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Feb. 5, 2003

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s ice hockey team (8-16-2, 5-9-2 WCHA) faces the No. 3 Minnesota Gophers (20-3-1, 13-2-1 WCHA) at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minn., for the second series this season.

SIZING UP OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes are 8-16-2 overall and 5-9-2 in the WCHA. The Buckeyes have tallied 60 goals and 92 assists, averaging 2.3 goals per game. OSU has allowed 75 goals this season, averaging 2.9 goals against per contest. They have had 159 penalties totaling 367 minutes in the box, averaging 6.1 penalties per outing.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN
OSU is 5-8-2 on the road this season. The Buckeyes’ first weekend out, they swept Minnesota State, Mankato on the road. During their following two trips, they went 0-1-1 against both Wisconsin and Bemidji State. OSU split against both Princeton and St. Cloud State. The Buckeyes were swept on the road by Minnesota-Duluth.

THE BROADCAST
The series this weekend will be broadcast at gophersports.com. To listen to the game, go to www.gophersports.com and click on the audio broadcast link, located on the right-hand side of the website under audio coverage.

BUCKEYES VS. GOPHERS
Ohio State and Minnesota will be meeting for the 17th time Friday. The Buckeyes trail the all-time series, 3-13-0.

The last meeting was Oct. 25 and 26 at the OSU Ice Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Minnesota swept Ohio State, 4-0 and 2-1.

OSU is 1-5-0 on the road against Minnesota all-time.

SCOUTING NO. 3 MINNESOTA
The Gophers are 20-3-1 overall and 13-2-1 in the WCHA this season. They lost two games to Minnesota-Duluth and one to Dartmouth.

Leading Minnesota with 52 points is freshman Natalie Darwitz. She has tallied 24 goals and 28 assist in 21 games this season.

In the net is sophomore Jody Horak who has tallied a 17-2-0 record and gained four shutouts this season. Horak has recorded a .935 save percentage and a 1.50 goals against average.

Junior La Toya Clarke will miss the series this because she will be competing for the Canadian Under-22 Team in Germany.

RIDDER ARENA
A women’s ice hockey only venue, Ridder Arena opened in December and is home to the Minnesota Gopher women’s ice hockey program. Ridder Arena is a 3,000 seat arena, which contains an NHL-size ice surface. The arena will accessible to groups and hockey teams.

GOPHERS HEAD COACH
Laura Halldorson is in her sixth season as the head coach of the Golden Gophers. Halldorson was named the AHCA National Coach of the Year and the WCHA Coach of the Year in 2002. She has led the Gophers to the AWCHA tournament in each of her first three seasons and to the 2000 AWCHA title. Halldorson posted 20-win seasons in each of her five seasons at Minnesota. She won the regular-season WCHA title in 2000-01 and swept the WCHA titles in 2001-02.

LAST MEETING AGAINST
MINNESOTA – GAME 2
Ohio State lost to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 2-1, Feb. 1 at the OSU Ice Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Minnesota led Ohio State 9-3 in shots in the first period. The Buckeye defense held the Gophers scoreless during the period.

OSU came out strong in the second period. The Buckeyes had several scoring opportunities but were unable to get the puck by Minnesota’s goalkeeper, Brenda Reinen. Late in the period, the Gophers scored two goals within 1:31 of each other. Minnesota led Ohio State 2-0 at the end of the period.

Ohio State’s Shana Frost scored on a power play from Katie Frohreich and Jeni Creary 4:24 into the third period. OSU pulled its goalkeeper with 30 seconds to go. The Buckeyes fought hard for another goal and came close several times but were unable to succeed.

Senior April Stojak played 60:00 in the net for Ohio State, recording 29 saves. Reinen played the full 60:00, recording 28 saves.

Ohio State held Minnesota scoreless on all seven of its power-play opportunities. OSU was 1-for-6 on the power play. The Gophers barely out shot the Buckeyes, 31-29.

