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Feb. 7, 2007

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FACEOFF
The Ohio State men’s hockey team returns home to host Northern Michigan for two games this weekend in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association series. The teams will meet at 8:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Value City Arena in Columbus.

THE BROADCAST
Both games in the series between Ohio State and Northern Michigan will be broadcast by WOSU Radio (820 AM/wosu.org) with Neil Sika (play-by-play) and former Buckeye John Mowat on the call.

The game Friday will be televised live by CSTV.

THE FUN STUFF
At the game Friday, the first 3,000 fans will receive a free Brutus bobblehead pin courtesy of Huntington Bank. It is Roosters Dime a Wing Night, with wings available for 10 cents (while supplies last). It also is a RHAC/Explore Columbus Night.

Saturday is a Four Pack night. Fans can receive four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas, four popcorns and four OSU Ice Rink skating passes for just $44. It also is Boy Scout Day and all Boy Scouts can receive a game ticket and an Ohio State gift for only $5 with advance purchase. (The order form can be accessed from the men’s hockey promotion page online at ohiostatebuckeyes.com). The first 5,000 fans will receive free men’s hockey trading cards courtesy of Gatorade. There also will be free haircuts at the game courtesy of Great Clips. Postgame, there will be a Meet the Buckeyes autograph session with Nick Biondo, Tom Fritsche and Tommy Goebel. LAST TIME OUT
The Buckeyes were swept on the road at Ferris State last weekend, losing 4-2 and 6-2.

Northern Michigan split its home-and-home series with Lake Superior State. The Wildcats won at home in Marquette Friday, 1-0, but lost in Sault Ste. Marie Saturday, 2-1.

A BUCKEYE SNAPSHOT
Ohio State enters the series with Northern Michigan 10-13-5 on the year. The squad is in seventh place in the CCHA with an 8-10-4 ledger (20 points), one point behind sixth-place Lake Superior State and three points behind fifth-place Nebraska-Omaha.

Senior defenseman Sean Collins leads the Buckeyes with 24 points, followed by junior forward Tommy Goebel with 23 and junior defenseman Jason DeSantis with 21. Goebel has a team-best 10 goals this season and DeSantis leads the squad with 19 assists.

Freshman goaltender Joseph Palmer has started 25 games this season and has a 3.03 goals-against-average with a 10-11-4 record.

GOEBEL ROLLS ALONG
Junior forward Tommy Goebel extended his point streak to 10 games with an assist vs. Ferris State Friday and a goal against the Bulldogs Saturday. During the last 10 games, Goebel has 13 points on four goals and nine assists.

Goebel has been held off the score sheet just six times in 24 games played this season.

He is the only Buckeye to carry a point streak into the Northern Michigan series.

HOME AGAIN
The series at Ferris State ended a stretch of five-consecutive road games for the Buckeyes. Four of the Buckeyes’ final six regular-season games will be at home in Columbus.

IN THE LEAGUE
With six CCHA games remaining, the Buckeyes are in seventh place in the conference with 20 points. Ohio State is one point behind sixth-place Lake Superior State and three back of fifth-place Nebraska-Omaha. The Buckeyes are one point ahead of the three teams tied for eighth place – Alaska, Western Michigan and Northern Michigan – and have two games in hand on the Wildcats.

A LOOK BACK AT THE FERRIS STATE SERIES
Against Ferris State last Friday in Big Rapids, Mich., the Buckeyes lost, 4-2. After a scoreless first period, Adam Miller opened the scoring with a goal for the Bulldogs 6:44 into the second. Buckeye junior Kyle Hood tied the game just 1:04 later. FSU’s Matt Case then scored twice in less than two minutes, at 10:45 (power play) and 12:33, to put the Bulldogs ahead by two (3-1).

In the third, the Bulldogs’ Brendan Connolly tallied a power-play goal at 11:11 to make the score 4-1. With the Buckeyes on the power play and the net empty for the extra attacker, junior Sam Campbell scored for Ohio State at 15:33, cutting the Bulldog lead to two (4-2). It was as close as the Buckeyes could get, as the squad skated the majority of the final five minutes of regulation with the net empty, but could net get the puck past FSU goalie Mitch O’Keefe.

