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Feb. 22, 2007

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 9/10 Ohio State women’s hockey team (18-12-4, 13-11-4 WCHA) opens the WCHA postseason with a best-of-three first round season against No. 5-seed Minnesota State (16-15-2, 12-14-2 WCHA), Feb. 23-25. Games begin at 7:07 p.m. Friday and 4:07 p.m. Saturday at OSU Ice Rink. If necessary, the third game of the series would be Sunday at 1:07 p.m.

First Time for Everything
This is the second season of the WCHA playoff format and the first time Ohio State has earned home ice during the first round. The Buckeyes and Minnesota State put home ice on the line last weekend with Ohio State needing two points to secure it. Hayley Klassen locked in one more weekend at OSU Ice Rink with an overtime goal Friday night.

Buckeyes Finish Fourth in WCHA Standings
Ohio State finished the 2006-07 WCHA season in fourth place with 30 points and a 13-11-4 record against league opponents. The wins are the most against conference foes and the most total surpasses the previous high of 25 set in 2000-01 (11-10-3) and 2004-05 (12-15-1). This season is just the second time the Buckeyes have had a winning record against WCHA opponents.

Minnesota State Series History
The Buckeyes have won the last six games in a row against Minnesota State and hold a 28-3-3 advantage in the all-time series with Minnesota State. Ohio State owns a 12-2-2 record against the Mavericks at OSU Ice Rink and is 7-2-1 in their last 10 meetings.

Bonhomme a Patty Kaz Top 10 Finalist
Junior defenseman Tessa Bonhomme is a Top 10 finalist for the 2007 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, the USA Hockey Foundation announced Monday. Bonhomme joins former Buckeyes Jana Harrigan (2006), Jeni Creary (2002) and Emma Laaksonen (2002) as Ohio State finalists for the award that honors the top NCAA Division I women’s college hockey student-athlete. The Top 10 finalists for the award will be reduced to three finalists to be announced March 5. The three finalists are chosen by a 13-member selection committee comprised of NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey coaches, representatives of print and broadcast media and a representative of USA Hockey. The winner of the 2007 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award will be announced March 17 in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Bonhomme Named to Canada’s World Women’s Championship Roster
Also released this week, Tessa Bonhomme was named to the Team Canada roster for the 2007 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Women’s Championship, Hockey Canada announced Thursday. Bonhomme, a native of Sudbury, Ontario, is one of six current U.S. college student-athletes on the roster and the only player from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The World Women’s Championship will take place in April 3-10 in Winnipeg and Selkirk, Manitoba.

WCHA First Round Matchups
Along with Ohio State and Minnesota State, three other league matchups will be taking place this weekend to determine the final four teams that will advance to Minneapolis for the WCHA Playoff Championships. No. 1 Wisconsin hosts No. 8 North Dakota, No. 2 Minnesota Duluth hosts No. 7 St. Cloud State and No. 3 Minnesota hosts No. 6 Bemidji State. All three will be playing in best-of-three series Friday-Sunday.

You Look Familiar
Ohio State swept a series just last weekend, Feb. 16-17, against Minnesota State to conclude the regular season schedule. The Buckeyes secured home ice for the first round of the WCHA playoffs with a 4-3 overtime win against Minnesota State Friday and completed the sweep with a 6-4 victory Saturday at OSU Ice Rink.

The Buckeyes trailed 3-0 at one point in the game Friday. Erin Keys scored with 3:10 remaining in regulation to bring OSU within one goal and defenseman Lisa Chesson completed the comeback, scoring an extra attacker goal with just :08 on the clock to send the game into overtime. Hayley Klassen jammed the puck into the back of the MSU net 3:03 into the extra session for the victory.

Keys scored her first career hat trick Saturday and added an assist for her second four-point game of the season to lead the Buckeyes to a 6-4 win and complete the sweep of the season series vs. Minnesota State. Chesson had three assists and Morgan Marziali had a goal and an assist to also finish with multiple-point games.

Bowman Reaches Century Mark, Becomes OSU’s All-Time scoring leader for d-men
With two assists against Minnesota State last weekend, senior Amber Bowman increased her career point total to 101 to become Ohio State’s all-time leading scorer for defensemen. She surpassed former All-American and three-time Olympian Emma Laaksonen (2001-04), who previoucly had the record with 99 points.

Bowman is just the third Buckeye in program history to reach the 100-point milestone.

Buckeyes Match Season Wins Record
With 18 wins this season, the Buckeyes matched their record for most win in a season. Ohio State posted 18 wins in back-to-back seasons in 2000-01 (18-16-3) and 2001-02 (18-15-4).

Working OVertime
The win in overtime Friday vs. Minnesota State was the seventh overtime game for the Buckeyes this season. It was the fifth time an OSU has played in an extra session out of the last 13 contests. Last season, Ohio State tied its own NCAA record with 10 overtime games.

Scouting the Mavericks
Minnesota State is 16-15-2 overall finished fifth in the WCHA standings with 26 points and a 12-14-2 record. The Mavericks are 10-4-1 in their last 15 games, with nine of those wins coming at home in Mankato. MSU’s top scorer is sophomore forward Maggie Fisher, who has a team-high 34 points and 17 goals, including five gamewinners. Junior Lindsay Macy is second with 32 points, followed by rookie Christina Lee with 28. In goal for the Mavericks is junior Britni Kehler. She is 16-13-2 with a 2.78 GAA and .918 save percentage.

