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Feb. 18, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s ice hockey team (14-10-2 overall, 10-9-1 WCHA) returns home for a match-up with the No. 1 Minnesota Golden Gophers (21-4-1, 14-3-1 WCHA) at 7:05 p.m. EST Friday and Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink in Columbus, Ohio.

SCOUTING MINNESOTA
The Golden Gophers are coming off a split with Wisconsin at their home rink. Minnesota fell, 2-1, in overtime Friday and followed with a 2-1 win Saturday. The Golden Gophers are 21-4-1 overall and 14-3-1 in the WCHA this season. Their losses have come against Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota State, Dartmouth and Wisconsin. Their lone tie was with Minnesota State.

Leading the Golden Gophers is sophomore forward Krissy Wendell with 49 points (22-27). Not far behind is junior forward Kelly Stephens with 45 points (13-33-45). Nine Golden Gophers have reached double-digits in points this season, including five with 20 or more.

In net is junior Jody Horak who has played in 20 games, posting a goals-against average of 1.78 and a .917 save percentage. Junior Brenda Reinen has played six games in net accumulating a .67 goals-against average and a .968 save percentage.

BUCKEYES VS. GOPHERS
The Golden Gophers lead the all-time series 17-3-0 and 7-1-0 in Columbus, Ohio. Earlier this season, Minnesota defeated OSU, 6-3 and 7-0, Oct. 17-18, in Minneapolis, Minn.

MINNESOTA HEAD COACH
Laura Halldorson is in her seventh season at the helm of the Minnesota women’s hockey program. She is looking to lead her squad to the NCAA Frozen Four for the third consecutive season. She has a 160-38-16 record at Minnesota and a 219-113-25 career record in 13 years.

DID YOU KNOW?
The Golden Gophers wear an “R” patch on their jerseys for Bob and Kathleen Ridder, the couple that funded Ridder Arena.

SAME TEAM NOW OPPOSITE TEAM
Ohio State head coach Jackie Barto coached Minnesota goalie Jody Horak and forward Natalie Darwitz when she served as an assistant coach on the U.S. Women’s Under-22 Team. The squad competed at the USA Hockey Festival Aug. 12-18, 2003 and in a three-game exhibition series vs. Team Canada Aug. 20-23, 2003.

HOMETOWN HOMIES
Ohio State’s Natalie Lamme attended the same high school as Minnesota forward Jerilyn Glenn and defenseman Stacy Troumbly. All three players were members of the Hibbing High School women’s hockey team.

OSU’s Katie Sershen played on the Minnesota Thoroughbreds with Minnesota sophomore Allie Sanchez.

LAST TIME OUT VS. MINNESOTA
The Golden Gophers swept the Buckeyes in their first WCHA game of the season Oct. 17-18 in Minneapolis, Minn. Minnesota won 6-3 and 7-0 in the two-game series. The Golden Gophers outshot the Buckeyes 28-19 in game one and 32-23 in game two.

LAST TIME OUT
Ohio State earned two conference points as it split with Minnesota State last weekend in Mankato, Minn. The Mavericks secured their 4-1 victory Friday as they took an 3-0 lead after the first two periods. The Buckeyes earned their fifth shutout of the season as they defeated MSU 2-0 Saturday. Ohio State outshot Minnesota State 68-49 on the weekend, marking the 13th time the Buckeyes have taken more shots than their opponents this season.

ON THE PK
Ohio State’s penalty-killing unit is ranked fourth in the nation, stopping 102-of-112 of its opponents’ power plays (91.1 percent). The Buckeyes have held their opponents scoreless in 16 games this season.

BUCKEYE POWER PLAY
The Buckeyes scored two power-play goals in the game Saturday, marking the first time they have scored twice on a man-advantage in 14 games. OSU has scored on 18-of-123 power-play goals this season (14.5 percent).

HOME ICE ADVANTAGE
Playing in the OSU Ice Rink this season has made an impact, as the Buckeyes are 7-3-1 at home. Last season, OSU was 6-10-1. The Buckeyes have three remaining home games this season.

POWER PLAY LEADER
Senior Emma Laaksonen is leading the team with nine power-play points this season. Laaksonen has scored one power-play goal and has eight assists on the man advantage.

CONFERENCE POINTS
Sophomore Jana Harrigan leads the Buckeyes with 18 conference points (10-8) this season. Not far behind is freshman Tessa Bonhomme with 13 points (2-11).