The Buckeyes were defeated by Ferris State, 6-2, last Saturday in the second game of the two-game CCHA series.

Ferris State jumped out in front of the Buckeyes, 4-0, after one period of play, including a power-play strike by Connolly with 1.7 seconds left in the period. The Bulldogs opened the scoring 3:16 into the game on Case’s score, and then added a goal at 8:19 by Matt Verdone, Mark Bomersback’s shorthanded tally at 12:01 (short-handed) and Connolly’s goal.

Ohio State made a change in net to start the second period with freshman Nick Filion entering the game for classmate Joseph Palmer. In the period, the Bulldogs went ahead, 5-0, with a power-play goal by Adam Miller at 9:41. The Buckeyes got on the board at 13:58 with a 5-on-3 power-play goal by junior Tommy Goebel. Ohio State made the score 5-2 with a 5-on-4 power-play tally by Bryce Anderson at 15:15.

Ferris State extended its lead to 6-2 with a power-play goal by Verdone at 1:32 of the third period.

OSU VS. NMU – THE SERIES
The Buckeyes trail the series with Northern Michigan by one game, 26-27-3. In Columbus, however, Ohio State leads, 16-5-1. The Buckeyes are on an eight-game winning streak vs. the Wildcats in Columbus and are 4-0 vs. NMU in Value City Arena.

Earlier this season, the Buckeyes and Wildcats met in Marquette Oct. 27-28, splitting the series. Northern Michigan won the opener, 2-0, before OSU rebounded for a 4-2 victory in the finale.

WELCOME TO COLUMBUS
Since 1997-98, when Northern Michigan rejoined the CCHA, only six of the 23 meetings between the teams have been in Columbus entering this weekend. Sixteen of the games were in Marquette and the teams played a neutral-site game at the CCHA Super Six in Detroit.

SUCCESS VS. THE WILDCATS
Senior defenseman Sean Collins has a team-best six assists and seven points vs. the Wildcats. Four Buckeyes have scored twice vs. Northern Michigan – junior forwards Domenic Maiani, Matt McIlvane and Sam Campbell and senior forward Andrew Schembri.

MARKELL VS. THE WILDCATS
Buckeye head coach John Markell, who is in his 12th season at the helm, has a record of 12-9-0 against Northern Michigan.

OSU VS. NMU – THE 2006-07 SERIES
Ohio State and Northern Michigan met in Marquette, Mich., Oct. 27-28, in the Buckeyes’ first road series of the year. Northern Michigan posted a 2-0 victory Friday before the Buckeyes rebounded for a 4-2 win Saturday.

Three Buckeyes recorded multiple points in the victory, with Matt McIlvane leading the way with three (2g, 1a). Jason DeSantis had a goal and an assist while Domenic Maiani set up two goals.

A CLUSTER
Ohio State and Northern Michigan are in the same CCHA scheduling cluster this season, joined by Miami and Lake Superior State. The Buckeyes are 2-5-2 against teams in their cluster this season. Lake Superior State is 7-5 vs. NMU, OSU and Miami combined, while Miami is 4-2-2 vs. cluster opponents and Northern Michigan has a 3-5 ledger.

Miami and Lake Superior State will meet this weekend in Oxford, Ohio, and the RedHawks and Wildcats will wrap up the regular season in Marquette, Mich., Feb. 23-24.

A LOOK AT THE WILDCATS
Northern Michigan is 12-18-2 on the year and has a 9-14-1 ledger in CCHA play.

Junior Mike Santorelli leads the Wildcats and is second in the nation with 26 goals. He has a team-best 41 points and is second with 15 assists. Senior Darin Olver has a team-best 17 assists and is second with 28 points and 11 goals. Senior Zach Tarkir leads all Wildcat defensemen with 15 points, including 10 assists.

