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Dec. 12, 2001%^$

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%^$COLUMBUS, Ohio-The Ohio State women’s hockey team (7-6-3 overall, 4-5-3 in the WCHA) takes a hiatus from Western Collegiate Hockey Association action this week, playing host to Princeton (7-3-2 overall, 3-2-0 in the ECAC Northern League). The Buckeyes and Tigers hit the ice for a two-game series at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday.%^$

%^$Barto On The Series
%^$”We’re very excited to be back home and we’re excited about the momentum we’re bringing home with us. We’re 5-1-1 in our last seven games and have been playing solid hockey. Princeton has been playing well. They have some solid hockey players who work well together. We are looking to outwork Princeton and to have good focus. Look for this to be a great two-game series.”%^$

%^$Laaksonen is The WCHA Player of the Week
%^$The WCHA announced Ohio State offensive defenseman Emma Laaksonen as its player of the week for the week ending Dec. 8. Laaksonen almost single-handedly led the Buckeyes to a series sweep over Minnesota State, Dec. 7 and 8, either scoring or creating every Ohio State goal (two goals, three assists). The award is Laaksonen’s second-she was named player of the week Nov. 19-and the fourth league honor for the Buckeyes this season.%^$

%^$The Polls
%^$Ohio State received six votes in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll released Dec. 11. Two WCHA schools-No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth and No. 3 Minnesota-are in the Top 10.%^$

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USA Today/American Hockey Magazine POLL (Dec. 11)%^$ Team Record Last%^$1. Minnesota-Duluth 11-0-3 1%^$2. Dartmouth 8-1-0 2%^$3. Minnesota 11-2-3 3%^$4. Northeastern 14-1-0 4%^$5. New Hampshire 13-3-1 5%^$6. St. Lawrence 8-5-0 6%^$7. Brown 5-5-1 7%^$8. Niagara 12-4-0 8%^$9. Mercyhurst 11-5-1 10%^$10.Harvard 5-6-1 9%^$Receiving Votes: OHIO STATE (6), Wisconsin (5), Princeton (4)%^$

%^$Ohio State received five votes in the U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO.com) Women’s poll this week.%^$

%^$Barto Returns For Third Year
%^$On Dec. 14, 1998, Jackie Barto became the first head coach in Ohio State women’s hockey history. Nearly two and a half years later, on March 10, 2001, Barto’s young Buckeye squad took center stage at the WCHA Championship in a dramatic run for the title. The Buckeyes’ strong finish was a fitting end to their second campaign, which saw them skate to an 18-16-3 record (11-10-3 in the WCHA) and finish No. 8 in the national polls.%^$

%^$Now 7-6-3 in her third year as mentor, Barto has compiled a 33-48-9 record (.417) and is 21-30-9 (.425) in league play at Ohio State. Her career record of 103-101-19 (.504) includes five years at her alma mater, Providence, where her squads made four ECAC tournament appearances, winning the championship in 1995.%^$

%^$Barto Reaches Century Mark
%^$Jackie Barto recorded her 100th career victory with a win over UConn Nov. 16 and now stands 103-101-19 overall. Ohio State’s 4-3 win over Providence Nov. 18 marked Barto’s first meeting with her former squad and alma mater. She spent five years at the helm of PC women’s hockey, compiling a 70-53-10 mark.%^$

%^$Scouting Princeton
%^$The Tigers skate into the series behind a strong 7-6-3 overall mark, which includes a 1-0 overtime win over No. 5 New Hampshire Dec. 8. Sixth-year head coach Jeff Kampersal returns 16 letterwinners to a squad which finished the 2000-01 campaign just shy of a playoff spot at 13-13-3 overall and 8-13-3 in the ECAC (10th).%^$

%^$Tigers To Watch
%^$Top returning scorer, sophomore forward Gretchen Anderson (13-12-25) leads the Tiger offense with nine goals and four assists for 13 points. Lisa Rasmussen trails Anderson by one, tallying 12 points (5G, 7A) in 12 games. Leading Princeton’s defense is Aviva Grumet-Morris (2-5-7). In net, the Tiger tandem of Sarah Ahlquist and Megan Van Beusekom is having a solid season. Ahlquist has seen action in seven games and boasts a 1.82 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage. Van Beusekom, the ECAC Goalie of the Week this week, sports an impressive 1.38 gaa and .942 save pct.%^$

%^$Tiger Head Coach Jeff Kampersal
%^$A 1992 graduate of Princeton, Jeff Kampersal is in his sixth season at the helm of the Tigers. Kampersal guided Princeton to the ECAC tournament in each of his first three years, including a semifinal appearance in 1997-98. Overall, Kampersal has a 51-58-8 record in five seasons as head coach of the Tigers.%^$