Chesson Nabs Second WCHA Award
Junior defenseman Lisa Chesson was named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association announced Tuesday. It is the second league honor for Chesson this season and the eighth time a Buckeye has been earned a player of the week selection.

Chesson, a native of Plainfield, Ill., had four points with a goal and three assists in a sweep of Minnesota State, Feb. 16-17 at OSU Ice Rink. With time running out in regulation Friday, Chesson completed the Ohio State comeback with an extra-attacker goal with just :08 remaining. She helped complete the sweep with three assists Saturday, including helpers on the first two OSU goals.

Two of Chesson’s four points were with the man-advantage and she is tied for the team lead with 22 power play points. She moved up to third in scoring for the Buckeyes with 36 points on 12 goals and 24 assists. She leads the team with a rating of plus-16. Chesson has a point in 10 of the last 12 games with 17 points in that span, including the five points in the last three games.

The Big 4-0
Junior forward Erin Keys had six points, including her first career hat trick, against Minnesota State last weekend to finish the WCHA regular season ranked second in overall scoring with 47 points. The point total ties the second-most ever in a season for a Buckeye, matching former All-American Jana Harrigan’s total from the 2005-06 season. Harrigan holds the single season record with 54 points in 2004-05. Keys is just the fourth Buckeye to record 40 or more points in a season.

Top Defensive Trio in the Nation
Only eight defensemen in the nation have reached the 30-point mark this season, and three of them wear Scarlet and Gray. Amber Bowman (37 pts), Lisa Chesson (36) and Tessa Bonhomme (34) are not only the second, third and fourth highest scoring defenseman overall in the WCHA, respectively, but they also have the second, third and fourth highest point totals in the nation.

The trio has combined for 107 points, far and away the most by any defensive threesome in the nation. Wisconsin is second with a combined 81 points by their top three scoring defensemen, followed by St. Lawrence with 65.

Blueliners Running Away with WCHA Lead
Overall as a unit, the Buckeyes lead the WCHA in defenseman scoring with 124 points on 36 goals and 88 assists. Wisconsin is second with 87 defenseman points. Amber Bowman (37 pts), Lisa Chesson (36) and Tessa Bonhomme (34) have outscored the entire defensive units of four of the eight teams in the WCHA.

Four Bucks Named WCHA Scholar-Athletes
Four Buckeyes were named WCHA Scholar-Athletes, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association announced Feb. 1. Senior goaltender Erika Vanderveer, junior forwards Erin Keys and Mallory Peckels and sophomore goaltender Liana Bonanno were among the 49 selections from the conference’s men’s and women’s teams. It is the first WCHA Scholar-Athlete nod for Bonanno and Keys and the second honor for Vanderveer and Peckels.

Heywood Up for Humanitarian Award
Junior forward Jody Heywood was named one of five finalists for the 2007 Hockey Humanitarian Award, the Hockey Humanitarian Foundation announced Jan. 12. Heywood is the only junior in the field that consists of two other female and two male student-athletes.

Along with Heywood, the other finalists for the award include Kristen Savard of Yale, Lindsay Williams of Clarkson, Andrew Joudrey of Wisconsin and Kirk MacDonald of Rensselaer. The five finalists were selected from a pool of 13 nominees. The winner of the 11th annual Hockey Humanitarian Award will be named April 6, during a ceremony in conjunction with the Hobey Baker Award. All will be part of the 2007 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four held in St. Louis, Mo.

Thirty Something
Heading into the 2006-07 season, only 12 Ohio State players had ever reached the 30-point mark in a season. This year, four Buckeyes – Erin Keys (47), Amber Bowman (37), Lisa Chesson (36) and Tessa Bonhomme (34) – have surpassed the 30-point milestone.

The point totals by Bowman, Bonhomme and Chesson are three of the Top 5 season totals for OSU defensemen. The record for points in a season by a blueliner is 40 set by Kelli Helcisak in 2000-01.

Dynamic Defensive Duo
The defensive pair of Tessa Bonhomme and Amber Bowman has totaled 24 points in the last 13 games, and 47 points in the last 22 games. The tandem has been held without a point just four times this season.

Man Up
OSU is 39-of-181 (21.5 percent) this season with the man-advantage, with 19 more PP goals than the team scored in the entire 36-game 2005-06 season. Of the Buckeyes’ 280 points this season, 113 of them have been scored on the power play (40.4 percent). OSU’s power play ranks third overall in the WCHA and ninth in the nation.

Shorthanded Streak Snapped
Ohio State gave up its first shorthanded goal of the season Feb. 9 at Wisconsin. The Buckeyes had not given up a shorthanded goal since Jan. 27, 2006 – a span of 41 games during which OSU had 207 power play opportunities.

She’s a Brick … Wall
Senior goaltender Erika Vanderveer had her eighth game this season with 30 or more saves Feb. 11 when she stopped 34 shots at Wisconsin. Vanderveer is 79 saves away from becoming Ohio State’s all-time leader. Melissa Glaser (2000, `02, 04-05) holds the record with 2,271 saves.

One for the Books
Ten Buckeyes have already recorded career-highs in points this season. The top eight OSU scorers have all posted career highs in points, with four of them recording career highs in goals: Erin Keys (22), Tessa Bonhomme (14), Morgan Marziali (14) and Lisa Chesson (12).

Up Next
The four teams that win the first round series will advance to the WCHA Playoff Championship, March 3-4. The games will be held at Ridder Arena on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis, Minn.