SCORING STREAK
Sophomore Jana Harrigan currently is on a three-game goal and point scoring streak (3-0-3) following the series against Minnesota State last weekend. Harrigan scored the Buckeyes’ lone goal unassisted in the loss Friday against Minnesota State and followed with the game-winning power-play goal in the 2-0 shutout Saturday.

FRESHMAN LEADER
Defenseman Tessa Bonhomme continues to lead the freshman class with 15 points and is tied for first on the squad with 13 assists this season. Bonhomme led the Ohio State freshman class with two assists in the split with Minnesota State last weekend.

ON THE DEFENSE
The Buckeye defense is 10th in the nation, averaging 2.12 goals allowed per game. OSU’s defense has allowed 55 goals.

ON THE OFFENSE
Ohio State’s offense is 18th in the nation, averaging 2.50 goals per game. The Buckeyes have recorded 65 goals.

BUCKEYE LEADERS
Sophomore Jana Harrigan is leading the team in three categories this season – points (21), goals (11) and shots (91).

Not far behind with 18 points is junior captain Meaghan Mulvaney, who has nine goals and nine assists this season.

Captains Erin O’Grady and Mulvaney lead the squad with three power-play goals.

Senior Emma Laaksonen and freshman Tessa Bonhomme lead the assists category with 13 each.

100 IN REACH
Senior Emma Laaksonen (96) and junior Jeni Creary (95) are close to breaking the OSU all-time career of 98 points set by Shana Frost (1999-03).

ITS BEEN A WHILE
Junior captain Meaghan Mulvaney scored Ohio State’s first shorthanded goal of the season vs. Minnesota-Duluth Feb. 6. The last time a Buckeye scored a shorthanded goal was March 1, 2003 vs. Bemidji State (Jennifer Desson).

GOALS AND POINTS LEADER
Leading the team with 21 points this season is sophomore Jana Harrigan. The Burlington, Ontario, native also leads the Buckeyes with 11 goals. Eighteen of Harrigan’s points have come in conference games.

DOUBLE DIGITS

Eight Buckeyes have tallied double-digits in points this season – Jana Harrigan (21), Meaghan Mulvaney (18), Emma Laaksonen (16), Heather Farrell and Tessa Bonhomme (15), Jeni Creary (14), Amber Bowman (12) and Erin O’Grady (11).

IN THE RANKS
Senior captain Emma Laaksonen is tied for 15th in the nation among defensemen with 16 points.

Freshman Tessa Bonhomme is tied for 18th in the nation among defensemen with 15 points.

Junior Melissa Glaser’s .915 save percentage places her 19th in the nation. Glaser also is 21st in the nation averaging 2.50 goals against.

BUCKEYES VS. OPPONENTS
The Buckeyes are leading their opponents in three categories this season. The squad has outscored its opponents by 10 goals, tallied 27 more assists and scored eight more power-play goals than its opponents.

RECORD SEASON
The Buckeyes have set three program records so far this season. For the first time in program history Ohio State went on a nine-game unbeaten streak (Nov. 14-Jan. 3). During that time OSU had a seven-game winning streak, from Nov. 14-Dec. 12, breaking a six-game streak in the 2000-01 season. The Buckeyes also won five consecutive conference games, breaking the previous record of four from the 2000-01 season.

MORE AND MORE ACCOLADES
Ohio State has earned six WCHA Player of the Week honors this season. Two Buckeyes, Melissa Glaser and Erika Vanderveer, have earned the honor twice. Junior captain Meaghan Mulvaney earned Offensive Player of the Week Nov. 5 and freshman Tessa Bonhomme was named Rookie of the Week Jan. 19.

TRICKS OF THE TRADE
Junior Jennifer Desson led the team with four goals, including both gamewinners, against St. Cloud State Nov. 14. Desson recorded her second career hat trick, the teams’ first of the season, Nov. 14 and tallied an additional goal in the shutout Nov. 15.

INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCES
Senior denfenseman 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 seventh Four Nations Cup Laaksonen has played in with Team Finland.

THE SCHEDULE
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.

WHAT’S UP NEXT
Ohio State plays host to WCHA rival Wisconsin at 7:05 p.m. Feb. 27-28 at the OSU Ice Rink. Prior to the game Feb. 28, the Buckeyes will pay tribute to the 2004 senior class.

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.

WCHA FINAL FIVE
Tickets for the 2004 WCHA Final Five, set for March 12-14 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minn., are on sale now. To order tickets phone 1-800-UGopher.