LAST MEETING AGAINST
MINNESOTA – GAME 1
Ohio State fell to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 4-0, Jan. 31 at the OSU Ice Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Minnesota’s Krissy Wendell started the game off with a goal 5:32 in the first period. The Buckeyes took several shots but were unable to get by UM’s goalkeeper, Jody Horak. Emily Hudak was given a penalty for roughing at 15:25, causing UM’s first power play. Ronda Curtin took advantage of the opportunity and scored at 16:14. Ohio State had its first power-play chance at 19:00, but was unable to score. At the end of the first period, the Gophers held just a 10-9 lead in shots.

OSU started the second period off strong. Emma Laaksonen, Jeni Creary and Jana Harrigan had several shots down low for the Buckeyes, but could not get the puck into the net. The Gophers tallied a goal at 19:20 from Winny Brodt. OSU led Minnesota 10-9 in shots at the end of the period.

The Buckeyes fought hard in the third period, but were unable to net a goal. Minnesota’s Krissy Wendell scored her second goal of the game at 17:40.

Senior April Stojak played the full 60:00 in the net for Ohio State, recording 21 saves. Horak played the full 60:00, recording 26 saves.

Ohio State held Minnesota on one of its two power-play chances. OSU was 0-for-5 on the power play. The Buckeyes out shot the Gophers 26-25.

WCHA STANDINGS
The Buckeyes, who were out of conference action last weekend, fell to fifth in the WCHA. Bemidji State moved from fifth to third by earning four points for its sweep of St. Cloud State. Minnesota-Duluth leads the league with 29 points, six points ahead of second-place Minnesota. With five weeks left in league action, the fight to secure a spot in the 2003 WCHA Women’s Final Five is getting close and vicious.

WCHA LEADERS
Ohio State players rank among the top in the WCHA in league games.

Power-Play Points: GP PPG G-A-P T5. Jeni Creary 15 0.60 3-6-9 Goals Against Average: Min. GA GAA 4. Natalie Lamme 383:11 15 2.35 Save Percentage: Saves GA Pct. T2. Natalie Lamme 165 15 .917 Scoring Offense: Goals G/GM 4. Ohio State 34 2.12 Scoring Defense: Goals G/GM 4. Ohio State 50 3.12 Penalty Minutes: PIM PIM/G 2. Ohio State 271 16.9 Power Play: Totals SHA PCT 5. Ohio State 11/85 1 12.9 Penalty Kill: Totals SHF PCT 4. Ohio State 75/91 1 82.4

WCHA PIM
Ohio State is second in the WCHA with 271 penalty minutes. It is averaging 16.9 minutes per game. Minnesota-Duluth is leading the WCHA with 332 penalty minutes, averaging 18.4.

SHUTOUTS
Ohio State has recorded three shutouts this season. The first was against St. Cloud State, 6-0, Nov. 30 in Columbus. The second was a 4-0 shutout over Princeton on the road Dec. 14. The Buckeyes shut out St. Cloud State again, 1-0, Jan. 18 in St. Cloud, Minn.

THE SWEEP
The squad has swept two two-game series this season. The first weekend out it swept Minnesota State in Mankato, Minn (Oct. 11-12). OSU’s second sweep was against St. Cloud State (Nov. 30-Dec. 1).

SEASON ATTENDANCE HIGH
Ohio State recorded its highest home attendance of the season Jan. 25 against Mercyhurst in the OSU Ice Arena. The Buckeyes’ all-time highest home attendance was 1,127 set Feb. 16 vs. Minnesota State in the OSU Ice Arena.

SOPHOMORES LEADING IN POINTS
The sophomore class is leading the Buckeye squad with 56 points this season. Jeni Creary (26), Jennifer Desson (16), Meaghan Mulvaney (12) and Jaclyn Haines (2) all have tallied points. The juniors are next in line with 37 points, the seniors 25 points and the freshmen with 25.

TALLYING POINTS FOR OSU
Six Buckeyes recorded points last weekend against UMD. Sophomore Meaghan Mulvaney led OSU with two points, a goal and an assist. Additional goals were scored by Jeni Creary, Jana Harrigan and Jennifer Desson. Tallying assists were Jeanne Chapple and Crystal Sayther.

