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Dec. 31, 2002

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s ice hockey team (6-10-2, 4-6-2 WCHA) returns to action after a two-week hiatus. OSU faces No. 4 Dartmouth (9-3-0, 6-2-0 ECAC) at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2 at Thompson Arena in Hanover, N.H. The Buckeyes then travel to Canton, N.Y., where they will take on No. 5 St. Lawrence (8-4-2, 4-2 ECAC) at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4 at Appleton Arena.

WCHA Break
The Buckeyes are taking a break from WCHA action, playing their next four games against teams in the ECAC. Ohio State returns to WCHA action Jan. 18 and 19 against St. Cloud State in St. Cloud, Minn.

Laaksonen Player of the Week
The WCHA announced Ohio State junior Emma Laaksonen has been 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.

Last Series – Brief Version
Ohio State split the series against No. 8 Princeton Dec. 13 and 14 in Princeton, N.J. The Buckeyes held Princeton to one goal in the loss Dec. 13. OSU came back to defeat the Tigers, 4-0, Dec. 14. The shutout was the second for the Buckeyes this season. The Buckeyes outshot the Tigers 21-13 in game one and 28-20 in game two. Ohio State held Princeton scoreless on all seven of its power-play opportunities during the series.

Sizing up Ohio State
The Buckeyes are 6-10-2 overall and 4-6-2 in the WCHA. The Buckeyes have tallied 44 goals and 67 assists, averaging 2.4 goals per game. OSU has allowed 45 goals this season, averaging 2.5 goals against per game. They have had 107 penalties totaling 228 minutes in the box, averaging 5.9 penalties per game.

Impressive Special Teams
OSU has held its opponents scoreless on 77-of-89 power-play chances this season, ranking 15th in the nation with an 86.5 success rate. With a 15.8 power play percentage, the Buckeyes are ranked 13th in the nation (15/95).

Dominating Shots
The Buckeyes have outshot their opponents in 10 of the last 12 contests and are outshooting their opponents, 497-405, this season. They are averaging 27.6 shots per game compared to their opponent’s 22.5 shots per game.

The Sweep
The squad has swept two two-game series this season. The first weekend out they swept Minnesota State in Mankato, Minn. OSU’s second sweep was against St. Cloud State.

Buckeyes vs. Big Green
The meeting will mark the second time the Buckeyes and Big Green have faced off.

The last meeting between the two teams was Jan. 20, 2002 in Columbus; the game ended in a 5-all tie in overtime.

Scouting No. 4 Dartmouth
Dartmouth is ranked fourth in the country with a 9-3-0 overall record and a 6-2-0 conference record.

Senior forward Carly Haggard leads the Big Green with 11 goals and nine assists. Freshman Gillian Apps is second on the squad with 11 goals and four assists.

Goaltender Amy Ferguson recorded 244 saves and allowed 22 goals this season.

The Big Green is 10-for-54 on their power plays. Their penalty killing unit is 61-for-68 this season.

Big Green Head Coach
Judy Parish Oberting is in her fifth season as head coach of the Dartmouth women’s hockey team. Last year, she guided the team to its second straight Ivy League crown and the ECAC regular season title, a 24-6-2 record.

Oberting has tallied an overall record of 87-32-8 at Dartmouth. She was named the National Coach of the Year as well as ECAC and New England Writers Coach of the Year for the 1999-2000 season.

Last Meeting Against Dartmouth
No. 9 Ohio State tied No. 6 Dartmouth, 5-5, at the OSU Ice Rink, Jan. 20, 2002. Shana Frost and Emily Hudak turned in four-point performances to carry the Buckeyes, Frost with two goals-the tying and go-ahead goals less than one minute apart in the third period-and Hudak with assists on four-consecutive Buckeye goals. Jeanne Chapple scored twice in a six-minute span to tie the game at three in the second period.

Jennifer Desson got the ball rolling for Ohio State less than five minutes into the game. Louise Pietrangelo, Carly Haggard and Danielle Grundy tallied for the Big Green at 6:55, 9:06 and 18:05, respectively in the first stanza.

With two quick goals in the opening of the second Ohio State was back in the game. Hudak got control of the puck behind the Buckeye net and send it along the boards to Frost. Frost dished it to Chapple, who converted at 1:59. Hudak, Frost and Chapple connected again at the 7:44 mark. Kim McCullough foiled Ohio State’s comeback attempt at 16:15 in the second, as the Big Green went ahead, 4-3.

Frost tied the game at four 58 seconds in with a power-play goal from Emma Laaksonen. At 1:39, Frost tipped Hudak’s shot to give the Buckeyes a 5-4 advantage with her seventh goal of the season. Four minutes later, Pietrangelo tied the game at five with her second goal of the game.

Neither team could convert in the five-minute sudden victory overtime period.

Dartmouth outshot Ohio State, 35-25. The Buckeyes converted on 1-of-6 power-play opportunities and the Big Green went 1-for-4 with the man advantage.

Buckeyes vs. Saints
The meeting will mark the fourth time the Buckeyes and Saints have faced off.

St. Lawrence leads 2-1 in the all-time series. The last meeting between the teams was Jan. 19, 2002, in Columbus; OSU won 3-2.

Scouting No. 5 St. Lawrence
The Saints are 8-4-2 overall this season and 4-2-0 in the ECAC. Senior forward Shannon Smith leads the team with 16 points, four goals and 12 assists. Chera Marshall leads the squad in goals with eight.

Rachel Barrie has recorded 350 saves in 13 games, allowing 27 goals this season.

Saints Head Coach
Paul Flanagan is in his third season as the head coach of the Saints women’s hockey team. He has coached the team to an NCAA national championship game and set a school record for wins. Last year, he led the team to the inaugural NCAA Women’s Frozen Four where the Saints defeated top-ranked Dartmouth, 3-1, in the semifinal to earn the right to play for the national championship against Minnesota-Duluth.

Last Meeting Against St. Lawrence
Behind an outstanding team effort and a solid performance by its special teams, No. 9 Ohio State defeated No. 4 St. Lawrence, 3-2, Jan. 19, 2002 at the OSU Ice Rink.

Ohio State went 2-for-4 (50 percent) on the power play and was flawless on the penalty kill for the third-consecutive game, holding the Saints scoreless through seven power-play chances.

The Buckeyes got on the board just one minute into the game. Heather Farrell capitalized on an SLU turnover deep in their own zone for an unassisted tally, her ninth goal of the season, at 1:04. With less than five minutes remaining in the first stanza, the Saints knotted the score at one. Ricki-Lee Doyle scored on a rebound shot.

At 5:55 in the second, Creary scored, beating two SLU defenders and Saints goalie Rachel Barrie. The Buckeyes went ahead, 3-1, at the 14:18 mark of the second. Creary sent the puck up ice, it deflected off Frost’s skate as she crossed the center line, and Erin O’Grady collected it. O’Grady fired a shot to the left corner for her third goal of the season-the game winner-and Ohio State’s second power-play tally of the game.

The Buckeyes held the Saints to just three shots on net in the third period. SLU pulled Barrie with 1:30 remaining in the game and managed to get within one with 25 seconds to go. Meghan Maguire was credited with the score, an OSU own goal off a defenseman’s skate. Ohio State outshot St. Lawrence, 25-23.

Around the League
Ohio State is one of two teams in the WCHA that is competing this weekend. Teams in the WCHA are 24-14-2 against non-conference opponents this year.

WCHA Standings
The Buckeyes have moved back up to fourth in the WCHA with 10 points, only two points away from Wisconsin the third team in the league. Ohio State is 4-6-2 in the league.