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Nov. 19, 2003

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s ice hockey team returns home to battle WCHA foe Bemidji State at 7:05 p.m Friday and 4:05 p.m. Saturday in a two-game series at the OSU Ice Rink. The Buckeyes are 3-5-0 overall and in the WCHA this season and the Beavers are 1-8-1 overall and 0-6-0 in WCHA action.

FOOD DRIVE
Ohio State will be sponsoring a Thanksgiving food drive this weekend when the team takes on Bemidji State at the OSU Ice Rink. Boxes will be set up to collect non-perishable food items at each game. All donations will benefit the Mid-Ohio FoodBank.

SCOUTING BEMIDJI STATE
With an 0-6-0 record in the WCHA, Bemidji State currently stands in last place in the league. The Beavers are 1-8-1 overall, their only victory and tie came the first weekend out against Wayne State. BSU has fallen in its last eight games, losing to Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota State, Mercyhurst and Wisconsin.

A group of four freshmen and one sophomore lead the Beavers – freshman forwards Kelly Hart (2-2-4), Helena Tageson (1-2-3), Nikki Eckebrecht (1-1-2), defensive freshman Nina Ziegenhals (0-2-2) and sophomore forward Carly Napier (2-0-2).

Sophomore Jill Luebke and senior Anik Cote have both contributed in the net for the Beavers. Luebke has tallied a .862 save percentage and a 3.82 goals-against average, while Cote has a .896 save percentage and a 3.03 GAA.

BUCKEYES VS. BEAVERS
Ohio State is looking for its 10th and 11th victories over Bemidji State this weekend. The Buckeyes lead the Beavers 9-6-3 in the all-time series, including a 2-1-2 record in the 2002-03 season. In Columbus, OSU leads 5-2-1.

BEAVERS HEAD COACH
Bruce Olson is in his second season at the helm of the BSU program. Olson guided the squad to a 9-17-7 finish last year and currently holds a 5-19-6 mark against WCHA teams. Prior to Bemidji State, Olson had a successful career at the high school level for 23 years.

LAST MEETING
The last time Ohio State and Bemidji State faced off was in the first round of the WCHA Final Five tournament in Grand Forks, N.D. The Buckeyes defeated the Beavers, 4-3, in the longest game in WCHA playoff history (79:11). Jeni Creary scored the game-winning goal in the final seconds of the first overtime. Jana Harrigan and Meaghan Mulvaney each recorded unassisted goals, while Creary tallied twice in the contest. OSU outshot BSU 44-24.

RANKED NATIONALLY
The Buckeye penalty-killing unit is tied for 12th in the nation, stopping 28-of-32 of their opponents’ power-play opportunities (87.5 percent).

Junior Jennifer Desson is tied for 13th in the nation averaging 0.75 goals per game.

Freshman Tessa Bonhomme is tied for 14th in the nation among defensemen averaging 0.75 points per game and tied for 15th among freshman.

Senior Emma Laaksonen is tied for 21st among defensemen averaging 0.62 points per game.

LAST TIME OUT
Ohio State earned its first sweep, including its first shutout, of the season against St. Cloud State last weekend. The Buckeyes downed the Huskies 5-2 Nov. 14 and 3-0 Nov. 15.

Game 1 – Sophomore Jennifer Desson recorded her second career hat trick as she led Ohio State to a 5-2 victory over St. Cloud State Nov. 14.

St. Cloud State’s Jacqueline Jensen scored the first goal of the game for the Huskies at 3:11. Ohio State tied the game as senior Jeanne Chapple scored her first goal of the season off a rebound shot by Katie Sershen at 17:38. OSU had a power-play opportunity at the beginning the second period but was unable to get the puck past the SCSU goalie. St. Cloud’s Bobbie Anderson scored a shorthanded goal at 10:54 to take the lead. The Buckeyes tied the game at 2-all as Desson scored a power-play goal at 18:52. Heather Farrell and Amber Bowman assisted on the OSU goal. Ohio State turned the game around in the third period, as the Buckeyes recorded three goals while holding the Huskies scoreless. Ohio State’s Desson scored her second goal of the game assisted by sophomore Jeni Creary at 2:01. Desson tallied her third goal of the game to earn her second career hat trick as a Buckeye at 9:31. Buckeye sophomore Crystal Sayther secured the Ohio State victory as she scored her first goal of the season assisted by Tessa Bonhomme and Chapple at 13:27. The Huskies outshot the Buckeyes 30-23. Ohio State held St. Cloud State scoreless on all four the power play chances. The Buckeyes were 1-3 on the power play.

Game 2 – Senior Heather Farrell recorded three points to lead Ohio State to a 3-0 shutout over St. Cloud State Nov. 15. Ohio State dominated the first period, as the Buckeyes scored all three goals of the game and recorded 14 shots to St. Cloud State’s three. OSU’s sophomore Jennifer Desson got the Buckeyes on the scoreboard when she posted a goal assisted by Jana Harrigan and Heather Farrell at 10:08. Freshman Amber Bowman soon followed with her first career goal on the power play at 13:28. Farrel capitalized on a a power-play opportunity at 17:01. Freshman Tessa Bonhomme and senior Emma Laaksonen tallied assists on what turned out to be the last goal of the game.

The Buckeyes continued their aggressive play in the second period as they tallied 10 shots to the Huskies’ six. The Buckeyes outshot the Huskies 29-16. Ohio State held St. Cloud State scoreless on all three power play chances. The Buckeyes were 2-for-5 on the power play.