PIM SEASON-HIGH
The Buckeyes recorded a season-high 15 penalties for 57 minutes Friday and tallied an additional 10 penalties for 20 minutes Saturday. The Bulldogs, who are leading the league in penalty minutes, obtained 10-for-20 Friday and 7-for-14 Saturday.

TEAM RECORD SET
Ohio State set the team record for penalty minutes in a game with 57 Friday. The previous record of 40 PIM was Oct. 8, 1999 vs. Northeastern.

CREARY SET GAME RECORD
Jeni Creary set an OSU individual all-time game record of 27 penalty minutes Friday. Emily Hudak held the previous record of 17 penalty minutes in a game, set in the Buckeyes and Bulldogs first meeting this season (Nov. 8).

40 SAVES SEASON-HIGH
Goalies Natalie Lamme and April Stojak each tallied a season-high 40 saves Friday and Saturday, respectively, breaking Stojak’s previous high of 29 saves set Oct. 26 against Minnesota.

APPROACHING 100 CAREER POINTS
Shana Frost and Emily Hudak are OSU’s all-time leaders in career points. They are approaching the 100-point mark. Frost has 91 points (42-49) and Hudak has 82 points (15-66).

HUDDY LEADING PENALTIES
Senior Emily Hudak is making her presence known to the opponents this season. She leads the Buckeyes with 57 minutes in the penalty box. She has 23 penalties and is averaging 0.885 penalties per game. Hudak’s career high is 45 penalties and 90 PIM (1999-00).

100 SHOTS THIS SEASON
Sophomore Jeni Creary reached 100 shots this season against Minnesota-Duluth Feb. 1. She has 100 shots in 25 games, averaging four shots per game.

FIRST SIGNEE
Jackie Barto announced the first recruit of the 2003-04 freshmen class. Tessa Bonhomme, a native of Sudbury, Ontario, signed an NCAA National Letter of Intent to attend The Ohio State University and play hockey beginning with the 2003-04 season.

Bonhomme is a 5-foot-7-inch defenseman from Sudbury, Ontario. She is a member of the Sudbury Midget “AA” Wolves under head coach Rod Schutt. She has played for the Lasalle Secondary School team since 1999 under head coach Peter Kallio.

LAST TIME OUT
MINNESOTA-DULUTH – GAME 2
Ohio State lost to the No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, 11-2, Feb. 1 at Pioneer Hall in Duluth, Minn. The game marked the final meeting between the teams during the regular season.

Early in the game, Minnesota-Duluth’s Manne Sikio scored the first goal at 2:50. UMD’s Krista McArthur recorded the Bulldogs second goal at 16:05. Ohio State’s Crystal Sayther had a scoring opportunity but UMD’s goalkeeper, Patricia Sautter, saved the shot. The Bulldogs tallied their third and fourth goals of the game at 16:34 and 19:50 respectively. Ohio State and Minnesota-Duluth each obtained two penalties during the period. The Bulldogs led the Buckeyes 15-3 in shots.

The second period started off with a Minnesota-Duluth goal at 2:27. Jana Harrigan had a chance to score early in the period but hit the pipe. UMD’s scored two additional goals during the period at 6:34 and 6:43. After the first and second stanzas, Minnesota-Duluth led 7-0 on the scoreboard and 23 to 5 in shots.

Ohio State came out strong in the third period. OSU’s Jennifer Desson scored assisted by Meaghan Mulvaney and Sayther at 1:36. Minnesota-Duluth’s Tricia Guest scored at 2:56 and Caroline Ouellette recorded a goal at 4:14. OSU’s Mulvaney scored the Buckeyes’ second goal of the game unassisted at 10:08. UMD followed with its 10th and 11th goals of the contest. Ohio State tallied 13 shots compared to Minnesota-Duluth’s 18 during the third stanza.

