is two points behind with 14 (7-7), while sophomore defenseman Sean Collins is the sixth Buckeye to reach double-digits in points with 11 (2-9).

Getting it Done
The Buckeyes are 4-1 this season when entering the third period of a game tied. Dec. 3, Ohio State and Alaska Fairbanks were tied at 1 at the end of two periods after the Buckeyes tied the game in the middle stanza. OSU went on to win the contest, 2-1, on Rod Pelley’s third-period goal.

In addition to the game vs. UAF, OSU won at Ferris State Oct. 15 (4-2) and Oct. 16 (4-3 OT) and at Western Michigan Oct. 30 (5-2) when tied after the second period. The team’s loss when tied after two came against the Broncos Oct. 29 (6-3).

Winners
Senior forward Lee Spector had the gamewinning goal against Alaska Fairbanks Dec. 4, his second gamewinning tally this season. Of his nine career goals, four have been gamewinners.

Spector shares the team lead in game-winning goals with Rod Pelley, who had the winning score against the Nanooks Friday. Prior to the UAF series, a different Buckeye had the gamewinning tally in each of OSU’s first nine wins.

Get out the Brooms
Ohio State has five weekend two-game sweeps this season, matching their total from the regular season last year. So far this year, the team posted a sweep on the road at Ferris State, swept Miami in a home-and-home series and won two games over Sacred Heart, Northern Michigan and Alaska Fairbanks in Columbus.

A Tie?
The 4-4 deadlock against Nebraska-Omaha Nov. 20 was OSU’s first tie since back-to-back ties against Michigan March 7-8, 2003, a stretch of 62 games. The team is 1-0-1 in overtime this year, with a victory against Ferris State Oct. 16.

Back on Track
After getting just one point on the road at Nebraska-Omaha, the Buckeyes returned to form with a series sweep of Alaska Fairbanks. The UNO series marked the only time this season the squad failed to get at least two points in a CCHA series. The team has sweeps over Ferris State, Miami, Northern Michigan and UAF and split its series at Western Michigan.

Get Shorty
Ohio State now has five shorthanded goals in 16 games this season. The team ended last year with eight in 42 games. Five players have scored with the Buckeyes a man down – Dan Knapp, Matt Beaudoin, Matt McIlvane, Jason DeSantis and Lee Spector. The shorthanded goal was the first career shg for all five Buckeyes.

In the Ranks
Buckeye freshman Tom Fritsche was ranked 17th in the National Hockey League’s Central Scouting Service preliminary rankings of U.S. college skaters. He is one of 10 CCHA players ranked on the list, behind only the 11 Hockey East players. CCHA players hold down three of the top four spots, with Michigan’s T.J. Hensick at No. 2, Bowling Green’s Jonathan Sigalet at No. 3 and Miami’s Nate Davis at No. 4.

Goal!
Freshman forward Tom Fritsche scored vs. Nebraska-Omaha Nov. 20, marking the first goal of his career. He leads the Buckeyes with 16 points on the year and had posted 15 assists before lighting the lamp himself.

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 Dec. 21, Dec. 28, Jan. 4, Jan. 12, Jan. 18, Jan. 25, Feb. 1, Feb. 8, March 1 and March 8. Fans are welcome to call in (614-821-1460) with questions for Markell.

A Quick Look Back
The Buckeyes finished the 2003-04 season 26-16 overall and were fourth in the CCHA with a 16-12 ledger. The squad won three games in three days at the CCHA Super Six Championship in Detroit to claim the title and the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA championship. The Buckeyes’ season ended with a 1-0 overtime loss to Wisconsin in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Albany, N.Y.

Up Next
After taking a break for the holidays, the Buckeyes return to action in the inaugural Ohio Hockey Classic at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. The gametimes for the Dec. 29 games have been changed. OSU and Minnesota State will now face off in the early game at 5:05 p.m., followed by the Miami-Colorado College matchup at 8:05 p.m. Dec. 30, Miami and MSU will face off at 5:05 p.m., followed by the OSU-CC game at 8:05 p.m. Both Ohio State games will be televised live on The Ohio News Network.

Reserved tickets for the tournament are $11 a day and include both games. They may be purchased at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, at all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 614-431-3600. Tickets also are available at the Blue Jackets Zones located at the Chiller Dublin (7001 Dublin Park Drive in Dublin), Chiller Easton (3600 Chiller Lane in Columbus) and Chiller North (8144 Highfield Drive in Lewis Center).