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Oct. 7, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s ice hockey team opens regular-season Western Collegiate Hockey Association action against St. Cloud State at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the newly renovated OSU Ice Rink in Columbus, Ohio.

The Broadcast
The game Friday will be broadcast live by The Underground: Ohio State University’s only student-run radio station. The game can be heard on UNITS cable channel 4 or at www.underground.fm/sports.

Scouting St. Cloud State
The Huskies open their 2004-05 season this weekend in Columbus. They are coming off a 7-24-1 record and a sixth-place WCHA finish last season.

St. Cloud State lost eight letterwinners and returns 14 this year. Three of the Huskies’ five top scorers return to the squad this season, including leading scorer forward Carrie Holldorf who posted 31 points last season.

Returning in goal for the Huskies is sophomore Lauri St. Jacques (4.05 gaa, .875 Spct.) who split time in net with senior Ellen Brinkman last season.

Huskies Head Coach
Jason Lesteberg is in his third year at the helm of the SCSU program. Over the past two seasons Lesteberg has tallied an 18-47-1 record. Prior to St. Cloud State, Lesteberg served as the head coach at Bemidji State during the 2001-02 season.

Buckeyes vs. Huskies
The Buckeyes and Huskies will be meeting for the 23rd and 24th times in program history. Ohio State leads the all-time series 14-7-1. SCSU leads the Buckeyes 5-4-1 in the OSU Ice Rink. In the last five game, OSU leads 3-2.

Last Time Out vs. SCSU
Ohio State suffered a 2-1 loss to St. Cloud State March 4, 2004 in Columbus, Ohio. The loss ended the Buckeyes’ nine-game unbeaten streak and five-game conference winning streak. The Huskies came out strong, scoring the first goal of the game, as SCSU’s Ashley Stewart scored an unassisted goal on a turnover from behind the net at 10:54. The Huskies tallied a second goal eight minutes later, as Roxanne Stang scored on the power play, assisted by Kelly Stewart and Ashley Stewart. Both teams were scoreless in the second period. The Buckeyes scored their lone goal late in the third period. Buckeye freshman Katie Maroney scored her second goal of the season at 17:11. The goal was assisted by Crystal Sayther and Amber Bowman. Ohio State pulled its goalie with 48 seconds remaining, but could not get the equalizer.

WCHA Coaches’ Poll
The WCHA released its annual Preseason Coaches Poll and Players of the Year Thursday. Ohio State was ranked fourth with 50 points. Minnesota, the defending WCHA and NCAA champion, was selected first for the second straight year. Wisconsin was picked second, receiving 64 points and one first place vote. Minnesota-Duluth was ranked third with 58 points.

Out This Weekend
Ohio State sophomore Tessa Bonhomme was one of 40 Canadian women’s hockey players selected to compete in a Thanksgiving Festival vs. Russia and Sweden Oct. 3-10 in Kitchener, Ontario. In August, Bonhomme was named to the Canadian Women’s Under-22 Team following an exhibition series against the U.S.

Double-Dipping
The Ohio State men’s hockey team could face St. Cloud State this weekend too. The Buckeyes are competing in the IceBreaker Tournament at the University of New Hampshire. OSU faces UNH and St. Cloud State takes on St. Lawerence Saturday. Depending on the outcomes Saturday Ohio State and St. Cloud State could face off at 2 p.m. Sunday. You can follow the team by logging on to www.wosu.org.

New to the Bunch
Ohio State added nine freshmen to the team this season, marking the biggest rookie class since the inaugural season when 18 freshmen joined the team.

The Buckeye Returnees
The Buckeyes boast 14 returning players, including seven forwards, five defensemen and two goaltenders, to lead the charge in the upcoming campaign. Among the group are five seniors who will be looked upon to guide the squad to a winning season, including second-year captain Meaghan Mulvaney and alternate captains Melissa Glaser and Jeni Creary.

“We are going to have good chemistry this year,” head coach Jackie Barto, who has been with the program since its inception, said. “I am really excited about the student-athletes and the way they are coming together. Not only just our captain and alternate captains, but our senior class is dedicated to the success of the program. They are very good leaders who are going to lead from the top down.”

Addition to The Program
New to the Ohio State program this season is assistant coach Katie Lachapelle. She comes to OSU from Niagara where she served as an assistant women’s ice hockey coach. The Purple Eagles recorded a 49-49-8 record during her three-year stint and made an appearance in the 2002 NCAA Frozen Four. She was involved in all facets of the Niagara program including recruiting, coordinating team travel, monitoring academics and coaching the forwards.