The Bulldogs out shot the Buckeyes 51-18. Ohio State held Minnesota-Duluth on four of its eight power-play opportunities. The Buckeyes were 0-for-5 on the power play.

Ohio State’s goalkeeper April Stojak saved 40 shots in 60:00 minutes of play. Minnesota-Duluth’s Sautter recorded 3 saves in 26:34 and Shannon Kasparek recorded 13 saves in 33:26.

LAST TIME OUT
MINNESOTA-DULUTH – GAME 1
Ohio State fell to the No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, 5-2, Friday.

Between the two teams who are leading the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in penalty minutes this season, the Bulldogs and the Buckeyes each obtained six penalties in the first period. Minnesota-Duluth’s Krista McArthur scored the first goal of the game at 10:20 on a power play. Ohio State’s Jeni Creary scored a Buckeye power-play goal at 16:57. UMD’s goalkeeper, Patricia Sautter, came out of the net to the top of the circle in an attempt to clear the puck. But, OSU’s Creary blocked the puck, obtained possession and scored. At the end of the first period, Minnesota-Duluth led 15-4 in shots and the scoreboard was tied at 1.

Minnesota-Duluth’s Julianne Vasicheck recorded a penalty at 1:55 for body checking. UMD’s Hanne Sikio took the lead scoring a short-handed goal at 2:49. The Bulldogs’ Jenny Hempel scored a power play goal at 7:28. Minnesota-Duluth went up 4-1 over Ohio State when Nora Tallus tallied a goal at 16:24. Freshman Jana Harrigan scored for Ohio State assisted by Jeanne Chapple at 19:55. The Bulldogs tallied an additional 21 shots and the Buckeyes recorded four shots during the period.

Ohio State started the third period off strong and was looking for a comeback. OSU’s goalkeeper Natalie Lamme obtained a 10-minute game misconduct at 12:24. Ohio State’s April Stojak replaced Lamme on the net to finish out the game. OSU’s Creary received a five-minute penalty for checking from behind and an additional game disqualification at 14:27. Minnesota-Duluth’s Jenny Hempel tallied the Bulldogs fifth goal at 16:11.

The Bulldogs outshot the Buckeyes 54-15. Ohio State held UMD on six of its nine power-play opportunities. The Buckeyes were 0-for-7 on the power play.

Ohio State’s goalkeeper Lamme saved 40 shots in 52:24 minutes of play. OSU’s Stojak tallied 9 saves in 7:36 minutes. Minnesota-Duluth’s Sautter recorded 13 saves in 60:00 minutes.

DEFENSEMAN IN EUROPEAN CUP
Emma Laaksonen missed the Ohio State at Minnesota-Dultuh series Jan. 31-Feb. 1 because she was competing in the European Challenge Cup, three games between Finland and Sweden. Laaksonen teamed up with Minnesota-Duluth defenseman Satu Kiipeli to play for Team Finland.

LAAKSONEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The WCHA announced Ohio State junior Emma Laaksonen was named the conference defensive player of the week for the week ending Dec. 15.

Laaksonen scored two goals in the 4-0 shutout against No. 8 Princeton Dec. 13. She aided the Buckeye penalty-killing unit, which held Princeton scoreless on all seven power plays during the series. Laaksonen was named the No. 1 star of the game Dec. 14.

Laaksonen is averaging 1.00 points per game, seventh in the nation among defensemen. She ranks second in points on the Buckeye squad with 16 overall.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The WCHA announced Ohio State senior captain Emily Hudak was named the conference defensive player of the week for the week ending Dec. 1.

Hudak led the Buckeyes to a 6-0, 6-4, sweep of St. Cloud State with a team-high five points. She recorded three assists and tallied a team-best +3 in OSU’s shutout Nov. 30. She anchored a defense that allowed St. Cloud State 18 shots on goal, including four in each the first and second periods. Hudak tallied another two helpers in the Buckeyes’ victory Dec. 1.

“Emily had a solid weekend against St. Cloud State,” Jackie Barto, OSU head coach, said. “She played well on both the defensive and offensive sides of the puck. Emily was also a key part of our transition game.”

