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Oct. 19, 2004

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Faceoff
The Ohio State men’s hockey (2-2, 2-0 CCHA) team opens its home schedule at 7:05 p.m. Thursday when it plays host to No. 6/8 Miami (4-0, 2-0 CCHA) in Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes and RedHawks will end the two-game series at 7:35 p.m. Friday at Goggin Ice Arena in Oxford, Ohio.

The Broadcast
The games against Miami will be broadcast live by WOSU Radio (820 AM/wosu.org) with Neil Sika (play-by-play) and former Buckeye John Mowat (color) on the call. In addition, live stats from both games can be found online by following the links on the men’s hockey schedule page at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

The game Thursday will be broadcast by The Underground, Ohio State’s student-run radio station, at www.underground.fm/sports.

The Fun Stuff
In a pregame ceremony Thursday, the 2004 CCHA Championship banner will be raised to the rafters of Value City Arena. Before the game, fans will have the chance to win from the CD101 Prize Wheel. In addition, there will be free schedule magnets for the first 5,000 fans and a Meet the Buckeyes autograph session is planned for after the game.

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.

Live Chat with Caruso Wednesday
Junior goalie Dave Caruso will be accepting and answering questions from fans in an online chat session at noon Wednesday at ohiostatebuckeyes.com. Fans may submit questions before and/or during the chat session.

Caruso, from Roswell, Ga., is the first player to grow up playing hockey in Atlanta to play for a NCAA Division I hockey team and is an avid country music fan.

He has started three games for the Buckeyes this season, posting a 2-1-0 record with a 2.63 goals-against average. He has a career gaa of 1.92 and a .924 save percentage in 25 games. Caruso backstopped the Buckeyes to the 2004 CCHA Super Six Tournament title, earning all-tournament team accolades as OSU won three games in three days.

Honored
Sophomore Sean Collins was named the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Defenseman of the Week, the league announced Monday. Collins helped lead the Buckeyes to a series sweep on the road at Ferris State last weekend, posting two assists and going +3.

Collins, from Troy, Mich., had the primary assist on both Matt Beaudoin’s late game-tying goal and had the first assist on Lee Spector’s overtime winner against the Bulldogs Saturday. Collins led the Buckeye defensive effort in stopping 18-of-20 Bulldog power-play chances in the two games combined, including a perfect 11-for-11 effort Friday.

This is the second league honor for Collins. He was named CCHA Defensive Player of the Week March 7.

Last Time Out
Ohio State and Miami both opened Central Collegiate Hockey Association play last weekend with two-game sweeps. The Buckeyes posted two wins on the road at Ferris State, winning 4-2 and 4-3 in overtime, while the RedHawks swept Notre Dame at home, winning 4-2 and 5-0.

For Openers
All-time, Ohio State is 31-8-2 in home openers. In Value City Arena, the team is 3-1-1.

In VCA
The Buckeyes are 61-33-9 (.636) all-time in Value City Arena, their home since January 1999. In CCHA play, Ohio State has a mark of 44-27-9 in VCA. The Buckeyes have averaged 3.2 goals a game in the arena and have allowed 2.34.

Ohio State was 12-6-0 at home last season and ended the year with victories in its last five games in Value City Arena.

A Look Back – OSU Sweeps Ferris State
The Buckeyes posted two wins over Ferris State in Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich., last weekend. The squad won 4-2 Friday (Oct. 15) and 4-3 in overtime Saturday (Oct. 16).

Friday, sophomore forward Matt Beaudoin’s third-period goal broke a 2-all tie to lift the Buckeyes to the 4-2 win over Ferris State in the CCHA opener for both teams.

Andrew Schembri (5×3) and Rod Pelley (5×4) scored first-period power-play goals to put OSU up, 2-0, 8:05 into the game. The Bulldogs scored at the 16:04 mark of the first to cut OSU’s lead to one and then tied the game 15:51 into the second.

The score remained tied until Beaudoin scored an unassisted 4-on-4 goal at the 12:42 mark of the third. JB Bittner ended the scoring with an empty-net, power-play goal with 15 seconds remaining.

The Buckeyes outshot the Bulldogs in the game, 20-18. OSU was 3-for-12 on the power play and stopped all 11 FSU power-play chances.

Saturday, Buckeye senior Lee Spector scored in overtime to cap a comeback win for Ohio State over Ferris State. The Buckeyes trailed, 3-1, with 16:24 remaining in the third period but Rod Pelley and Matt Beaudoin scored to tie the game and force overtime before Spector tallied to give OSU the win and the two-game sweep of the Bulldogs.

The teams were scoreless through the first period. Jeff Legue gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal 2:24 into the second before Kyle Hood scored at 5:51 to tie the game at 1.