TRICKS OF THE TRADE
Junior Jennifer Desson led the team with four goals, including both game-winning goals, against St. Cloud State last weekend. Desson recorded her second career hat trick, the teams’ first on the season, Nov. 14 and tallied an additional goal in the shutout Nov. 15. She leads the team with six goals and is tied for second with six points.

FIRSTS ALL-AROUND
The two-game series was marked with several firsts. The team earned its first sweep and shutout of the season. Goalie Erika Vanderveer played in her first game and earned her first shutout. Freshman Amber Bowman scored her first career goal, while senior Jeanne Chapple and sophomore Crystal Sayther recorded their first goals of the season.

SUCCESS IN GOAL
Junior Melissa Glaser and freshman Erika Vanderveer split the series in goal for the Buckeyes. Glaser recorded 28 saves in the contest Nov. 14. In her first game in net for the Buckeyes Nov. 15, Vanderveer stopped 16 shots and earned her first shutout.

LEADING THE BUCKEYES
Senior Heather Farrell leads the squad with seven points (2-5-7) after tallying one assist Nov. 14 and three points (1-2-3) Nov. 15 against St. Cloud State. Farrell and freshman Tessa Bonhomme lead the squad with five assists each.

MULTIPLE SCORERS
Fourteen of the 20 players on the OSU squad have recorded at least one point this season, 10 of which have scored a goal.

HEADING THE FRESHMEN CLASS
Freshman defenseman Tessa Bonhomme led the Buckeye defense as it held St. Cloud State to two goals in the sweep over the weekend. Bonhomme is tied for first on the team with five assists and is tied for second with six points (1-5-6).

RECORD SETTING
Ohio State set several season highs against St. Cloud State last weekend. The Buckeyes recorded 15 total points Nov. 14, breaking the nine points earned Nov. 1 vs. Wisconsin.

OSU scored a high five goals and 10 assists Nov. 14. The squad also posted a season-high seven penalties for 14 penalty minutes Nov. 15.

FIRST CAREER GOALS
Two Buckeyes scored their first career goals against Wisconsin. Junior Jaclyn Haines scored the Buckeyes’ second goal and freshman Tessa Bonhomme scored the game-winning goal in the contest Nov. 1. Freshman Amber Bowman posted her first career goal in the 3-0 shutout vs. St. Cloud State Nov. 15.

INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCES
Senior defenseman Emma Laaksonen and junior forward Jeni Creary both competed at international tournaments this year.

Creary competed at the Canadian National Team Thanksgiving Festival Oct. 7-12 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Sixty of Canada’s top women athletes were asked to compete in the three-team tournament.

Laaksonen competed for Team Finland in the 2003 Four Nations Cup Nov. 5-9 in Skovde, Sweden. Team Finland earned the bronze medal in the four day competition. The event marked the xxx Four Nations Cup Laaksonen has played in with Team Finland.

TOUGH COMPETITION
Ohio State faced three of the Top 6 teams in the nation the first three weekends out. After falling in the first four games of the season (then-No. 1 Minnesota and then-No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth), the Buckeyes were able to gain confidence as they upset then-No. 6 Wisconsin, 3-2, Nov. 1.

HATS OFF TO MULVANEY
Junior captain Meaghan Mulvaney earned WCHA Offensive Player of the Week honors for her performance as she recorded two consecutive hat tricks to lead the Buckeyes to a sweep over Toronto in exhibition action Oct. 10-11. The junior captain scored one even strength and two power-play goals in the 5-2 victory Oct. 10. The Ohio native duplicated her success Oct. 11, as she tallied one power-play and two even strength goals. Mulvaney posted 13 shots and finished +4 on the weekend.

THE SCHEDULE
The toughest part of the schedule might be competing on the road for four consecutive weekends in January and February. The Buckeyes play every WCHA team four times during the season, a two-game trip on the road and with a two-game series at home.

In nonconference action, OSU faces Niagara, Quinnipiac and Mercyhurst for the first time in the four-year history of the program. The team travels to Erie, Pa., to take on Mercyhurst. The teams faced off for the first time last season, with an OSU loss 2-1. In the final game of the regular-season (March 6), Ohio State looks to defend the Ohio Cup trophy after defeating Findlay for three consecutive years.

The 2003 WCHA Final Five Tournament will be held March 12-14 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minn. The Buckeyes are striving for the 2003 NCAA Frozen Four March 26 and 28 in Providence, R.I.

WCHA ROUND-UP
The Wisconsin Badgers moved into second place in the WCHA standings with 10 points after a sweep over Minnesota State. Ohio State earned its first sweep of the season against St. Cloud State. Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth both recorded non-conference wins over the weekend vs. Brown and North Dakota, respectively.

The conference games this weekend include Ohio State playing host to Bemidji State, St. Cloud State traveling Wisconsin and Minnesota State entertaining Minnesota.

WHAT’S UP NEXT?
After celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday Ohio State plays host to the Niagara Purple Eagles at 2:05 p.m. Nov. 29 and 30 in its first non-conference series of the season.

The Buckeyes’ final series before the holiday break is at Northeastern Dec. 12-13.

FIND OUT ON THE WEB
Keep track of the latest women’s ice hockey news, scores and stats by logging on to the official Ohio State athletic website at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.