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Feb. 19, 2003

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s ice hockey team (10-18-2, 7-11-2 WCHA) continues its three-week home stretch when it plays host to No. 7 Wisconsin ( 18-6-5, 11-5-4 WCHA) at 7:05 p.m. Feb. 21 and 22 at OSU Ice Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

IMPORTANT SERIES
Ohio State clinched a spot in the WCHA Final Five after sweeping Minnesota State Feb. 14 and 15 in Columbus.

The series this weekend will determine the Buckeyes’ positioning in the tournament.

SIZING UP OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes are 10-18-2 overall and 7-11-2 in the WCHA. The Buckeyes have tallied 71 goals and 111 assists, averaging 2.4 goals per game. OSU has allowed 87 goals this season, averaging 2.9 goals against per contest. They have had 172 penalties totaling 393 minutes in the box, averaging 5.7 penalties per outing.

LAST TIME OUT – BRIEF VERSION
Ohio State swept Minnesota State in both games of the series Feb. 14 and 15 in Columbus. The Buckeyes took advantage of their home ice, defeating the Mavericks 2-1 in overtime Feb. 14 and 5-4 Feb. 15.

HOME ICE
Ohio State competes on its home ice this weekend. The Buckeyes are 5-8-0 at home, defeating Connecticut, St. Cloud State twice and Minnesota State twice.

THE PROMOTION
Women’s ice hockey trading cards will be given away Friday. The game also will feature a CAHA scrimmage during the first intermission.

Saturday is the post game team autograph session and discounted food night at the concession stand.

BUCKEYES VS. BADGERS
The Buckeyes are 1-9-5 against the Badgers in the all-time series. The meeting will mark the 16th time the teams have faced off.

The last time the teams met was Nov. 22 and 23 in Wisconsin. Ohio State tied Wisconsin, 3-3, in overtime and lost, 4-0.

SCOUTING NO. 7 WISCONSIN
The Badgers’ overall record is 18-6-5. They have fallen to Minnesota-Duluth twice, Minnesota twice, St. Cloud State and New Hampshire.

Wisconsin clinched at least third place in the WCHA with its sweep of St. Cloud State Feb. 14 and 15. Wisconsin is 6-0-1 in its last seven games.

Defender Sis Paulsen leads the team with 27 points (6-21). Leading the forwards is Meaghan Hunter with 25 points (7-18). Hunter is two points shy of 150 career points.

In goal for the Badgers is senior Jackie MacMillian. She has allowed 55 goals this season for an average of 1.90 and has recorded 583 saves, a .914 save percentage.

WISCONSIN HEAD COACH
Mark Johnson is in his first year with the Badgers. The third head coach of the women’s ice hockey program, Johnson joined the staff after serving the men’s program as an assistant coach since 1996. While with the men’s program, he helped the team to a WCHA regular-season title during the 1999-00 season, as well as a WCHA Final Five championship in the 1997-98 campaign.

LAST MEETING AGAINST
WISCONSIN – GAME 2

Ohio State fell to the No. 7/8 Wisconsin Badgers, 4-0, Nov. 23 in Madison, Wis.

The Badgers started the game off with a goal at 3:00 by Karen Rickard. Ohio State’s Christine Patno received a penalty for high-sticking at 7:39 causing Wisconsin’s first power-play opportunity. UW’s Jackie Friesen scored on the power play at 8:37.

The Buckeyes came out strong in the second period. They had several scoring chances but were unable to get the puck in the net. Wisconsin fought back and Nicole Uliasz scored at 8:46. OSU had two power-play chances following the goal but was unable to capitalize on either.

The Buckeyes and the Badgers battled in the third period. Both teams had several scoring opportunities but the period ended scoreless. Ohio State pulled its goalkeeper with 52 seconds left in the period on a last minute attempt to score. The Badgers took advantage of the chance and Kendra Antony scored at 19:17.

OSU held UW scoreless on two of its three power-play opportunities. The Buckeyes were 0-for-6 on their power-play chances. The Buckeyes outshot the Badgers, 25-16.