Prior to Niagara, Lachapelle was an assistant coach at Union College for two years. A native of Lewiston, Maine, Lachapelle graduated from Providence in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in social science.

2003-04 Season Recap
Ohio State ended the 2003-04 season with a fourth-place finish in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular season and tournament. The season marked another successful year as the Buckeyes went 16-16-3 overall and finished 10-12-2 in league play.

The Buckeyes also set three program records. For the first time 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 the six-game streak in the 2000-01 season. The Buckeyes also won five consecutive conference games, breaking the previous record of four from the 2001-02 season.

Last Time Out
Ohio State defeated the Etobicoke Dolphins, 9-1, in exhibition action last Sunday at the OSU Ice Rink. Junior Jana Harrigan led the way with a hat trick and two assists. Senior Jeni Creary and freshman Mallory Peckels recorded three points each.

Ohio State posted the lone goal of the first period. Buckeye Jana Harrigan scored a shorthanded unassisted goal on a breakaway at 8:06. OSU outshot the Dolphins 20-3 in the first period.

In the second stanza, the Buckeyes added two additional goals to take a 3-0 lead. Freshman Mallory Peckels scored at 10:34 assisted by Harrigan. Senior Jeni Creary followed with a goal at 15:31 assisted by Peckels and Harrigan.

OSU scored six goals in third period including two by Harrigan to record her first hat trick. Etobicoke’s Britney Selina scored the Dolphins lone goal of the game at 13:05.

OSU goalies Melissa Glaser and Erika Vanderveer shared time in the net – Glaser played the first 30:24 recording six of six saves and Vanderveer stopped nine of 10 shots. The Buckeyes outshot the Dolphins 55-16. OSU held Etobicoke scoreless on all six power-play chances. OSU was 2-for-11 on the power-play.

Keep your eye on – Buckeye PK
Ohio State’s penalty-killing unit was ranked in the Top 10 in the nation the majority of the 2003-04 season and ended the year ranked sixth in the nation, stopping 130-of-148 of its opponents’ chances (87.8 percent).

New Career Leader
Last season, Jeni Creary made her mark in the OSU record books as she became the first Buckeye to reach 100 career points. Creary concluded her junior year with two goals and an assist in the WCHA Final Five to move her career point total to 101, breaking the OSU record of 98 set by Shana Frost (1999-03).

Goals for the squad in 2004-05
In utilizing the leadership on the team this season, Barto has set specific objectives for her squad to be able to improve upon its 16-16-3 record last year and reach its ultimate goal of advancing to the NCAA tournament, which expands from four to eight teams this season.

The Buckeyes look to have a strong start by coming out of the preseason with high energy, confidence and camaraderie. Another goal of the squad is to be more consistent from period to period and game to game. Last season, the Buckeyes finished 3-10-3 against ranked opponents, so the squad also is striving for more success against top-ranked teams. The Buckeyes know if they finish in the Top 3 of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and rank in the national polls, they will have a good chance of earning a berth into the NCAA tournament.

On the Blueline
Despite the loss of All-American Emma Laaksonen, the defense brings a wealth of experience to the ice this season in its five returnees and one incoming freshman.

Senior Jaclyn Haines will be looked upon to bring leadership and experience to the defense in the 2004-05 season. Last year she finished with six points, two goals and four assists.

The expectation level for the sophomores on the blueline has been set high going into this season as the trio – Tessa Bonhomme (5-15-20), Amber Bowman (3-11-14) and Lacey Schultz (0-4-4) – gained experience in their freshman campaign recording 38 points combined. Last season, Bonhomme was the first Buckeye to be named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team after ending the year tied for fifth in freshman scoring (13) in league games.

Freshman Lisa Chesson, of Plainfield, Ill., will be looked upon to bring youth, aggressiveness and skill to the ice.

Also returning to the ice is junior Katie Sershen, who is rebounding from an injury-plagued sophomore year.

Between the Pipes
Ohio State looks toward two talented returnees and a freshman to lead the Buckeyes in goal this season.

Sixth-year senior Melissa Glaser, who suffered knee injuries in 2001 and 2003, returns in goal for her final year as a Buckeye. Glaser is OSU’s career goals-against average (2.72) and save percentage (.903) leader. Glaser had her most successful season last year as she posted a 2.66 gaa and 670 saves for a .910 Spct.

Challenging Glaser for the starting spot is sophomore Erika Vanderveer, who gained a wealth of experience her freshman campaign, posting a .917 save percentage, a 2.21 gaa and a 5-3-1 record. Vanderveer also garnered two WCHA Player of the Week honors for recording a shutout in each of her first two starts.