In net, junior Bill Zaniboni has played in 29 games and has a 2.44 goals-against average and .912 save percentage, along with an 11-16-2 record.

Walt Kyle, a 1981 graduate of Northern Michigan, is in his fifth year at the helm of his alma mater. He has a school and career mark of 99-78-17.

IN C-BUS
The Buckeyes carry a five-game unbeaten streak (4-0-1) in games in Columbus and a three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1) in games in Value City Arena into the series with Northern Michigan. The squad downed Minnesota Duluth and Miami at Nationwide Arena en route to the Ohio Hockey Classic title Dec. 29-30, followed by a two-game sweep of Alaska Jan. 5-7 and a tie with Miami Jan. 19.

EVERYBODY IN
Buckeye junior forward Sam Campbell scored against Ferris State Friday, marking his first goal of the season. This year, all 20 current Buckeye skaters who have played in more than four games have at least one goal and at least three points. Eleven Buckeyes have hit the double-digit mark for points, with three topping the 20-point mark.

UP THE CHARTS
Sean Collins has 84 career points to rank ninth in program history among Ohio State defensemen. He is three points behind eighth-place Brian Jenks (1978-81). The all-time leader is Dan Mandich, who had 138 points from 1979-82. Collins’ 84 points are the most for a Buckeye defenseman since Doug Andress had 89 from 2001-04.

75 AND COUNTING
With three points in the Ohio Hockey Classic, senior forward Mathieu Beaudoin surpassed the 75-point milestone. He now has 47 goals and 32 assists for 79 points. Defenseman Sean Collins reached the 75-point mark of his career Dec. 1, and has career totals of 27 goals and 57 assists for 84 points. Classmate Andrew Schembri, who passed the 75-point mark Nov. 9 at Bowling Green has totals of 34 goals and 52 assists for 84 points.

Junior Domenic Maiani is four away from the 75-point mark, with a 25-46-71 line.

Junior Tom Fritsche passed the 75-point mark last season and has 81 career points, including 25 goals and 56 assists.

WEARING THE SCARLET AND GRAY
Seniors Sean Collins and Matt Waddell each have played in a team-best 148 career games for the Scarlet and Gray and are quickly approaching the 150-games played mark. All-time, 29 Buckeyes have played in 150 or more games in their careers.

Andrew Schembri (145) and Mathieu Beaudoin (140) rank third and fourth, respectively, in career games played for the squad.

WELCOME BACK
Ohio State welcomed one of its top players from the last two seasons, Tom Fritsche, back into the lineup at the Ohio Hockey Classic. Playing in his first games since March 4, 2006, the junior forward shook off the rust and had an assist in each of Ohio State’s games. After missing the first 18 games of the season due to an intestinal illness, Fritsche set up a goal of his first shift back, assisting on the opening goal just 1:40 into the game vs. Minnesota Duluth. He followed with an assist in the Buckeyes’ 5-3 win vs. Miami in the championship game.

A WINNING COMBINATION
Since returning to the Buckeye lineup for the Ohio Hockey Classic, junior forward Tom Fritsche has recorded three goals and three assists in his 10 games with a plus-2 rating. He has combined with fellow juniors Domenic Maiani and Tommy Goebel for a line that has totaled 28 points in the last 10 games. Over the stretch, Goebel has a team-best 13 points and nine assists, while Maiani has a 4-5-9 line.

DYNAMIC DUO
Senior captain Sean Collins is second among CCHA defensemen in scoring with 24 points overall this season. Jason DeSantis is tied for third with 21 points.

Nationally, Collins is seventh in defenseman scoring with 0.86 points per game, while DeSantis is tied for 16th at 0.75.

A HELPING HAND
Jason DeSantis’ team-leading 19 assists are the eighth most (tied) in the CCHA and are tied for the lead among all league defensemen. He has the fifth-most (tied) assists of any defenseman in the nation.

Through 28 games this season, DeSantis has more than doubled his career assist total. He entered 2006-07 with just nine helpers through his first two seasons.