Ohio State goalkeeper April Stojak played 32 minutes in net recording eight saves. Freshman Natalie Lamme played 27:52 and recorded four saves. Wisconsin’s Jackie MacMillan had 25 saves in 60 minutes.

LAST MEETING AGAINST
WISCONSIN – GAME 1

Ohio State tied the No. 7/8 Wisconsin Badgers, 3-3, Nov. 22 in Madison, Wis.

The Badgers scored the first goal of the game at 11:32 by Jackie Friesen. The Buckeyes followed tying the game at one-all, at 12:38. Junior Melissa Pirie scored on her own rebound, her second goal of the season, assisted by Katie Frohreich.

Ohio State was unable to capitalize on two power-play opportunities. The period ended scoreless; the Buckeyes outshot the Badgers 7-5.

Wisconsin started the third period off with a goal at 1:08 by Kendra Antony. The Buckeyes tied the game, 2-2, at 13:51. OSU’s Jana Harrigan retrieved the puck following a faceoff in the Badgers zone. Jennifer Desson took a shot, but it was saved by UW’s goalkeeper and Heather Farrell scored off the rebound. Ohio State took the lead at 17:19 when Jeni Creary scored on a breakaway. Emma Laaksonen was credited with the assist. Wisconsin’s Amy Vermeulen soon followed with a goal at 18:11.

In overtime, the Buckeyes were unable to score on a power-play opportunity. The Badgers outshot the Buckeyes, 2-0. The game ended tied, 3-3.

OSU held UW scoreless on all four of its power-play opportunities. The Buckeyes were 0-for-5 on the power-play. The Buckeyes outshot the Badgers 21-13.

Ohio State goalkeeper April Stojak played the full 65 minutes in net recording 10 saves. Wisconsin’s Jackie MacMillan recorded 18 saves in 65 minutes of play.

WCHA STANDINGS
The Buckeyes became the fourth team in the league standings when they took a pair of one-goal games from Minnesota State last weekend. OSU is one point ahead of Bemidji State in fifth.

Bemidji State needs at least one point against Minnesota-Duluth to clinch the final tournament spot. The Beavers sit eight points ahead of Minnesota State with the Mavericks having four games remaining.

Should the teams tie for fifth, Minnesota State would earn the fifth seed of the tournament by virtue of a greater WCHA-wins total.

WCHA LEADERS

Ohio State players rank among the top in the WCHA in league games. Frosh Scoring: GP PPG G-A-P 5. Jana Harrigan 20 0.60 7-5-12

Goals Against Average: Min. GA GAA 4. April Stojak 825:52 46 3.34

Winning Percentage: W-L-T Pct. 4. April Stojak 5-8-1 .393

Scoring Offense: Goals G/GM 4. Ohio State 45 2.25

Scoring Defense: Goals G/GM 4. Ohio State 62 3.10

Penalty Minutes: PIM PIM/G 2. Ohio State 297 14.8

Power Play: Totals SHA PCT 5. Ohio State 13/99 2 13.1

Penalty Kill: Totals SHF PCT 4. Ohio State 84/104 1 80.8

WCHA PIM
Ohio State is second in the WCHA with 297 penalty minutes. It is averaging 14.8 minutes per game. Minnesota-Duluth is leading the WCHA with 382 penalty minutes, averaging 17.4.

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 three two-game series this season. Ohio State swept Minnesota State twice this season, once in Mankato (Oct. 11-12) and once in Columbus (Feb. 14-15). 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.

ONE GOAL GAMES
Ohio State’s last three-consecutive games were decided by one goal. OSU was victorious in two of the three contests. The Buckeyes are 4-8-0 in one goal games this season.

SOPHOMORES STILL LEADING
The sophomore class led the Buckeye squad last weekend recording 11 points. Four of the five sophomores tallied points – Jeni Creary (2-1), Jennifer Desson (1-1), Meaghan Mulvaney (1-2) and Jaclyn Haines (0-3).

The class is leading the Buckeyes with 70 points this season – Creary (30), Desson (19), Mulvaney (16) and Haines (5).

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 94 points (45-49) and Hudak, the all-time assist leader, has 83 points (15-67).