OHIO STATE REPRESENTED AT FOUR NATIONS CUP
Ohio State junior defenseman Emma Laaksonen competed for Team Finland in the 2002 Four Nations Cup, Nov. 6-10 in Kitchener, Ontario.

Laaksonen participated in all four games for Team Finland.

Laaksonen has competed in the prestigious tournament as a member of Team Finland since 1997. In the 2001 Four Nations Cup, Laaksonen recorded two assists.

The Four Nations Cup, previously known as the Three Nations Cup, is a round-robin tournament that has been held the last six years (1996-2001). Canada, Finland and the United States competed until 2000, when Sweden was added to the field.

She has been a member of the Finnish Team since 1997, competing in 72 games, recording seven goals and 11 assists.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ohio State sophomore Jeni Creary was named the WCHA Offensive Player of the Week for the conference for the week ending Oct. 13.

Creary recorded one goal and three assists in the Buckeyes’ 6-1 victory against Minnesota State, Mankato in the season opener Friday. She led the Buckeyes with two goals, including the game-winning score, and one assist Saturday in the 3-1 win against MSU. She completed the weekend with 16 shots and a +1 rating.

“Jeni had a very solid weekend and generated a lot of scoring opportunities, particularly in our power plays,” Jackie Barto, OSU head coach, said regarding Jeni’s accomplishments. “Jeni capitalized on her many scoring opportunities.”

COMMUNITY SERVICE ORIENTED
The Ohio State women’s ice hockey team and coaches recently participated in the first Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio (DSACO) Buddy Walk Oct. 27 at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus.

The Buddy Walk raised funds to help support DSACO’s mission “to insure all persons with Down syndrome are given the opportunity to achieve their potential.” In addition, funds will go to support the National Down syndrome Society (NDSS)’s research, education and advocacy efforts.

THE INAUGURAL CLASS
The first women’s ice hockey team at Ohio State played their first game Oct. 8, 1999, against Northeastern. The Buckeyes finished 8-26-3 overall and 6-15-3 WCHA. Nine players remain on the team – Katie Frohreich, Shana Frost, Carrie Gill, Emily Hudak, Lindsey Ogren, Christine Patno, Melissa Pirie, Lindsey Steblen and April Stojak.

The nine returning seniors bring a lot to the hockey program this season, since they have seen the program grow and mature from the beginning of its inaugural season in 1999-00.

“This year marks the graduation of our inaugural class of student-athletes in our program,” Jackie Barto, OSU head coach, said. “They will always be an important part of the history of our program. They have helped develop a strong foundation for our program that will continue to grow in the future. What they have accomplished here in their careers will be a part of our history forever. This years senior class will bring an intangible element as they lead us through an extremely competitive schedule.”

THE ROAD TO DULUTH
Only five of the seven teams in the WCHA advance to the 2003 Women’s WCHA Final Five Championships.

The championship will be held March 6-8 in Engelstad Arena at the University of North Dakota.

FOLLOW THE BUCKEYES ONLINE
Information on the Ohio State women’s ice hockey team is available online at the official website of Ohio State Athletics, ohiostatebuckeyes.com. For up-to-the-minute women’s ice hockey scores, statistics and standings around the league and the nation, check out www.collegehockeystats.com. The official website of the WCHA is www.wcha.com.

UPCOMING PROMOTION
On Friday, February 14th, Valentine’s Day, the Ohio State Women’s Ice Hockey team will be fighting for two causes. The team will take on Minnesota State, Mankato on the ice and off the ice fans can help the team support Breast Cancer Research by making a donation to the James Cancer Hospital.

The first 200 people to make donations will receive a commemorative pink Ohio State puck.

UP NEXT
Ohio State returns home for a three-week home stretch to close the 2002-03 regular season.

The Buckeyes play host to Minnesota State, Mankato at 7:05 p.m. Feb. 14 and 4:05 p.m. Feb. 15 at OSU Ice Arena in Columbus, Ohio.