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Oct. 26, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 9/9 Ohio State women’s hockey team (4-2-0, 2-2-0 WCHA) returns to the friendly confines of the OSU Ice Rink after two weeks on the road to face Minnesota State (3-2-0, 2-1-0 WCHA) Oct. 28-29. It is the first conference road series for the Mavericks. The game on Friday will start at 7:07 p.m., followed by a 4:07 p.m. start Saturday. MSU and Ohio State, along with three other teams, are tied for second in the WCHA with four points.

Minnesota State Series History
Ohio State leads the all-time series against Minnesota State with a 22-2-2 record. The Buckeyes have a 10-1-1 record both at home and on the road vs. the Mavericks and have won six of the last seven meetings, including four of five last season. The last time the teams met was the first round of the WCHA Tournament in Minneapolis. The Buckeyes defeated MSU by a score of 4-1 March 4, 2005 to advance to the semifinals of the tournament. The last MSU victory Feb. 26, 2005 at Ohio State when the Mavericks won 3-2.

Last Time Out
Ohio State had a tough outing in its first WCHA road trip, falling to Minnesota-Duluth in both games Oct. 21-22. The Buckeyes lost 5-1 Friday and 7-0 Saturday to register their first defeats of the season. Ohio State allowed five goals in the first game of the series, one more than the first four games of the season combined. The lone OSU goal was scored by senior Jana Harrigan, whose unassisted lamplighter cut the score to 2-1 before the Bulldogs scored three unanswered goals for the win. The Buckeye penalty kill continued its strong performance with a perfect 4-for-4 showing on Friday and a 9-for-11 mark on the weekend. Scouting the Mavericks
Minnesota State is 3-2-0 overall, with a 2-1-0 mark in WCHA games. The Mavericks opened the season with a 2-0 upset of nationally-ranked Mercyhurst and ended up spliting the series. MSU then returned to Mankato to sweep North Dakota (3-1, 3-2) Oct. 14-15. Last weekend, the Mavericks hosted Wisconsin and fell 4-1 before the second game of the series was postponed due to a facility issue at the rink. Sophomore goalie Brit Kehler is in net for the Mavericks and has already posted a shutout against then-No. 5 Mercyhurst to open the season. She is 3-1-0 this season. Freshman Maggie Fisher leads the team with five points on five goals and 22 shots on goal.

OSU Head Coach Jackie Barto
Jackie Barto is in her seventh season behind the Ohio State bench. In six-plus seasons guiding the Buckeyes, Barto has an 93-114-19 record with a 57-79-15 mark in the WCHA. Last season, the Buckeyes’ 12 wins in conference games were the most by Barto in her six seasons, as she led the team to the WCHA Playoff Championship consolation game. She has an overall career mark of 163-167-29 (.494) in 11-plus seasons.

MSU Head Coach Jeff Vizenor
Jeff Vizenor is in his fifth season at the helm of the Minnesota State program. Heading into the 2005-06 season, Vizenor has compiled a 39-81-15 record at MSU with an overall coaching record of 73-94-20. He came to Minnesota State following a year-long stint as an assistant coach at Wisconsin. Prior to that, Vizenor served as the head coach at St. Mary’s University for two seasons and captured the MIAC regular season championship both seasons.

Buckeyes Ranked Ninth
Ohio State maintained its No. 9 ranking in both the U.S. College Hockey Online poll (released Oct. 24) and USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll (released Oct. 25). Ohio State is one of four WCHA teams to be ranked along with Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Minnesota-Duluth. Minnesota State received votes in both polls. St. Lawrence remains atop both rankings for the third consecutive week with a 3-0-0 record. The Buckeyes received votes in the preseason USCHO poll and were 10th in the USA Today rankings.

Penalty Kill Prowess
The Ohio State penalty kill is off to an outstanding start in 2005-06 as the Buckeyes have held opponents scoreless on 28-of-32 power play chances this season (.875). The Buckeyes will face off against the top-ranked penalty kill in the WCHA when Minnesota State comes to town. The Mavericks have killed 30-of-32 opportunities for a .938 percentage. The OSU held Minnesota-Duluth scoreless on the power play on Friday (0-for-4) for the fourth game of the year in which OSU had a perfect penalty kill mark. The Buckeyes killed off the first 15 opponent power play opportunities of the season. Ohio State finally allowed a power play goal when they gave up two in the game on Oct. 22, the only two goals scored by NU on the weekend.

Harrigan Climbing the Records
Senior Jana Harrigan is climbing the career record books at Ohio State. She now tops the all-time assists list with 72. The previous record was 70 held by Emily Hudak (2000-03). With her six points this season, Harrigan now has 119 on her career. She needs 28 points to surpass all-time leader Jeni Creary at 146. Harrigan has also increased her career goal total to 47, and is 39 goals away from tying Creary for the record.

Goalie Bonanno Gets First Action
Freshman goaltender Liana Bonanno entered the game at the start of the second period on Saturday at Minnesota-Duluth for her first minutes in goal of her Ohio State career. Bonanno made 30 saves in her two periods while allowing four goals.

Getting Out the Brooms
The Buckeyes’ swept Northeastern by scores of 3-0 and 6-2 Oct. 14-15 in Boston, Mass. Those two wins followed a season-opening sweep of WCHA opponent St. Cloud State. The last time the Buckeyes swept through two back-to-back series was in 2003 when they topped Bemidji State Nov. 21-22 and Niagara Nov. 29-30. The two wins against SCSU was only the second time in program history that OSU has opened a season with a sweep of its opponent. The last time it happened was Oct. 11-12, 2002 at Minnesota State (6-1, 3-1). In the the four games of the season, OSU outscored its opponents 16-4 and averaged 36.3 shots on goal with a 145-101 edge in shots.

Rookie Cahill Off to Hot Start
Freshman defenseman Kelly Cahill is off to a hot start to her rookie season and had a four-game point streak through her first four games. Cahill led the Buckeyes’ offense with a four-point weekend in her first collegiate series notching two goals and two assists against St. Cloud State Oct. 7-8. The native of Farmington Hills, Mich., then assisted on a power play goal Friday and scored a shorthanded goal Saturday in the Buckeyes’ series at Northeastern Oct. 21-22. Cahill leads the team in goals with three and is tied for the lead in points with six.

A Long Time Between Shorties
Freshman Kelly Cahill stripped the puck from a Northeastern player on Saturday, Oct. 15 and scored while on the penalty kill for Ohio State’s first short-handed goal in over a season. The last short-handed goal was scored by Meaghan Mulvaney at Minnesota-Duluth Feb. 6, 2004.

Between the Pipes
Junior Erika Vanderveer recorded the fourth shutout of her career on Friday, Oct. 14 when she made 26 saves in the 3-0 win at Northeastern. She had two shutouts her freshman season and one as a sophomore. The last time she had blanked an opponent was Feb. 19, 2005 against Niagara. The native of Bradford, Ontario has backstopped the Buckeyes to a 4-2-0 record. She has a 2.25 goals-against-average and .919 save percentage stopping 125 of 137 shots faced.

Up Next
Ohio State travels to Minneapolis to face the two-time defending NCAA and WCHA Champions in No. 4 Minnesota Nov. 4-5. Game times are at 7 p.m. (CT) both Friday and Saturday at Ridder Arena.