LEADING BUCKEYES
Sophomore Jeni Creary led the Buckeyes with two goals and an assist against MSU last weekend. Creary scored the game-winning goal in the 2-1 victory over MSU Friday and scored in the 5-4 victory Saturday. She leads the squad with 30 points (17-13) this season.

MAKING A STATEMENT
Sophomore Jaclyn Haines led the Buckeye defense with three assists against Minnesota State last weekend. Haines recorded three helpers in the 5-4 victory Saturday. She was +4 on the weekend.

ROOKIE
Crystal Sayther led the freshman class against MSU last weekend. Sayther got the Buckeyes on the board when she scored OSU’s first goal of the game Saturday. She is ranked second among OSU freshmen with six points (3-3) this season.

FROSTY
Senior Shana Frost recorded the game-winning goal in the 5-4 win Feb. 15. Frost has recorded 11 points (7-4) this season. She ranks first in OSU’s history with 94 career points, on 45 goals and 49 assists.

LAST TIME OUT –
MINNESOTA – GAME 4

Senior Shana Frost scored the game-winning goal to lift the Buckeyes to a 5-4 victory over Minnesota State Feb. 15 in Columbus, Ohio.

Minnesota State’s Tristin Stephenson scored the first goal of the game, on the Mavericks second attempted shot, at 5:11. Ohio State’s Crystal Sayther tied the game at 13:14, assisted by Erin O’Grady and Jaclyn Haines. MSU took the lead when Melanie Salatino netted a goal at 14:59.

OSU’s Haines set up Meaghan Mulvaney for a goal in the crease. Mulvaney scored off her own rebound at 12:13. Mulvany was involved in the action again, when she dug the puck out from behind the net setting up Jeni Creary for a goal at 18:30.

Ohio State’s O’Grady scored on the rebound of a shot by Heather Farrell at 4:56 in the third period. Haines tallied her third helper of the game on the goal. Minnesota State came back scoring two goals, Andrea Jensrud at 8:27 and Amy Egli 15:03, to tie the game at 4-all. OSU’s Frost netted the Buckeyes’ game-winning goal at 16:56 assisted by Jana Harrigan and Emma Laaksonen.

The Buckeyes outshot the Mavericks 37-25. The Buckeyes were 0-for-2 on the power play. Ohio State held Minnesota State scoreless on 1-of-2 power-play opportunities.

Ohio State goalkeeper April Stojak saved 21 shots in 60 minutes of play. Minnesota State’s Shari Vogt recorded 32 saves in 59 minutes.

LAST TIME OUT –
MINNESOTA STATE – GAME 1

Sophomore Jeni Creary scored with 1:24 remaining in overtime to lift Ohio State to a 2-1 victory over Minnesota State Feb. 14 in Columbus, Ohio.

Ohio State had several scoring opportunities but was unable to get the puck in the net during the first period.

The Buckeyes dominated the MSU defense, recording 12 shots, while holding the Mavericks to just four shots. The Buckeye power-play unit had two opportunities, but was unable to capitalize on the chances.

OSU’s Jennifer Desson scored the first goal of the game, her seventh of the season, at 11:38 of the third. The goal was assisted by Lindsey Steblen and Creary. Minnesota State’s Nicole Magnuson tied the game at 16:11 on the Mavericks’ power play.

The Buckeyes dominated the overtime period, tallying six shots to MSU’s zero. Ohio State’s Creary scored the game-winning goal at 3:36, assisted by Desson and Meaghan Mulvaney.

The Buckeyes outshot the Mavericks 42-16. The Buckeyes were 0-for-3 on the power play and held Minnesota State scoreless on 2-of-3 power-play opportunities.

Ohio State goalkeeper April Stojak saved 15 shots in 63:35 of play. Minnesota State’s Shari Vogt recorded 40 saves in 63:36.

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.

DEFENSEMAN IN EUROPEAN CUP
Emma Laaksonen missed the Ohio State at Minnesota-Duluth 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.

UP NEXT
Ohio State plays host to WCHA opponent Bemidji State at 7:05 p.m. Feb. 28 and at 4:05 p.m. March 1 at the OSU Ice Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The series will mark the OSU’s final regular-season games before heading to the WCHA Final Five in Grand Forks, N.D.