Newcomer Jillian Mauch of Framingham, Mass., enters the goaltending ranks for the 2004-05 season. This year will allow Mauch to make the adjustment to the college level and she will be under the guidance of veteran leaders Glaser and Vanderveer.

The Buckeye Attack
A group of seven returning forwards, including the Top 3 scorers from the 2003-04 season, brings a wealth of experience to the team.

“I look for the three seniors – Mulvany, Creary and Jennifer Desson – to have career seasons,” Barto said. “They all have the ability, are good skaters and are coming off three solid years. I anticipate them to really lead by their performances on the ice.”

Mulvaney, OSU’s two-time captain, broke out in scoring last season as she finished second on the team with 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists), including one shorthanded and two game-winning goals, marking her career best performance. The lone Ohio native on the Buckeye roster also plays a vital role on OSU’s penalty-killing unit, which ended the 2003-04 season eighth in the nation (87.8 percent).

Classmate Creary continued her scoring spree last season as she reached 101 career points and claimed OSU’s career points title. Creary looks to finish her four years at OSU the same way she came charging in as freshman, topping the 44 points she posted during her rookie campaign.

Desson, who was plagued by injury after just nine games last season, returns healthy for her senior year. She anticipates building upon her best season when she tallied 11 goals and 15 assists as a junior.

Jana Harrigan, the Buckeyes’ leading scorer last season, returns to the ice for her junior campaign. Harrigan led the team in points (31), goals (16) and shots (126) and tied for eighth in scoring in the WCHA. Barto looks for Harrigan to be a threat on the ice and key to OSU’s puck movement.

Junior Crystal Sayther (1-4-5) also returns to the squad along with sophomores Krysta Skarda (5-4-9) and Katie Maroney (3-2-5). Sayther will be looked upon to contribute to OSU’s forecheck and she brings a great deal of confidence to the ice. Skarda and Maroney both gained experience as freshmen and look to capitalize on their knowledge this season.

Adding depth to the offense this season are six freshmen, all of whom will gain valuable experience and challenge the upperclassmen for playing time. Shelby Aldous, of LaSalle, Ontario, and Jody Heywood, of Regina, Saskatchewan, are two strong skating players who will be looked upon to make contributions immediately. In addition, Pamela Patterson, of Miramichi, New Brunswick, and Mallory Peckels, of Minocqua, Wis., have the ability to move the puck. Erin Keys, a native of St. Paul, Minn., and Taylor Davidson, of Louisville, Ky., also look to contribute to OSU’s offense.

The Schedule
Ohio State opens the 2004-05 season against WCHA opponent St. Cloud State Oct. 8-9 in the newly renovated OSU Ice Rink. Ohio State will play 18 games, 10 home and eight on the road, before heading into the holiday break.

The Buckeyes open January with three home series before entering their toughest part of the season, during which they will compete four consecutive weekends on the road. OSU concludes the regular season at home vs. Minnesota State Feb. 25-26. The Buckeyes play every WCHA team four times during the season, with a two-game series on the road and a two-game series at home.

Ohio State will face three nonconference opponents this year, including Northeastern, who the Buckeyes went 1-0-1 against last season, Nov. 13-14 in Columbus, Ohio. The Yale Bulldogs travel to the state of Ohio to face the Buckeyes in only the second meeting between the teams; their first meeting was Nov. 27, 1999 at a Providence tournament. Ohio State will make its first trek to Niagara Falls, N.Y., at the end of the season. Last year marked the first meeting between the two teams, when the Buckeyes swept the Purples Eagles in Columbus.

The WCHA has expanded to an eight-team championship this season, which will be held March 3-7 at Ridder Arena, the site of the 2005 WCHA Final Five, in Minneapolis, Minn. The NCAA expanded its tournament to eight teams, adding regional games which will be held at campus sites March 18-20. The 2005 NCAA Frozen Four will be held March 25 and 27 at the Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H.

What’s Up Next for the Buckeyes?
Ohio State opens the regular season and WCHA action vs. St. Cloud State at 7:05 p.m. Oct. 8-9 in the OSU Ice Rink.

Live Stats and Web Information
New for the 2004-05 season, live stats from every Buckeye home game be found online at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

Also, keep track of the latest women’s ice hockey news, scores and stats by logging on to the Ohio State athletics website at ohiostatebuckeyes.com. The website also will feature an “On The Road with the Buckeyes” each road trip by junior forward Cyrstal Sayther.