VOTE FOR NO. 5
Senior defenseman Sean Collins has been selected as a finalist for the Pontiac Frozen Four Skills Challenge as part of the 2007 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four held in St. Louis, Mo. Collins joins Ohio State women’s hockey defenseman Amber Bowman and goaltender Erika Vanderveer as one of 88 finalists chosen by the selection committee.

Buckeye fans can go to www.ncaasports.com or through the link on the right side of the front page of ohiostatebuckeyes.com to vote for Collins, Bowman and Vanderveer. Voting will take place until Feb. 12. Fan votes will be used to help the selection committee decide the 32 student-athletes that will participate in the skills challenge.

Participants in the challenge are in their senior year of eligibility. The event includes a puck-control relay, fastest skater, hardest shot, accuracy shooting, rapid fire shooting and penalty shot competition in a East vs. West format. Both the CCHA and WCHA conferences are part of the western teams.

The skills challenge will take place April 6 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The presentation of the Hobey Baker Memorial Award and the Hockey Humanitarian Award also will be part of the evening’s “Friday Night at the Frozen Four.” Tickets go on sale Feb. 3 through Ticketmaster or by calling 314-241-1888.

Last season, Buckeye goalie Dave Caruso, along with women’s forward Jana Harrigan, participated in the inaugural Skills Challenge.

GET SHORTY
The Buckeyes are second in the nation with 11 shorthanded goals this season, one behind national leader Michigan. Senior Mathieu Beaudoin leads Ohio State with three shorthanded goals this year. In addition to Beaudoin, Bryce Anderson, Kenny Bernard (2), John Dingle, Tommy Goebel, Domenic Maiani (2) and Matt McIlvane all have scored goals while on the penalty kill. Eleven Buckeyes have registered a shorthanded point this season.

The Buckeye record for shorthanded goals in a season is 16, set in 1982.

SHORTHANDED SKILLS
Mathieu Beaudoin is tied for fifth in the nation with three shorthanded goals this season, while Kenny Bernard and Domenic Maiani are tied for 16th with two shorthanded goals each.

Beaudoin (3-1) and Bernard (2-2) each have four shorthanded points to tie for second in the CCHA.

IN THE RECORD BOOKS
Mathieu Beaudoin is tied for sixth in the OSU record books for career shorthanded goals with seven and Kenny Bernard is tied for ninth with five. Beaudoin’s three shorthanded goals this season are tied for 10th in program history, set 12 times prior (including Beaudoin in 2004-05 and Bernard in 2005-06).

THE WINNING EDGE
In Ohio State’s 10 victories this season, the team is outscoring its opponents 45-18, an average of 4.5 goals to 1.8. The Buckeye power play is 13-of-53 (24.5 percent) while the penalty kill is 59-of-67 (88.1 percent).

POSTING POINTS
Before the Buckeyes were swept at Ferris State last weekend, the team had recorded at least one point in every CCHA series this season. The series was the first time the Buckeyes were swept on the road since losing two playoff games at Ferris State to close out last season (March 3-4). It was the first time the team was swept on the road in the regular season since Feb. 24-25, 2006 at Northern Michigan.

GOOD SIGNS
The Buckeyes are 8-3-2 when scoring first this season, but just 2-10-4 when the opponent scores first.

Ohio State is undefeated (4-0-1) when scoring four goals this season and is 1-0-1 when recording 41-50 shots on goal.

When senior Sean Collins has positive plus/minus, the Buckeyes are 8-0-3 so far this year. When senior Bryce Anderson has a +1 or better rating, Ohio State is 5-0-2.

SHOOTING GALLERY
Junior Tommy Goebel tied the Buckeyes’ team season-high with seven shots vs. Ferris State last Saturday. Goebel, who had never had more than three shots in a game entering this season, had a then-personal best six shots vs. Miami Jan. 19 and in the opener vs. Ferris State last Friday.

Goebel and Andrew Schembri are tied for second on the squad this season with 67 shots each, four behind Mathieu Beaudoin (71).