%^$Princeton-Last Time Out
%^$Princeton defeated Quinnipiac, 3-0, in its last outing (Dec. 9) at Hobey Baker Rink. The Tigers outshot the Braves, 37-4. Gretchen Anderson scored the Tigers’ lone goal to lead them past No. 5 New Hampshire, 1-0, Dec. 8. Goalkeeper Megan Van Beusekom recorded 25 saves in the shutout.%^$

%^$The Buckeyes vs. The Tigers
%^$Ohio State and Princeton have met only once, Nov. 28, 1999, at the Princeton Invitational Tournament. The Tigers skated away with a 2-0 win.%^$

%^$Ohio State vs. The ECAC
%^$In three seasons of competition against ECAC teams, Ohio State is 4-14-0, with its most recent wins coming this season over Providence (4-3 Nov. 18) and Connecticut (3-1 Nov. 16).%^$

%^$A “New” ECAC
%^$After the 2000-01 season, the ECAC created two leagues for women’s hockey, the Eastern and the Northern Leagues. Princeton is part of the Northern League, which also includes Buckeye opponents St. Lawrence and Dartmouth. Connecticut, Providence and New Hampshire belong to the Eastern League.%^$

%^$Recapping The Minnesota State Series
%^$Ohio State earned its first sweep of the season over a league opponent, defeating host Minnesota State, Mankato, 2-0, Dec. 7 and 3-1 Dec. 8. The shutout win Friday also was the Buckeyes’ first of the season. Emma Laaksonen had a hand in every Ohio State goal in the series, recording five points from two goals and three assists. Melissa Glaser played both games between the pipes. She was named the first star of the game Friday with 18 saves and the shutout.%^$

%^$Jump Around
%^$Thanks to Ohio State’s sweep of Minnesota State and Wisconsin’s split with Bemidji State, the Buckeyes jumped from a tie for fifth to a tie for fourth place (with Bemidji State) in the WCHA standings. Ohio State sits just five points behind first-place Minnesota.%^$

%^$Keep It Up
%^$The Buckeyes are unbeaten in six out of their last seven games (5-1-1) with their only loss since Nov. 9 coming against No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth (4-2). They currently are on a three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1).%^$

%^$Still On Top
%^$Ohio State rookie left wing Jeni Creary leads the WCHA in goals (14) and points with 22 (14 goals, 8 assists). She is second in the nation in goals and third in points, averaging 1.38 points per game. The Shell Lake, Saskatchewan, native is tied for second in the nation (with Buckeye Shana Frost) with five power-play tallies, has taken 80 shots on net and is +7.%^$

%^$Salt Lake City Bound
%^$Emma Laaksonen will not be in the lineup this weekend as she left Monday for Tikkurila, Finland, to join the rest of her Finnish teammates in preparation for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. A member of the Finnish National Team when it won the bronze medal in the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, Laaksonen was one of eight (three defensemen) to be guaranteed a spot on the Olympic Team when Finland convened for camp earlier this year. The 2002 Games will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah, with women’s hockey competing Feb. 12-21.%^$

%^$Special Teams Stepping Up
%^$Ohio State special teams are near the top of league and national statistics in both power-play and penalty-kill percentage. The Buckeyes are second in the WCHA after going 2-for-7 on the power play in the MSU series (2-for-3 in game two). Through 16 games, Ohio State is third in the nation with a conversion percentage of 28.4 (19-of-67) and fourth in the league in overall penalty kill (49-of-60). The Buckeyes are averaging 1.2 power-play goals per game.%^$

%^$Multiple-Point Bucks
%^$Emma Laaksonen and Heather Farrell recorded multiple points in the MSU series. Laaksonen led the way with five points from two goals and three assists and Farrell scored the gamewinner Friday and added an assist Saturday. For the first time all season, Jeni Creary was held without a goal in two-consecutive games.%^$

%^$Follow The Leaders
%^$As Ohio State nears the halfway point of its season, Jeni Creary leads the team in goals (14), shots (80) and is second in assists (8). Emma Laaksonen leads with nine assists. Creary and Shana Frost are on top with five power-play goals apiece and Laaksonen and Heather Farrell each have two game-winning goals. Three Buckeyes are tied for the lead with 10 penalties. Heather Farrell, Katie Frohreich and Emily Hudak each have 20 PIM.%^$

%^$Neck-And-Neck
%^$Six Buckeyes are within two points of each other in the scoring race. Emma Laaksonen (6G, 9A) is second with 15 points, followed by Shana Frost (5G, 6A) and Heather Farrell (4G, 7A) with 11 points each and Jennifer Desson (3G, 7A) and Emily Hudak (3G, 7A) with 10 points apiece. Jeanne Chapple has nine points, from four goals and five assists.%^$

%^$Scoring Streak Ends
%^$Shana Frost snapped her seven-game scoring streak Friday against MSU, Mankato, but had the secondary assist on Emma Laaksonen’s goal Saturday, ranking her tied with Heather Farrell in the team scoring race with 11 points (5-6-11).%^$