The Bulldogs then scored twice in a minute (at 2:36 and 3:36) of the third period to take a 3-1 lead with 16:24 remaining. Pelley then scored a 4-on-3 power-play goal at 7:35 and Beaudoin tied the game with a goal with 1:32 left in regulation. Spector, assisted by Sean Collins tallied the gamewinner 3:17 into overtime.

OSU outshot the Bulldogs in the game, 37-32. The Buckeyes were 1-for-16 on the power play and FSU was 2-for-9.

A New Way to Open it Up
The Buckeyes swept Ferris State on the road last weekend to open league play 2-0-0. It is the first time the squad posted wins in its first two CCHA games since 1989-90 when that squad swept Illinois-Chicago at home. The last time Ohio State opened league play with two road wins was 1976-77, when the team swept Lake Superior State in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

A Sweet Sweep
Ohio State’s road sweep of Ferris State was its first in league play since sweeping Michigan State in Munn Ice Arena Oct. 17-18, 2003. OSU’s last two-game sweep on a road weekend was Nov. 21-22, 2003 when it beat Colgate and Cornell.

OSU vs. Miami All-Time
Ohio State leads the all-time series 51-46-6, with a 32-14-3 lead in Columbus, while the RedHawks lead the series in Oxford, 30-16-3. In the last 10 meetings, OSU owns a 6-4-0 edge.

Competing for the Cup
Each season, the three Ohio-based CCHA schools (Ohio State, Miami, Bowling Green) compete for the Ohio Cup, a traveling trophy sponsored by the Buckeye Sports Bulletin given to the team with the best record against its instate foes.

Miami won the cup last season, while Ohio State was the winner in 2003 and BGSU won the title in 2002. No school has won back-to-back titles since Miami in 1996-97.

Because Ohio State and Miami are in the same CCHA scheduling cluster, the teams meet four times a season and face Bowling Green just twice. For that reason, just the first game of each home-and-home series between the Buckeyes and RedHawks will count in the Ohio Cup competition. The game Thursday in Value City Arena will count, as will the March 4 game at Goggin Ice Arena.

The 2003-04 Series
The Buckeyes and RedHawks met six times last season, with each team winning three games. OSU beat Miami in the consolation game of the Lefty McFadden Invitational (5-3) in October before Miami swept a home-and-home series (2-1 and 4-2) in December. Miami extended its winning streak over Ohio State to three with a 4-3 overtime win in Oxford March 5. The Buckeyes then won the last two meetings of the year, topping MU on a late goal March 6 (5-4) in Columbus to close out the regular season and then winning in overtime in the CCHA Super Six semifinal (4-3).

The Last Meeting
The Buckeyes fought back from three one-goal deficits to beat No. 2 seed Miami in overtime, 4-3, in the semifinal game of the 2004 CCHA Super Six at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit March 19.

The RedHawks’ Mike Kompon opened the scoring with a power-play goal at the 16:36 mark of the first period. In the second, Pelley tied the game at 6:36, but Miami again took the lead when Todd Grant scored with the teams skating 4-on-4 at 15:51 of the second.

In the third, Paul Caponigri tied the game for the Buckeyes with a score at 5:28; Miami again took the lead when Kompon scored his second of the night at 9:46. Just over three minutes later, Dan Knapp knotted the scored with an unassisted goal at 12:54. Buckeye goalie Dave Caruso made some point-blank saves in the waning minutes to keep the score tied and send it to overtime.

On the first shift of the extra stanza, JB Bittner scored just 23 seconds in to give the Buckeyes the win. Caponigri passed the puck from behind the net to Bittner in front, who backhanded it in for his fifth gamewinner of the season.

Ohio State outshot Miami, 28-21. OSU was scoreless on two power-play chances; MU was 1-for-2.

Leading the Way vs. the RedHawks
Buckeye senior JB Bittner leads the Buckeyes with four goals and six points against Miami in his career. Junior forward Dan Knapp and junior forward Rod Pelley each have 3-2-5 lines vs. the RedHawks.

A Look at the RedHawks
Miami is 4-0 on the year and 2-0 in the CCHA. The squad opened the season with wins over Northeastern and Boston University in the Lefty McFadden Invitational in Dayton, Ohio. The squad then swept Notre Dame last weekend by scores of 4-2 and 5-0. The RedHawks are averaging 5.0 goals a game, while allowing just 1.2. The squad has converted 12 of 33 power-play chances (36.4 percent) and has stopped 36-of-37 (97.4 percent) opponent power-play opportunities.