CATCHING UP
Three Buckeye seniors from last season have continued their hockey careers. Forward Rod Pelley (Lowell Devils/New Jersey) and defenseman Nate Guenin (Philadelphia Phantoms/Philadelphia) both have spent the majority of the season in the AHL. Guenin made hie NHL debut Jan. 18. He has played in six games for the Flyers and remains on their active roster. Pelley was called up by the Devils Jan. 31 and made his NHL debut Feb. 1 vs. Guenin and the Flyers. Pelley has since been returned to the AHL. Goalie Dave Caruso (Gwinett Gladiators) is in the ECHL.

Two former Buckeyes are on NHL rosters this season. R.J. Umberger skates for the Philadelphia Flyers, while Ryan Kesler plays for the Vancouver Canucks but currently is out because of hip surgery. Eric Meloche was called up to the Flyers Nov. 3-11, but was reassigned to the AHL Phantoms Nov. 12. Dave Steckel has played three games for the Washington Capitals but currently is with Hershey of the AHL. Scott May is on the AHL’s Iowa Stars roster.

In addition, Daymen Bencharski (Charlotte), Doug Andress (Johnstown) and JB Bittner (Idaho) are playing in the ECHL. Paul Caponigri (Chicago), Chris Richards (Youngstown) and Jason Selleke (Flint) are playing in the UHL. Mike McCormick and Hugo Boisvert are in Germany and Andre Signoretti and Jeff Maund are on teams in Italy.

MAIANI EARNS CCHA AND INCH AWARDS
Junior forward Domenic Maiani earned both Inside College Hockey (INCH) Player of the Week and CCHA Offensive Player of the Week honors after his four-point performance in the sweep of conference opponent Alaska Jan. 5 and 7 at Value City Arena. The INCH honor was the first national recognition for a Buckeye this season while his CCHA award was the first for an OSU forward this season.

Maiani had three points on a goal and two assists in the 6-2 win Friday for his second three-point game of the season. He opened the scoring Sunday in the eventual 3-2 victory with his second power play goal of the series.

OHIO STATE WINS OHIO HOCKEY CLASSIC
Ohio State won the 2006 Ohio Hockey Classic, defeating then-No. 4 Miami, 5-3, in the championship game Dec. 30 at Nationwide Arena. It was the first OHC title for Ohio State in the three-year history of the tournament. All five OSU goals against the RedHawks were scored by seniors as seven of eight members of the class had at least one point in the game, led by forwards Kenny Bernard and Mathieu Beaudoin who each tallied a goal and an assist.

The Buckeyes topped Minnesota Duluth of the WCHA, 4-1, in their first round game Dec. 29. Goaltender Joseph Palmer stopped 19 of 20 shots faced and 11 different OSU players had a point in the victory.

FOUR BUCKEYES NAMED TO OHC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM; COLLINS MVP
Senior captain Sean Collins was named MVP of the 2006 Ohio Hockey Classic and joined teammates Tom Fritsche, Tommy Goebel and Joseph Palmer on the All-Tournament team. Marty Guerin of Miami and Matt Niskannen of Minnesota Duluth rounded out the team.

COLLINS EARNS THIRD CCHA HONOR
Senior defenseman Sean Collins received his third CCHA Player of the Week honor this season Jan. 2 when he earned the defenseman award after being named Ohio Hockey Classic MVP with two goals in the tournament. He had the first goal of the game Dec. 29 vs. Minnesota Duluth just 1:40 into the contest. The captain followed with a lamplighter in the second period against Miami Dec. 30 to give the Buckeyes a 3-2 lead in the eventual 5-3 championship game victory.

Collins finished the tournament with a plus-3 rating as well as five blocked shots. He also was a key part of the Ohio State penalty kill that was a perfect 9-for-9 against two of the top power play units in the nation. It was the seventh CCHA Player of the Week honor of his career.