%^$Ohio State vs. The Top 10
%^$The Buckeyes have faced four ranked opponents this season and have a combined 1-5-2 mark against the Top 10. Ohio State handed No. 5 New Hampshire (10-2-1) one of its three losses this season on Oct. 19 (4-3).%^$

%^$Ohio State vs. The Nation
%^$In national statistics, (compiled by collegehockeystats.com) Ohio State is tied for 20th in scoring offense (with Princeton) and is 13th in scoring defense. The Buckeye power-play unit is third in the country, while the penalty-kill unit is 20th. Jeni Creary is tied for 13th in points per game (1.38), is fifth in goals per game (0.88), second in power-play goals (5, tied with Shana Frost) and fourth in rookie points per game. Emma Laaksonen is third in the nation among scoring defensemen and April Stojak is 19th with a 2.33 goals-against average.%^$

%^$Outshooting Opponents
%^$Ohio State outshot Minnesota State, 76-29, in the series. The Buckeyes are 6-0-1 when outshooting their opponents and 1-6-2 when outshot.%^$

%^$Whew, That Was A Close One
%^$Out of the Buckeyes’ 14 games this season, seven have been decided by one goal and five have gone into overtime. Ohio State is 3-4-0 in one-goal games and 1-1-3 in overtime games.%^$

%^$Buckeyes In The WCHA
%^$Ohio State is tied with Bemidji State for fourth place in the WCHA standings with 11 points. In overall team statistics, the Buckeyes are sixth in scoring offense (40 goals), fourth in scoring defense (41 goals allowed), sixth in penalty minutes (144 PIM) and second in overall power play (19-for-67).%^$

%^$Jeni Creary is first in total points (22), first in goal scoring (14), tied for first in power-play points (10), tied with Shana Frost for first in power-play goals (5) and first in freshman scoring (14-8-22). Emma Laaksonen is first in defenseman scoring and Jennifer Desson is tied for fifth in freshman scoring (3-7-10).%^$

%^$Glaser Solid In Net
%^$Melissa Glaser recorded a season-high 35 saves Nov. 23 against UMD. The sophomore netminder has started 10 games and is posting a 5-3-2 record, a 2.63 gaa and an .880 save pct. April Stojak has started six games, is 2-3-1 overall and is carrying a 2.33 gaa and an .895 save pct.%^$

%^$Leading The D
%^$Emma Laaksonen leads the Ohio State defense in points after seeing action in only 12 games. In the MSU series, she had the lone assist on the gamewinner Friday and sealed Ohio State’s 2-0 win with an empty-net goal. Saturday, she scored the gamewinner on the power play and set up Ohio State’s other two goals. She was named the first star of the game for her performance. Laaksonen leads the WCHA and is third in the nation among defensemen with 1.25 points per game.%^$

%^$Buckeyes On … The … Power Play!
%^$Jeni Creary leads Ohio State in power-play points with 10 (5 goals, 5 assists). Shana Frost and Emily Hudak follow with nine points on the power play.%^$

%^$On The Positive Side
%^$Jeni Creary (+7), Jennifer Desson (+3) and Jeanne Chapple (+1) are the lone Buckeyes with positive +/- ratings. The Creary-Desson-Chapple line has produced 22 goals and 20 assists for 42 points, almost half of Ohio State’s total points (93) this season.%^$

%^$Buckeye Captains
%^$Melissa Glaser, Emily Hudak, Lindsey Ogren are the second-year captains of the Buckeyes.%^$

%^$The Squad
%^$Seventeen returning letterwinners (including goaltender Melissa Glaser, who sat out last season with a medical redshirt) and six newcomers make up the 2001-02 Buckeye squad. There are 13 forwards, seven defensemen and three goaltenders.%^$

%^$Speedy Recovery
%^$Buckeye Melissa Pirie is recovering well. The junior wing had surgery Dec. 4 to repair an anterior cruciate ligament tear.%^$

%^$The Veterans
%^$The offense returns five of its seven 20-plus point scorers from last year, including sophomore defenseman Emma Laaksonen, who was second in points (38) and led the nation in power-play goals (17), junior wing Shana Frost who led in goals (20) and junior defenseman Emily Hudak, the assist leader (27).%^$

%^$OHIOSTATEBUCKEYES.COM
%^$Statistics, game recaps, team notes, a roster and schedule for the women’s hockey team and all of Ohio State’s 34 other varsity sports is available at the official Web site of Ohio State Athletics, http://ohiostatebuckeyes.com. For up-to-the-minute women’s hockey results and statistics from around the nation, visit www.collegehockeystats.com.%^$

%^$Next Up For The Buckeyes
%^$Ohio State will take a two-week holiday break from action. The Buckeyes return to the OSU Ice Rink Jan. 4-5, 2002, for a series with league rival Bemidji State.%^$