Marty Guerin leads the RedHawks and the CCHA with 10 points, including a team-best five goals. Matt Christie is second in scoring with nine points and first with six helpers. In net, Brandon Crawford-West has started all four games, with a 1.25 goals-against average and .960 save percentage.

Enrico Blasi, a 1994 graduate of Miami, is in his sixth year at the helm of his alma mater. He has a career ledger of 92-89-14 and is a two-time CCHA Coach of the Year.

We’ll See You Again
The Buckeyes and RedHawks are members of the same CCHA scheduling cluster and will meet four times this season. The squads will close out the regular season with a home-and-home series March 4 in Oxford, Ohio, and March 5 in Columbus.

A Cluster
The series this weekend marks the first games for Miami against a team from its league scheduling cluster. Ohio State is 2-0-0 in the cluster after sweeping Ferris State last weekend. The fourth team in the cluster is Western Michigan, who the Buckeyes will face next weekend. Ohio State and Miami have been partnered as a “rivalry pair” and always are in the same league scheduling cluster.

A Winner
Senior forward Lee Spector’s last two goals both have been gamewinners. He scored with 1:11 remaining against Miami March 6 to lift OSU to a 5-4 win in Value City Arena and then scored the overtime winner at Ferris State Saturday. Three of Spector’s seven career goals have been gamewinning tallies.

Welcome Back
Sophomore forward Matt Beaudoin returned to the Buckeye lineup at Ferris State after recovering from an injury and made an immediate impact. He scored the third-period gamewinner Friday, breaking a 2-all tie, and then scored a goal with less than two minutes remaining to tie the game and force overtime Saturday. He was named the Perani Cup first star of the game Friday for his efforts. Including last season, Beaudoin has 11 points, on seven goals and four assists, in his last 11 games.

Have a Game Freshman forward Tom Fritsche posted a team-best three assists in the win over Ferris State Friday for his first career points and added an assist Saturday for a four-point weekend.

Game by Game
Freshman defenseman Kyle Hood has at least one point in every game he has played in this season. After sitting out the first game, he posted an assist against St. Cloud State and in the opener at Ferris State before recording a goal and an assist in the finale against the Bulldogs.

Happy 50th
Junior forward Dan Knapp had an assist on the last goal of the game Friday, marking the 50th point of his Buckeye career. He added an assist Saturday and has 19-32-51 totals in 62 career games. Knapp is second on the team in career points, behind only JB Bittner’s 54 points in 122 games.

The Leaders
Freshmen Tom Fritsche and Kyle Hood share the Buckeyes’ scoring lead so far this season with four points each. Fritsche has a team-high four assists, while Hood has a goal and three helpers. Matt Beaudoin, JB Bittner and Rod Pelley share the goal-scoring lead with two goals each.

Grinding Out the Wins
The Buckeyes and Bulldogs entered the third period of both games last weekend tied, with Ohio State posting wins in both games. Last season the team was 2-5-0 when the game was deadlocked at the end of two periods.

Leading the Way
Senior forward JB Bittner will serve as team captain and junior defenseman Nate Guenin and junior forward Rod Pelley were named alternate captains for the 2004-05 season. The trio was selected by a vote of their teammates. Bittner, from Pittsburgh, Pa., is entering his second year as team captain, while Aliquippa, Pa., native Guenin is in his second year as an alternate.

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.

Who’s Back
Ohio State returns 15 letterwinners from the squad last season, including forwards Bryce Anderson, Dave Barton, Matt Beaudoin, Kenny Bernard, JB Bittner, Dan Knapp, Rod Pelley, Andrew Schembri and Lee Spector, defensemen Sean Collins, Nate Guenin, Tyson Strachan, Matt Waddell and Thomas Welsh and goalie Dave Caruso.

Quite a Class
The Buckeyes’ 11-member recruiting class was ranked 11th by insidecollegehockey.com. Tom Fritsche was listed as a Top 20 incoming forward, while Johann Kroll was named a Top 15 rookie defenseman by INCH.

On the Air
Ohio State will appear on both national and local television this season. The following is the schedule as of Oct. 6.

OSU’s 2004-05 Television Schedule

Oct. 9 New Hampshire NH Public TV Dec. 29 Minnesota State ONN Dec. 30 Colorado College ONN Jan. 7 Ferris State CSTV Jan. 22 Michigan CSTV Feb. 18 at Michigan State FSN Detroit Feb. 19 at Michigan State Comcast

Up Next
The Buckeyes hit the road for a two-game series at Western Michigan Oct. 29-30. The team then returns home for a four-game homestand. Ohio State will play host to non-conference foe Sacred Heart at 7:05 p.m. Nov. 5-6 and then will go up against Northern Michigan at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13 and at 2:05 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14.