PALMER ALSO RECOGNIZED BY CCHA
Also earning CCHA Player of the Week laurels was goaltender Joseph Palmer, who was named rookie of the week for Jan. 2. It was his second weekly league award for games played in the month of December. Palmer backstopped the Buckeyes to the Ohio Hockey Classic title and was named to the All-Tournament team for his efforts. He stopped 42 of 46 shots (.913) including all 13 power play shots faced in the two games. Palmer held Minnesota Duluth to just one goal with 19 saves in the 4-1 win for his fourth time this season of limiting an opponent to one goal or less. He followed with a 23-save performance against then-No. 4 Miami.

MAN-DOWN? In Ohio State’s 4-1 win at Michigan State Dec. 2, its opening two goals were scored shorthanded – on the same penalty kill. Junior forward Domenic Maiani scored the first SHG of his career at 19:48 of the first period. The Buckeyes started the second period killing off the same penalty, with senior forward Bryce Anderson tallying his first lamplighter of the season, and second SHG goal of his career, just 42 seconds into the stanza.

OFFENSIVE OUTBURST
The nine goals scored by the Buckeyes Nov. 17 at Bowling Green were the most in a game since the team defeated Miami Oct. 21, 2004 by the same 9-3 score. The six-goal margin was the largest since OSU topped Western Michigan 7-0, Jan. 29, 2005.

The 13 OSU goals scored in the Bowling Green series were the most in a series since scoring 14 in a two-game home series vs. Illinois-Chicago, Dec. 13-14, 1991. It was the Buckeyes’ largest goal total in consecutive games since 2000, when the team defeated Findlay 1-0 Nov. 28 and followed with a 6-1 win at Ferris State Dec. 1.

THREE’S COMPANY
Senior forward Kenny Bernard scored two shorthanded goals vs. Western Michigan Nov. 9, tying the OSU individual record for shorthanded goals in a game. It was just the third time a Buckeye has tallied two SHG in a game, along with Dave Steckel (Nov. 29, 2003 at Bowling Green) and Paul Pooley (Feb. 14, 1981 at Bowling Green).

PAUL POOLEY NUMBER RETIREMENT
In the first intermission of the Nov. 4 game against Notre Dame, the Ohio State men’s hockey team retired its first number in program history in Paul Pooley’s No. 22 jersey. Pooley, a former Buckeye All-American who played for the Scarlet and Gray 1981-84, is the team’s all-time leading scorer with 270 points as well as the record-holder for career goals and assists and single-season points and assists. He was named the Bauer National Player of the Year in 1981 and is the only Buckeye ever to be named CCHA Player of the Year.

A standout in the classroom as well, Pooley, a marketing major, was a three-time CCHA All- Academic Team honoree. He was inducted to the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994.

HATS OFF
Senior forward and alternate captain Mathieu Beaudoin had a hat trick against Lake Superior State (Oct. 14), the first of his career. His three goals, each of which tied the game, included a shorthanded score, power-play tally and extra-attacker goal with just 0.2 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime.

It was the Buckeyes’ first hat trick since Tom Fritsche had three goals against Sacred Heart Jan. 29, 2005. Beaudoin had seven two-goal games in his Buckeye career before the hat trick vs. LSSU.

START IT UP
Freshman goalie Joseph Palmer started season-opening game for Ohio State against Lake Superior State Oct. 13, posting 22 saves for his first career shutout and win in OSU’s 1-0 victory.

He was the first Buckeye freshman to start a season opener since Mike Betz was between the pipes against Northern Michigan in the first game of the 2000-01 campaign. Ohio State posted a 5-3 win in that game in Marquette Oct. 13, 2000.

CATCHING UP
The Ohio State men’s hockey alumni association has a new website – osuhockeyalumni.com. Hockey alums can check in and keep up with all the association happenings.

LEADING THE TROOPS
Sean Collins was named Ohio State team captain for the 2006-07 season, while Mathieu Beaudoin and Matt McIlvane were selected alternate captains following a team vote. Collins served as an alternate captain for the Buckeyes last season.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes will hit the road for two games at Nebraska-Omaha. The Buckeyes and Mavericks will meet at 8:05 p.m. EST Feb. 16-17 at the Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Neb. The second game of the series will be televised live on CSTV.